Celebrating 100 Years of Oakland Technical High School
Pointer Sisters ’63, ’65, ’68
Three of the four Pointer siblings, who found fame singing as The Pointer Sisters, graduated from Oakland Tech during the ‘60s, starting with eldest sister Ruth in 1963, Anita in 1965, and Pat (“Bonnie”) in 1968. The baby of the family, June, attended Castlemont High School.
Raised as choir members in their minister father’s church in West Oakland, Bonnie and June Pointer started a sister duo act in 1969.
Their sister Anita joined them by the end of that year, and Ruth made it a quartet when she joined in 1972. Their recording success and fame grew throughout the ‘70s, reaching the Top 10 with a cover of “Fire” by Bruce Springsteen. Bonnie Pointer left the group to pursue a solo career, so it was as a trio that The Pointer Sisters achieved hit status in the ‘80s with releases like “Slow Hand” and “I’m So Excited.”
Along with a Grammy won in 1975 for “Fairytale,” they received two Grammys in 1983 for “Jump (For My Love)” and “Automatic.” They’ve also won three American Music Awards, have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2005. June Pointer passed away in 2006. The remaining siblings continue to perform, often with daughters and nieces filling in.