ANDERSON — Armed with a spoon and a pie tin, the kids banged out a rhythm, while they blended their voices in melody. Raised in a household that didn’t exactly have a whole lot of room for it, the four little girls of the Pointer family discovered they had an irrepressible gift that would eventually blossom into a meteoric career.
The Grammy Award-winning Pointer Sisters come to Hoosier Park Saturday bringing the harmonies, energy and hit songs for which they became so well known.
Sisters Bonnie, June, Anita and Ruth were raised along with their brothers, Aaron and Fritz, by the Rev. Elton Pointer and his wife, Sarah. The reverend served at the Church of God in West Oakland, Calif. In his home, he made allowance for occasional gospel music, but that's where it stopped.
“We had wonderful parents,” said Ruth Pointer, 67. “Yeah, they were strict… That’s all there was in our home - church and going to church. That’s who we were and what we did.”
The sisters first sang for others in their dad’s church.
“We started going sort of outside of the Church of God’s musical line-up of songs. I was frustrated - they were all hymns and anthems,” said Ruth. “They were boring to me.”
The girls sometimes visited the churches of their friends where they were exposed to broader styles of music.
“The music had so much emotion and spirit,” said Ruth. One of the sisters’ favorite songs to sing in church became “The Blood,” a song Ruth said they ‘stole’ from their friend’s church.
“My father and mother loved it. They loved most everything we did musically,” said Ruth. “They were just nervous where it was going to take us.”
It did, in fact, take them a long way from life in the old two-bedroom Victorian house, jam packed with dad, mom, six kids and a grandparent, where bunk beds in the dining room helped to accommodate the crowd.