Sonny and Cher’s I Got You Babe, was the other most famous duet of the sixties along with Frank and Nancy’s Somethin’ Stupid. Although this might be THE most overplayed songs of the sixties (along with all those other overplayed songs of the sixties) historically it stands as the first Hippie No.1. That is Hippies that looked like Sonny and Cher. The Beat Generation, Beatniks, were perhaps the first hippies but Sonny and Cher shared a look with the Summer Of Love crowd of 1967.
Interestingly, although this novelty song stands out alongside their other material you may remember The Beat Goes On and All I Ever Need Is You or Baby Don’t Go (was this first released by their original stage name, Caesar & Cleo?). It might be surprising to know that Sonny and Cher sold millions of records in the sixties (produced by Sonny) they weren’t just a one-hit-wonder and we all know what happened to Cherilyn Sarkisian (having just been to Armenia I hadn’t realized that this was Cher’s heritage, her father was John Sarkisian, an Armenian American).
Cher’s solo career began just a year after I Got You Babe was a hit, releasing the million selling Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) in 1966 (covered by Nancy Sinatra in the same year). Everybody remembers Gypsys, Tramps And Thieves (1971), her first solo No.1 single and the album cover to Half-Breed (1973) and that the title track was her second US solo No.1 – don’t they? Then there’s Two The Hard Way with it’s airbrushed cover credited to Allman And Woman, released in 1977 might be as unlikely as anything Cher ever did, marrying and making a record with Greg Allman.
Sonny Bono died tragically in a skiing accident in 1998 aged 62 after a fascinating career that took him from rabbit-skinned long-haired Pop star to the Mayor of Palm Springs. Cher’s incredible rise to fame eighties onwards reinventing herself as both Diva and Academy award winning actress is also rather unexpected when you look back at how they started.
When I think about Sonny and Cher I say, love them, because they actually helped change the world. They broke the ice for the public, they weren’t a threat, they had their own mega successful TV show and they managed to convince millions of people that strangely dressed long-hairs with fame and money won’t necessarily turn your children into heroin addicts.