The Pointer Sisters are an American versatile pop and R&B singing group who came from Oakland, California. It was during the 1970’s and 1980’s when they achieved mainstream success. For more than four decades, their collection included different genres such as bebop, dance, disco, electronic, blues, country, rock, dance, jazz, funk, and soul. They have also won three Grammy Awards and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994. Between 1973 and 1985, the group had 13 US top 20 hits.
The Formation of the Pointer Sisters
The sisters, Ruth, Anita, Bonnie, and June Pointer are daughters of a mother and reverend father. Their father encouraged gospel singing and forbade blues and rock and roll. They have developed their love for different types of music through some slumber parties they’ve attended at the homes of their friends. Those were the only times they could listen to music and watch shows such as the American Bandstand and The Ed Sullivan Show.
When they were young, their public performances were limited to church but when they became older, sisters June and Bonnie Pointer began performing as “Pointers, a Pair” in clubs in 1969. They performed as backup vocals for a lot of artists such as Grace Slick, Sylvester, and Boz Scaggs. Then, their line-up grew when their sister, Anita Pointer, joined them. They got a deal with Atlantic Records, however, some of the singles they released were unsuccessful.
In December 1972, their group grew into a quartet when their sister, Ruth Pointer, joined them. After that, they signed with Blue Thumb Records where they recorded their debut album. From that album, they began seeing more success and in 1975, when they won a Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance for “Fairytale”. However, in 1978, Bonnie left the group to commence a solo career.
“I’m So Excited” – The Pointer Sisters’ Major Hit
“So Excited!” is the 9th studio album of the Pointer Sisters and it was released on the Planet label in 1982. It produced a major hit with “I’m So Excited” and “American Music”. Other songs included in the album are a cover of a Prince tune, “I Feel for You” and tracks such as, “See How the Love Goes”, “All of You”, and “Heart Beat”
The song, “I’m So Excited” was composed in collaboration with Trevor Lawrence. It was originally released in 1982 but was subsequently released as a single. It charted at number 28 on the Billboard Dance Music Play Singles chart, number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100, and number 46 on the Billboard R&B Singles chart upon its release.
After two years, the group released an album called “Break Out” where a slightly remixed and edited version of the song was included and re-released as a single. The album became multi-platinum. During this time, the re-release of the song “I’m So Excited” peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 25 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. In fact, there was a track featured on the album called “Nightline” that was removed because of the addition of “I’m So Excited”.
In 2001, the song was included in the National Endowment for the Arts project called Songs of the Century. It’s a list intended to promote better understanding of the musical and cultural heritage of America. It ranked 264 out of 365 songs in that list.
The song was also featured in a number of movies such as, “Summer Lovers” in 1982, “Hot Shots Part Deux” in 1993, “The Nutty Professor” in 1996, “Protocol” in 1984, “Playing for Keeps” in 1986, “Riff-Raff” in 1991, “The Story of Us” in 1999, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” in 2009, and “I’m So Excited” in 2013.
The Song’s Music Video
A music video for the song’s remixed version was released in 1984 and it was directed by Kenny Ortega who is also a choreographer.
In the video, the Pointer Sisters are seen getting ready for a formal part at a high-end club. Anita Pointer is getting dressed and applying makeup while Ruth Pointer is wearing a nightgown and rolling around on her bed. June Pointer on the other hand, is wearing nothing while taking a bubble bath. Then, when they arrived at the club, they are photographed, getting the attention of other people. On the end of the music video, the whole club was on its feet jamming to the song.
The music video of “I’m So Excited” had attracted controversy due to June Pointer’s scene in the bathtub. It’s because as she emerges from the tub, it seemed her towel provided insufficient coverage. But according to her, she’s wearing a thong-bottomed bathing suit in that scene.
The Pointer Sisters’ Success
The Pointer Sisters It was in the 1980’s when the Pointer Sisters achieved their greatest commercial success as a trio with the line-up of June, Ruth, and Anita. They have also won two more Grammys for the top 10 hits, “Jump (for My Love)” and “Automatic”.
However, June Pointer, the youngest sister, left the group in April 2004 because she struggled with drug addiction and died from extensive cancer at the age of 52 in April 2006. She was then replaced by Issa Pointer, Ruth’s daughter.
In 2005, the trio had a number two hit in Belgium, covering “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves” together with Natalia who is a Belgian singer. From 2009 up to the present time, the group is consisted of Ruth Pointer, Issa Pointer, Sadako Pointer, and Anita Pointer. Even though they are four in the group, they usually perform as a trio, rotating the lineup as needed.
Billboard magazine ranked the Pointer Sisters as the 80th most successful dance artists of all-time in December 2016. And in December 2017, they were ranked as the 93rd most successful Hot 100 Artist of all-time, as well as the 32nd most successful Hot 100 Women Artist of all-time.
Aside from the song “I’m So Excited”, the Pointer Sisters have made many wonderful dance music that the oldies love and even the new generation music lovers still listen and dance to until today.