Showing posts with label Ruth Pointer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ruth Pointer. Show all posts

Thursday, August 4, 2016

3 Moments (Among Many) Ruth Pointer's Autobiography Gave Feels

Often an autobiographer’s life story is what it is.  Aside from vague descriptions, missing stamps in its chronological makeup, and the ever so unhelpful broken grammar; what can I say about someone’s personal story at the end of the day?  I guess I could go in deep on why I’ve chosen to read an individual’s autobiography.  But in this matter there’s no fuss; I’m a fan of Ruth Pointer.  And, well, I wanted to get to know her story beyond tabloids and news bulletins of days past.  So here arrives her autobiography, Still So Excited.  

Though, given, she’s not the type of celebrity to draw that much attention to herself.  At least not beyond her and her group’s heydays during the 1980’s.  Nonetheless, I’m here–as a fan of this melodic contralto voice.  And instead of running down her story with a boring review, I wanted to share what hit me most within her journey.  It’s my way of delving into the death of her sister and band mate, June.  And on into Ruth’s upbringing, stardom, addictions, and eventual change in life.  All while playing my favorite Pointer numbers in my ear buds as I type away.

Ruth On Individuality and Authority
“My resentment of authority and those who wielded it manifested itself in different ways.  I remember the first time was when I was in third grade at Cole Elementary School.  My teacher was Mrs. Bolin, an elderly white woman who didn’t bother checking her obvious distaste for people of color at the schoolhouse door.  One day she was conducting a reading group in front of the class.  I was sitting in the back row reading a book and eating an apple when all of a sudden Mrs. Bolin charged up and yelled, ‘I said no talking!’  Then she slapped me hard in the face. 
“Turning the other check never even occurred to me.  Instead, I stood up, yelled ‘I wasn’t talking!’ and slapped her back.”

Monday, March 21, 2016

I'm So Excited | Ruth Pointer & Da Chen READS

"Still So Excited!: My Life in the Pointer Sisters offers an engaging, funny, heartbreaking, and poignant look at Ruth Pointer’s roller-coaster life in and out of the Pointer Sisters. When overnight success came to the Pointer Sisters in 1973, they all thought it was the answer to their long-held prayers. While it may have served as an introduction to the good life, it also was an introduction to the high life of limos, champagne, white glove treatment, and mountains of cocaine that were the norm in the high-flying '70s and '80s. Ruth Pointer’s devastating addictions took her to the brink of death in 1984. Ruth Pointer has bounced back to live a drug- and alcohol-free life for the past 30 years and she shares how in her first biography. Readers will learn about the Pointer Sisters’ humble beginnings, musical apprenticeship, stratospheric success, miraculous comeback, and the melodic sound that captured the hearts of millions of music fans. They will also come to understand the five most important elements in Ruth’s story: faith, family, fortitude, fame, and forgiveness."

I’m so excited.  And how appropriate for this book-receiving occasion.  First I want to bitch about how I missed singer, Ruth Pointer, releasing her autobiography in February.  Where was I!  Where!  As a strong supporter and fan of her band, The Pointer Sisters, I’m disappointed in myself.  Especially seeing how she was my favorite vocalist in the group.  She had (well, still has) that smoky, contralto voice that just throws me over.  Not familiar with it?  I’ll leave a Youtube video of the group’s song “Automatic”.  Ruth sings lead as she pulls you into the cosmic bliss of her voice.  Now let me disclaimer my enthusiasm by stating how all the sisters’ voices were different, and added something magical to their music.  Especially if you sit back and catch their three-part (at one point four) harmonies.  Which are absolutely amazing, especially for listeners like myself who love to active the conscious to pay attention to back vocals and such. Still, I suppose I’m just bias because I live for a female singer who can master the lower registers.  Maybe because it's so unique for female singers.  That dark, rich contralto tone is why Brandy (who actually shifts) is my favorite artist of my specific generation.  Ruth was definitely my favorite during her time.  Which of course the concept of "time" in music is moot.
Anyway, so yes.  Ruth was my favorite Pointer.  Going by the synopsis of her autobiography, I’m taken aback by what she’s willing to reveal.  Well, to be accurate, her story.  Now I'm familiar with her baby sister June’s drug addiction, as well as June's passing in 2006.  (From what I've read so far, Ruth's autobiography takes a brief moment to address the tragedy June faced which led to her later struggles.)  But I always saw Ruth, the eldest sister, as the responsible and forthright sister.  An illusion we tend to give any of our eldest siblings.  I myself being one.  Even so, she was in the same mess as June–using drugs and alcohol to cope with her own demons.  On the other hand, the use of drugs and alcohol were almost par for the course, given the 70's and 80's when the group took off.  Either way Ruth is revealing her struggle with addition and rise in the music industry, but with so much more in the vein of inspiration in Still So Excited!

FYI: Let me gush for a split-second and mention how my absolute favorite Pointer Sister song is "If You Wanna Get Back Your Lady."  Pure damn gold!  Do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself with the song.

"When Samuel Pickens’ great love tragically loses her life, Samuel travels the globe, Annabelle always on his mind. Eventually, he comes face to face with the mirror image of his obsession in the last place he would expect, and must discover her secrets and decide how far he will go for a woman he loves. 
Da Chen immerses the reader in the world of the Chinese imperial palace, filled with ghosts and grief, where bewitching concubines, treacherous eunuchs, and fierce warlords battle for supremacy. Da takes us deeply into an epic saga of 19th century China, where one man searches for his destiny and a forbidden love."
~ Synopsis taken from Goodreads
Let me tell you.  Anytime I go to the Dollar Tree/General/Store, I make a move for the book section.  It’s usually a mess in the area, but I enjoy hunting for something new to read for a single dollar.  And that’s just what I found with Da Chen’s My Last Empress
I read Da Chen’s book, Brothers, back in 2006.  Considering it’s been awhile, all I can say is I liked the book okay.  Hard for me to remember the exact details other than two brothers in China separated at birth.  One got the privileged life, the other got a bad deal.  The twist is they both fell in love with the same girl.  Then I forgot the rest.
But no, the author’s name still sticks with me.  Which is why I grabbed this copy of My Last Empress out of an avalanche of Sudoku puzzles and paperback Westerns.  Dish washer liquid in hand, I pumped on to the register in delight.

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