Sister Sledge ready to light up Pontefract Races disco night

With the 2022 season at Pontefract Races well under way, the first of the popular Friday evening race meetings will shortly be with us with Disco Night taking place on Friday evening May 27.

By Tony Harber
Friday, 20th May 2022, 8:00 am

This meeting is fast becoming one of the most established race meetings in the Pontefract racing calendar and the hugely popular event will be better than ever before in 2022 when the Racecourse welcomes international superstars Sister Sledge, writes Richard Hammill.

The heart of Sister Sledge is family. With trendsetting style and musical flair, Kathy, Joni, Kim, and Debbie Sledge created a unique sound that garnered Grammy nominations, number one hits, and timeless global anthems. Featuring an iconic vocal by Kathy — the lead singer and signature voice of Sister Sledge's biggest hits — the lyrics to "We Are Family" were inspired by the real-life dynamic between the four sisters and propelled them to worldwide fame.

Decades later, "We Are Family" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame (2008).

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Sister Sledge are set to entertain racegoers at Pontefract on Disco Night next Friday. Picture: Getty Images

During the early 70s, Sister Sledge offered a fresh counterpart to the Jackson Five. Their albums and soul-stirring concerts underscored their mastery of pop, r'n'b, jazz, and dance music, with rousing renditions of Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight songs, as well as their own self-penned material.

Ground breaking producers Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards (the Chic Organization) completely revamped the group's image on the #1 We Are Family (1979) album.

"'We Are Family,' beautifully sung by Kathy Sledge, is a near perfect fusion of gospel fire and disco cool," Rolling Stone critic Stephen Holden noted about Kathy's one-take recording of the title track. Her lead vocals on "He's the Greatest Dancer" and "Thinking of You," plus Joni's soulful performance on "Lost in Music," fuelled We Are Family with blockbuster hits, rewarding Sister Sledge with a platinum album and unanimous praise from critics.

To this day, the Sledge sisters remain one of popular music's most admired musical families. In fact, Billboard recently named their original recording of "We Are Family" one of the "Top 20 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time".

Whether performing in different configurations of the group for different occasions, honouring their sister Joni who passed away in 2017, or coming back together for a worthy cause, their greatest achievement is bringing the world together through a song. Indeed, the enduring spirit of Family is the true legacy of Sister Sledge.

The band will take to the stage after six fantastic horse races headlined by the EBF VW Van Centre Youngsters Conditions Stakes, won in 2021 by subsequent Group 1 winner, Angel Bleu.

New for 2022, the racecourse will be introducing their new Disco Zone which incorporates the Disco Stage where Le Funk will be warming the crowd up during the evening, a karaoke van and a new pop up bar and fast food court.

It promises to be a night to remember! Tickets are on sale via the website at www.pontefract-races.co.uk or over the phone on 01977 781307.