5-8-13 Sonny & Cher
On 5/8/65 the Bob Dylan 45 “Subterranean Homesick Blues” charts at No. 9 in England. On 5/8/71, the “Sticky Fingers” LP by The Rolling Stones charted at No. 1 in England. Also on 5/8/71 the East of Eden 45 “Jig-a-Jig” charts at No. 7 in England.
I think Sonny Bono must’ve thought up the terminology “hippie” – or he certainly looked the part; remember his animal skin vest? Dr. John’s friend, Harold Battiste, arranged many Sonny & Cher records – and even some of Cher’s solo works (notably “Bang Bang”).
“The Beat Goes On” is their indisputable masterpiece hit record. yet, almost nobody remembers their albums at all in 2013! In addition to Cher having a decent solo career, Sonny tried to have a solo career, without much success. I guess he hung around with the “studio royalty” of his day – people like Phil Spector and Jack Nitzsche.
Their first big hit was “Baby Don’t Go” on Reprise Records; I recently read in the big Warner Brothers coffee table book that Reprise hadn’t signed them up properly, so Ahmet Ertegun of Atco / Atlantic swooped in and snagged them. Initially, that must’ve seemed like a great move. In fact, I think they even got a movie deal our of signing to Atco / Atlantic, anyone remember “Good Times”? Me neither!
Cher was certainly a “style trendsetter” at that time – thousands of girls wanted to look like her – something no longer achievable, I suspect. Man, Sonny Bono was one lucky guy!
It’s odd to say, but despite Sonny having such masterful hippie chops, I don’t think Sonny & Cher ever made a proper psychedelic record! It’s like they never made it to the end of the 60’s at all!
I shall not discuss their 70’s TV series – I did not watch it at all. Seems like it must’ve been kind of sad, watching Sonny lose Cher = on TV.
It was a sad day when Sonny died in a skiing accident, despite his having been the mayor of Palm Springs, CA. It always struck me as disingenuous, Cher having a solo career in the video age, the 80’s & 90’s. Almost like an infomercial for plastic surgery!