Pointer Culture Funk

I’m just finding out that the Pointer Sisters sang this song in the early 70s.

I was listening to Saturday NPR and the closing music on one of the segments used this song to play out on. Some synapses in my brain started buzzing and all that conditioning the Children’s Television Workshop and pre-school embedded in me started to show itself. I started singing “1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12.”

This discovery probably gets made every hour around the globe. Some 80s baby stumbles on some childhood theme song and then they do a post on it. Here’s mine.

  • Someone remixed it already.
  • Sesame Workshop knows how catchy it still is.
  • Grant money created those songs. According to the wiki article :Sesame Street was conceived in 1966 during discussions between television producer Joan Ganz Cooney and Carnegie Foundation vice president Lloyd Morrisett. Their goal was to create a children’s television show that would “master the addictive qualities of television and do something good with them”,[2] such as helping young children prepare for school. After two years of research, the newly formed Children’s Television Workshop (CTW) received a combined grant of $8 million from Carnegie, the Ford Foundation, and the US federal government to create and produce a new children’s television show.”
  • It’s actually called “Pinball Number Count.”  Considering this a serious piece of music, the wiki article states: “Music for Pinball Number Count was composed by Walt Kraemer and arranged by Ed Bogas. The vocals were provided by the Pointer Sisters. The arrangements in the eleven films reflect musical idioms commonly found in 1970s urban culture, predominantly funk and jazz, though other styles including Caribbean steel drum music are also represented. The number-specific middle sections contain one of three different (presumably) improvised instrumental solos over a basic progression, respectively featuring soprano saxophone, electric guitar, and steel drum. Consistent with an abbreviated jazz structure, a prearranged head and turnaround / coda are played during the common starting and ending animation sequences. The vocals work in similar fashion with improvised shouts of the numbers 212 during the middle section and a return to the arranged counting at the end. The song is mostly in the time signature of 4/4, with every other couple of measures in 3/4, and one measure that goes into the one 4/4 bar before the open solo section [which is in 4/4] is in 5/4.”
  • The Pointer Sisters really were the business in the 80s.


  • Now, they play the Bronx

Music Confessions

Somewhere, there is a woman in her mid-40s who still goes out showing off her midriff at Poison concerts and already saw this Broadway show (twice!), and who’s going to read this post and be like, “right on.”

This isn’t for you.

How much happier does music make us?
The participants’ dopamine levels rose by up to 9 percent when they were listening to music they enjoyed, and “one person experienced a 21 percent increase,” says Salimpoor. “That demonstrates that, for some people, it can be really intensely pleasurable.” People who don’t get chills also experience the rise in dopamine, says study co-author Robert Zatorre, as did the eight subjects when they listened to other participants’ selections, but the rush wasn’t as strong.

From a piece on how listening to good music is like doing dope, eating tasty food or doing it.

I grew up on the side of town where you didn’t hear much hair metal, Pink Floyd, the Beatles or anything like that. When people starting putting the booming systems in their cars all you heard was the bass. I feel like I lost out on an eclectic musical upbringing, but when I really think back, I had much of the same suburban appetite as most other kids who grew up in the 80s. There’s an episode of Chappelle’s Show where a black cop started singing “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” In the skit, they look at him all WTF?! and he responds, “I grew up in the suburbs.”

Now, like I said, most people in my hood were into Public Enemy. My best friend in the world was trying to push Run-DMC on me since “Rock Box.” But it took me a while to come around. There are kids from Beverly Hills who caught on to rap at an earlier age than me.  So it goes.

For me, this post is like my musical therapy. I’m opening up about my musical past, like how you do when you’re on the shrink’s couch telling her or him about your past and all that goodness. Some of us have to have “guilty pleasure” listening that we hide from our friends. I’m not saying I like this stuff now, but I can sing every word if you bust out Guitar Hero. Below, some of my guilty pleasures that I think a lot of  80s kids in Jersey taped off of Z-100 at some point, or watched on MTV back in the day. Shouts to Romeo-G, for indirectly inspiring this post.

–There are tons of Jersey bands to rep, but I know everyone was into this song at one point or another.

–Thanks Youtube, I never knew there was a longer version to this song. I got someone to buy me this cassette, to this day, I can’t find anyone else who did the same. Still a classic intro. Actually, wait, this was the song I liked.


–I know I’m going to get so played out for admitting this, but I got someone to buy me a cassette by these cats too.  Messed up I would’ve been clowned by Mike Judge.


—Lastly, at the top of the post, a cassette I remember getting someone to kick out good money to Sam Goody for. Sorry, pops.

And that’s it. The rest of my music collection took off when my grandfather copped me a Boogie Down Productions tape and I never looked back.