Star light. Star bright.

After a visit to a planetarium night sky show, I quiz my son as we parents often do to reinforce our educational activities, “Do you remember what the sister stars are called?”


He touches his finger to his lip, looks up for a minute, thinking, then answers, “The Seven … um, Pointer Sisters?”

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June, Anita, Ruth and Bonnie Pointer

Why yes. Yes they are.

The Seven Pointer Sisters. I’m too amused at his knowing The Pointer Sisters to correct him. That’s why we pay science teachers. And I don’t quibble over the three surplus stars.  Perhaps there are other non-performing Pointer sisters. Or maybe astronomers are wrong about the constellation. After the whole Pluto incident, who’s to say. Although I do like their description of The Seven Sisters as an “open star cluster containing middle-aged hot B-type stars,” which, oddly enough, is exactly how I would describe The Pointer Sisters.

Their music, though, is not to be relegated to a 1980s childhood. It’s era-defining and relevant, appearing in films like Donnie Brasco

and Love Actually.

But we can’t blame the Pointer family for Hugh Grant’s seriously asinine Prime Ministerial dancing scene.

Coincidentally, just as “modern astronomy finds that the brightest Pleiades star goes through numerous permutations,” so do the genre-bending Pointer Sisters. From gospel to disco, from funk to R&B and Pop, they even sing country and wrote their own original country song, “Fairytale.”

Because, they can.

“Yes We Can, Can.”


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