Sister Sledge

Sister Sledge is an American musical group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, formed in 1972 and consisting of four sisters: Kim Sledge (born August 21, 1958), Debbie Sledge (born July 9, 1954), Joni Sledge (born September 13, 1957), and Kathy Sledge (born January 6, 1961).

All the sisters are granddaughters of the former opera singer Viola Williams. The sisters used to perform under the name of 'Mrs. Williams' Grandchildren'.

Contents


Chart history

Sister Sledge were born and raised in North Philadelphia and began singing in local Philadelphia churches like the Second Macedonia Baptist Church. They were discovered by Charles Simmons and entered the UK Singles Chart in 1975 with "Mama Never Told Me". They released their first two albums "Circle Of Love" and "Together" in 1975 and 1977 garnering moderate sales. Their career went into decline before it revived under the production skills of Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of Chic. This association gave them their biggest successes during 1979: the popular disco anthems "We Are Family" (#1 R&B, #2 Pop in the U.S.) and "He's the Greatest Dancer" (#1 R&B, #9 Pop in the U.S.) Both songs were included on their eight song 1979 album We Are Family. Their next album was 1980's Love Somebody Today, which included the songs "Got to Love Somebody" (#6 R&B, #64 Pop in the U.S., #34 in the UK) and "Pretty Baby" There were rumors of an unnamed musician who played the famous piano track for "we are family".

Switching to producer Narada Michael Walden in 1981, they released the album All-American Girls, yielding two hits (the title track, which reached #3 R&B and #79 Pop in the U.S. and #41 Pop in the UK, and "Next Time You'll Know", which reached #28 R&B in the U.S.) The sisters continued singing new material throughout the 1980s and 1990s. They achieved an international #1 selling song with "Frankie" in 1985 (#1 in the UK for 4 weeks); surprisingly the follow-up single, "Dancing on the Jagged Edge", failed to make the UK Top 40. In 1992, Kathy left the group and recorded the solo album Heart. The group continued to perform with her and recorded the album African Eyes in 1998 as well as the Live in Concert album in 1997. In 2004 they headlined the International Food and Wine Festival at the Epcot theme park. In 2003, Debbi and Joni performed with two other girls in the PBS special, My Music: 70's Soul Superstars, which is also available on DVD.

Their most popular songs have been re-released several times in the UK, often in newly-remixed versions which keep them sounding new and up-to-date. "We Are Family" is regarded by the feminist movement as a totemic statement – it reached number 7 in 1979, number 33 in 1984 and number 5 in 1993. "Lost in Music" reached number 17 in 1979, number 4 in 1984 and number 14 in 1993. "Thinking of You" reached number 11 in 1984 and number 17 in 1993. Originally their biggest UK hit back in 1979, peaking at number 6, "He's the Greatest Dancer" has not been a hit again in the UK as an updated version, although Will Smith sampled the backing music in his Top 3 UK hit "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" and Dannii Minogue covered it in 2007

In 1984, the sisters made a guest appearance in an episode (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0614934/) of the hit TV sitcom The Jeffersons, playing "The Satin Sisters," a group of maid Florence's friends who convince George Jefferson to manage them. He secures them a gig performing in a nightclub, which turns out to be a cowboy bar. While given a cold reception at first, the girls' talent wins over the cowboys while singing a cover of Stevie Wonder's song "As," and the episode ends to the entire bar dancing while the sisters sing "We Are Family."

The sisters' mother, Florez Kathy "Flo" Sledge, died of a stroke at Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona on May 17, 2007 at age 79. She is buried in Philadelphia.

The video for 'Frankie' was made in its entirety in the city of Glen Cove, NY, the hometown of its producer, Suzy Benfato. Location sites included the high School, a local disco and many downtown spots, as well as her neighbors pool.

Studio albums

Year Album Chart positions[1] US
certifications[2]
Record label
US US
R&B
UK[3]
1975 Circle of Love 56 Atco
1977 Together Cotillion
1979 We Are Family 3 1 7 Platinum
1980 Love Somebody Today 31 7
1981 All American Girls 42 13
1982 The Sisters 69 17
1983 Bet Cha Say That to All the Girls 169 35
1985 When the Boys Meet the Girls 52 19 Atlantic
1997 African Eyes Fahrenheit
2003 Style Empowerment Enterprises
"—" denotes the album failed to chart or was not certified

Compilation albums

Year Album Chart positions Record label
US US
R&B
UK[3]
1987 Freak Out: The Greatest Hits of Chic and Sister Sledge 72 WEA International
1992 The Best of Sister Sledge (1973-1985) Rhino
1993 The Very Best of Sister Sledge (1973-1993) 19
1999 The Very Best of Chic & Sister Sledge WEA International
2002 The Essentials Rhino
2005 Good Times: The Very Best of the Hits & the Remixes (with Chic) WEA International
2006 The Definitive Groove Collection Rhino
"—" denotes the album failed to chart

Singles

Year Single Chart positions[4]
US US
R&B
US
Dance
US
A/C
UK[3]
1971 "Frye Will Tell"
1973 "The Weatherman"
"Mama Never Told Me" 20
1974 "Love Don't You Go Through No Changes on Me" 92 31 5
1975 "Protect Our Love" 7
"Circle of Coburn (Caught in the Middle)"
"Love Has Found Me"
1976 "Thank You for Today 78
1977 "Cream of the Crop" 100
"Blockbuster Boy" 61
"Baby, It's the Rain"
1978 "I've Seen Better Days"
1979 "He's the Greatest Dancer" 9 1 1 6
"We Are Family" 2 1 30 8
"Lost in Music" 35 17
"Got to Love Somebody" 64 6 34 34
1980 "Reach Your Peak 101 21
"Let's Go on Vacation" 63
1981 "All American Girls" 79 3 6 41
"Next Time You'll Know" 82 28
"He's Just a Runaway" 32
1982 "My Guy" 23 14 2
"All the Man That I Need" (feat. David Simmons) 45
1983 "B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Baby)" 22
"Gotta Get Back to Love" 56
1984 "Thinking of You" 11
"Lost in Music" ('84 remix) 4
"We Are Family" ('84 remix) 33
1985 "Frankie" 75 32 15 1
"Dancing on the Jagged Edge" 71 50
1986 "When the Boys Meet the Girls" 89
"Here to Stay" 78
1993 "We Are Family" ('93 remix) 5
"Lost in Music" ('93 remix) 14
"Thinking of You" ('93 remix) 17
"—" denotes the single failed to chart

Cover versions of Sister Sledge songs

  • "All the Man That I Need" was originally done by Linda Clifford in 1981 and was covered by Whitney Houston in 1991, becoming her ninth number-one hit.
  • "Mama Never Told Me" was covered by Tracie & The Questions in 1983. The recording was released on a compilation album entitled "Love The Reason" by Paul Weller's Respond label.
  • "Thinking of You" was a UK hit single for Maureen Walsh in 1990; it was also covered by Monday Michiru in 1999, Paul Weller in 2004, and Sin Palomo in 2005.
  • "Lost In Music" was covered by The Fall in 1993 on the album The Infotainment Scan.
  • "We Are Family" was covered by Babes in Toyland in 1995, the Spice Girls in 1998, Jump5 in 2003, and Jordan Pruitt in 2007.
  • "Lost in Music" was covered by Wackside sampling Sister Sledge in 2002.
  • "He's The Greatest Dancer" was covered by Dannii Minogue in 2006.
  • "We Are Family" was covered by Groovestylerz in 2007.
  • "We Are Family" was covered by Home Made Kazoku in 2007.
  • "Thinking of You" was remixed by Solitaire in 2004. Samples of the same music were used in Eclipse's dance hit "Makes Me Love You" in 1999.
  • "Lifetime Lover" was sampled by The Vanden Plas in 2003 for their single "Lifetime Lovers".
  • "Thinking of You was covered by the Swedish music collective Blacknuss.

See also

References

  1. . allmusic.com. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/p5442. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  2. . riaa.com. http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?table=SEARCH_RESULTS&artist=Sister%20Sledge&format=Album&go=Search&perPage=25. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  3. a b c . chartstats.com. http://www.chartstats.com/artistinfo.php?id=2574. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  4. . allmusic.com. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/p5442. Retrieved 2010-01-31.