Kim Sledge (1957)
Joni Sledge (1956 - 2017)
The Sledge sisters were born in Philadelphia,
the daughters of a Broadway tap dancer and an
Their opera singer grandmother gave them all
vocal lessons, and before long, they were
singing at their church and then locally under
the name "Mrs. Williams' Grandchildren."
As they started recording early in the 70’s,
the group had success in England and Japan and
were picked up within a few years by Atlantic
More European success followed.
Then came their 1979 album titled “We Are
single of the same name was a mega-hit,
skyrocketing to the top of the charts around
The Sister Sledge follow-up release, from the
same album, was another gigantic hit:
the Greatest Dancer
those two songs are pretty much the group's
only golden tunes in the USA. But
elsewhere in the world, particularly Europe,
Sister Sledge churned out hits for many
Remember the “Soul Train” TV show?
Here’s Sister Sledge singing “Lost in Music”
on “Soul Train” some time in the
mid-1980’s. The song bombed in this
country, but soared elsewhere around the
1989, Kathy left the group to pursue a solo
career, but continues to perform
periodically with her sisters.
their single, “World, Rise and Shine,” was
such a monumental hit in Italy that it led
to Sister Sledge getting their own TV series
in that country:
Rise and Shine
changes to the group’s components
occurred. Kim, who was a minister,
absented herself from some performances.
And then Joni died, at age 60, in
Debbie and Kim continue to tour as Sister
Are Family” has been re-purposed many, many
times. It was the theme of the
Pittsburgh Pirates the year they won the
World Series (1979).
But our favorite use of the song is in the
finale of the movie “The Birdcage,” which
starred Robin Williams and Nathan
Lane. It isn’t every day you see Gene
Hackman in drag, looking like a late-career