Today’s music video is Fairytale from The Pointer Sisters.
This video was posted to You Tube by SafariCreations
The late 60′s and early 70′s saw an era of so many ‘Firsts’ in modern music, that it became harder and harder to find a first in music, as so much of it was just so good. However, The Pointer Sisters had a series of ‘Firsts’ in the mid 70′s.
The two youngest of the sisters, Bonnie and June started out as a pair with only moderate success, mainly as a club act. They wanted to combine both Jazz and Be Bop styles into their own unique brand of music.
Anita joined her sisters, and the threesome got regular work as backing vocalists for a variety of big name acts. They got a minor recording contract that produced a couple of singles but didn’t lead anywhere. The eldest sister Ruth joined her sisters and the four piece outfit got a second record contract that produced their first self titled album The Pointer Sisters, and from that album, a hit single that almost made it into the National Top Ten.
The following year, 1974 saw the release of their second album That’s A Plenty, and from that also came a single that charted slowly. Their style now was that Jazz oriented theme along with Rhythm and Blues and Soul.
However, on that same album was a song that was a departure in style from what the girls had been doing, a song called Fairytale, and it started to get steady airplay. The song was basically Country and Western style, but in the girl’s own way of doing things, it actually has a slight jazz feel to the song, even though recognisable as Country. While quite long for radio at just over 5 minutes, the airplay the song received bought the girls back into the studio to record a shorter version for release a a Single. The shorter version was a huge hit, not only on the Mainstream Charts, but crossing over into the Country Charts as well. It’s a regular thing for songs to cross from Country into Mainstream, but this song actually went the other way, even though basically Country style.
While the song was quite a large scale hit in the U.S. it was a only a medium scale chart success here in Australia, but on the local charts it rated higher, and in one of those places the song did chart well locally was where I lived at the time, in Newcastle. I got hold of the album, only having heard the shorter Single version, and as is mostly always the case, that longer version on the album was so much better, so that’s why I have included this longer version as today’s featured song.
The song was written by Anita and Bonnie, and in this live clip of the ladies performing their song, Anita sings the lead vocals.
From this Single comes the Firsts for The Pointer Sisters.
Because the song was gaining in popularity, the sisters were invited to perform at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. This was the first appearance by an African American vocal group at the Opry.
The song was nominated for the Grammy Awards, and won the Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. Anita and Bonnie were also nominated for Best Country Song as the writers of this wonderful song. The Grammy that they did win was also a First, the first Grammy to an all female vocal group.
A year later, in 1975, Elvis Presley released a cover of this song as well.
The featured clip is an early live performance of the song, and as is often the case, the original from the album is ‘tighter’ than live versions, and while the live version above is good, that Album version is worth listening to and that version is at the following link, which has images of the ladies shown over the recording.
While this may have been one of their few forays into Country Music, The Pointer Sisters will always be fondly remembered for this wonderful song.