Sonny and Cher: 50 Years of Stardom

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Whether or not you can believe it, this year is the 50th Anniversary of the formation of the pop rock duo, Sonny and Cher, comprising Salvatore Bono and Cherilyn Sarkisian. And yes, THAT Cher. These two had a huge impact on the commercial music scene and they were a duo that experienced every side of the music industry along the way. Here’s an overview of their evolution throughout the years:  

After Sonny and Cher met in 1962 in a coffee shop, the two quickly became good friends and Bono, working for Specialist Records, soon had the two singing backup for acts like The Ronettes for “Be My Baby” and Darlene Love’s “A Fine, Fine Boy”.

 

Listen for Sonny and Cher on the background vocals!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWHoI3W8pns

 

Bono, who was writing music all the while, helped the two become their first incarnation as “Caesar and Cleo”, which was unfortunately not a very successful effort. The duo released the single “Baby Don’t Go” under the new name “Sonny and Cher”, which went on to become their first regional success. This was shortly followed the next year in 1965 by the first full album Look At Us. Riding on this achievement, the duo was soon sought after and made appearances on hit TV shows like The Ed Sullivan Show and Shindig.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjHSOzVU5j0

 

However, after the disappointing release of their third album, In Case You’re in Love, Sonny and Cher’s album sales steeply dropped. Even with two hit singles penned by Bono, “The Beat Goes On” and “Little Man”, the album didn’t deliver like the initial success of the duo.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfbmjUQOFxs

 

Add two cinematic flops on top of that and it seemed as if Sonny and Cher were done for. Luckily though, the two were able to land a hit variety show with The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, even though the couple would eventually divorce.

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Although their musical career essentially ended around that time, it does not discount their enormous contribution to pop culture and music in the 20th century.