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, 1959).
All the sisters are granddaughters of the former opera singer Viola Williams. The sisters used to perform under the name of 'Mrs. Williams' Grandchildren'.


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".
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  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.

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