The truly amazing dynamism of the four lovely ladies who make up Philadelphia's own SISTER SLEDGE are finally getting the kind of recognition which their sensational talent has long deserved. As you read this, the bundle of excitement and electricity which is Sister Sledge will be hitting Europe and, we predict, taking the whole continent by storm.
Much of that recognition has been brought on by the strong promotional campaign instituted on behalf of the four young ladies by Atlantic Records, with their current album, "Circle Of Love" at the centre of it. Produced by a team which is currently making hit after hit, Tony Silvester & Bert de Coteaux, the set has provided the group with its first chart hit in "Love, Don't You Go Through No Changes On Me", but several of the other cuts — notably "Circle of Love". "Protect Our Love" and "Don't You Miss Him" are picking up airplay in both discos and on the air in the States.
Sister Sledge are all family, naturally: Debbie, Kathie, Kim and Joni. When you've seen their truly together in person appearances, you will doubtless wonder at the fact that all four are still attending school & college! Not only that, but they carry their books around with them so that at any spare moment (and you can bet there aren't too many of them!) they can make sure they do their homework. "Yes," they all agree, "it's very, very important for us to complete our education because in this business you just never know what can happen. And you must have something to fall back upon in case things don't work out!" Such a sensible attitude is typical of these four young sisters whose obvious dedication to what they're doing is only matched by their unbounding enthusiasm for it. "It's really wonderful that people are now beginning to understand our music and they do seem to be recognizing us — even on a personal basis. People have even started to recognize us on the subway!"
The girls have been singing professionally for a couple of years now and one of their initial gigs was with Jackie Moore & The Persuaders. "Atlantic were doing a whole thing based on the three acts. Yeah, we've done quite a few gigs since we've been going out on the road — but mostly in the summer months when school is out. Each new appearance is a new experience. Like our first trip to Zaire last year. That was truly incredible — just great. We're sure that being in Europe is going to be the same and we're looking forward to it enormously."
The group will be working on some new sessions presumably with Tony & Bert later in the year but right now, it's the album they have out which is grabbing all the attention. "Naturally, we're striving all the time to get better. We tailor our act to suit the different audiences — depending on whether we're in concerts or clubs. But we usually just have a ball!" The girls' guidance and inspiration for their vocal capabilities (which are far from ordinary) came directly from their grandmother "who used to make us practice all the time!" but the hard work has handsomely paid off.
The natural exhuberance of youth is obviously a strong feature of what Sister Sledge is all about but their strength and maturity is what seperates them from the rest and gives them that extra special something. "Soul" as a description of what Sister Sledge possess is just not enough. Kathie, Debbie, Kim and Joni are truly something else. The American public is just getting to find out. Europe, make sure you check 'em out too because they're really great!
About the Writer
David Nathan is the founder and CEO of SoulMusic.com and began his writing career in 1965; beginning in 1967, he was a regular contributor to Blues & Soul magazine in London before relocating to the U.S. in 1975 where he served as U.S. editor for the publication for several decades and began being known as 'The British Ambassador Of Soul.' From 1988 to 2004, he wrote prolifically for Billboard, has penned bios, produced and written liner notes for box sets and reissue CDs for over a thousand projects. He returned to London in 2009 where he has helped create SoulMusic.com Records as a leading reissue label.