HIGHER GROUND (Joni Sledge, R.I.P.)

On the passing of Joni Sledge of Sister Sledge, here’s a link to a nice interview she and her sister Debbie did a few years back It’s a good, if brief, insight into one of the major themes of this blog: the relationship between singers (especially female singers) and “svengali” producers (in this case Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards) in the studio. (As an aside, this does not include any discussion of the wrangling that went on over the lyrics to “He’s the Greatest Dancer” which the sisters originally objected to because it made them seem like “loose” women. Goodness, how far we’ve traveled from so many things which can no longer be imagined.)

…and here’s a nice moment in the spotlight for Joni (her sister Kathy, then 19, was the lead singer on “We Are Family,” one of the greatest vocals ever recorded–see below), ably filling in for Dionne Warwick.

and, lest I be remiss…


2 thoughts on “HIGHER GROUND (Joni Sledge, R.I.P.)

  1. Hi Johnny
    Your article prompts me to ask what you thought of the Johnny Cash/June Carter duo? Though he was a popular entertainer, I noticed while watching one of their TV specials that June and Johnny clearly showed real affection and respect for each other. It took me by surprise, their unaffected warmth bringing smiles out of the usual 70s era dialogue.
    She was unique, a defined person who seemed to deeply connect with her husband.

    • Big fan of both (together and individually)…June strikes me as a type which has been shoved out of “culture” these days, to our great detriment. The embodiment of what Pam Tillis once called “a Southern sense of humor.” I’ll have to review Walk the Line one of these days to get my deep thoughts in…One thing that occurred to me while I was watching the movie the first time was that if Elvis had married June, he would have lived to old age and Johnny would have died young….I think the warmth you speak of–and the steel will behind it–kept Johnny from going down the same path.

      And I should share this funny story: Linda Ronstadt appeared on the TV show as a guest star. She had a habit of not wearing underwear on stage. When June told her they would get her some “bloomers.” Linda said “But I never wear underwear on stage.” June said: “You will if you plan to sing with my husband.” Linda wore underwear.

      We are very far removed from THAT world.

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