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Sonny And Cher

 

Sonny & Cher proved one of the magical musical combinations of the mid-'60s and one of the better rock-influenced MOR acts of the early '70s, their wisecracking repartee providing counterpoint to a series of adoring hit duets. Salvatore "Sonny" Bono (born February 16, 1935) started out at Los Angeles-based Specialty Records as a songwriter in the late '50s, responsible for "Koko Joe" by Don & Dewey and "She Said Yeah" for Larry Williams, which was later covered by the Rolling Stones and the Righteous Brothers. Bono became a protégé of Phil Spector, managing to write a handful of successful songs, most notably "Needles and Pins" in collaboration with his protégé Jack Nitzsche, which became a success for Jackie DeShannon and a huge international hit for the Searchers. In 1964, while working sessions with Phil Spector, he met an 18-year-old would-be singer named Cherilyn Lapierre (born May 20, 1946), and the two were later married. They formed a professional duet, initially as Caesar & Cleo for Vault Records and later Reprise, but it was only after they were signed to Atlantic Records as Sonny & Cher that success came their way. The couple embarked on parallel careers, with Cher later signed to Liberty/Imperial Records as a solo act.

 

Sonny & Cher were an American pop music duo, actors, singers and entertainers made up of husband-and-wife team Sonny and Cher Bono in the 1960s and 1970s. The couple started their career in the mid-1960s as R&B backing singers for record producer Phil Spector.

The pair first achieved fame with two hit songs in 1965, "Baby Don't Go" and "I Got You Babe". Signing with Atco/Atlantic Records, they released three studio albums in the late 1960s, as well as the soundtrack recording for an unsuccessful movie, Good Times. In 1972, after four years of silence, the couple returned to the studio and released two other albums under the MCA/Kapp Records label.

In the 1970s, they also positioned themselves as media personalities with two top ten TV shows in the US, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and The Sonny & Cher Show. The couple's career as a duo ended in 1975 following their divorce. In the decade they spent together, Sonny and Cher sold over 40 million records worldwide. Performing under her first name, Cher went on to a highly successful career as a solo singer and actress, while Sonny Bono was eventually elected to Congress as a Republican U.S. Representative from California. The two performers were inducted to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998, right after Sonny's death in a skiing accident.

Cherilyn Sarkisian first met Salvatore Bono in a Los Angeles coffee shop in November 1962, when she was sixteen. The older Bono (11 years her senior) was working for record producer Phil Spector at Gold Star Studios in Hollywood. The two became best friends, eventual lovers, and were supposedly married in 1964, but Bono says in his autobiography that it was not an official marriage (they actually were legally wed after Chastity was born). Through Bono, Cher started as a session singer, and sang backup on several of Spector’s classic recordings, including "Be My Baby" by the Ronettes, "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" by The Righteous Brothers and Darlene Love's "A Fine, Fine Boy". In the composition by Darlene Love, the listener can clearly hear Cher and Sonny close to the mic (along with Love, who recorded her own backing vocals).

Sonny Bono got a major break in 1957 when he was a delivery boy. He had just arrived at Specialty Records when owner Art Rupe fired Sam Cooke and his producer Bumps Blackwell. Bono was asked if he would like to produce records and the inexperienced Bono accepted the offer.
At Specialty Records, Bono made a star of Larry Williams, who had hits with "Bony Maronie," "Dizzy Miss Lizzie," and "Short Fat Fannie."
Sonny was ten years older than Cher, who was still in her teens when their first hit, "Baby Don't Go" reached the upper half of Billboard's Hot 100 chart.
Cher was a session singer for Phil Spector, Sonny was a record promoter for him and got her the gig after meeting her in a coffee shop.
Cher became Sonny's second wife in 1964.
In 1963 they recorded as Caesar and Cleo.
Sonny co-wrote "Needles and Pins," a minor hit for Jackie DeShannon but a huge worldwide hit for the Searchers.
Cher released a single, "I Love You Ringo," under the name Bonnie Jo Mason.
Sonny had written or co-written all the duo's hits and virtually all of Cher's solo hits on Atco Records. He did the same with the songs the duo released as singles on Kapp Records, but as Cher's solo records were being released on MCA, his presence was diminished as the marriage broke down -- her solo recordings (produced by Snuff Garrett) often exhibited a darker side, to which Sonny objected.
Sonny managed the couple's business affairs, even after their divorce, and even after he married his third wife, Mary ("Sonny and Cher" is trademarked).
Cher's real name is Cherilyn Sarkisyan. She is of Armenian background.
Bono was mayor of Palm Springs, California from 1988-1992. After his death, a statue of him was placed near a fountain at 155 South Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs in his honor.

 

50s, 60s Hits

Baby Dont Go
I Got You Babe
The Beat Goes On

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