What You're Not Listening To

What You're Not Listening To

Cher in the Early 1970’s

January 05, 2020

Looking back at the period when she went from being Mrs. Sonny Bono to a huge solo star. Dedicating this program to Amy Borsetti of LinkedIn, who openly stated she was really excited to Cher.

In 1970, no one could have guessed what was to become of the career of Sonny and Cher. After becoming Atlantic Records first international act in 1965 with their career-defining single, the classic “I Got You Babe”, their fortunes quickly soured. The hits stopped happening for both them and a concurrent solo career for Cher, and their film, “Chastity”, pretty much bankrupted them.

Sonny Bono (l) and his then-wife Cher during a comedy skit on their program, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, 1972. Courtesy of CBS television.

They then did what Elvis did around the same time: they became a Las Vegas club act, with a new routine that was heavily orchestrated by Sonny: Cher was the smart, beautiful one with one-liners to spare; Sonny was the short, dumb one and often the target of her put-downs. It not only kept them out of the poorhouse, it caught the eye of a CBS television executive, who took a chance on the act with a summer replacement show.

“Our marriage was the least important thing that we did together.” Cher, on her relationship with Sonny Bono.

The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour program quickly became a huge ratings success and not only brought back Sonny and Cher to the top ten of the Billboard singles charts, Cher’s solo career was revived in a way no one, possibly except Sonny himself, saw coming: she was outselling the duo she was a part of, even scoring three number one Billboard Hot 100 singles between late 1971 and early 1974.

Cher, who once thought she would never make it in show business because she didn’t have fair skin, blue eyes, blonde hair and large breasts, became a style icon and a drag queen touchstone, even being made into a posable fashion doll by the Mego Corporation, outselling Mattel’s flagship Barbie by 1977.

Cher, 1972, in a promotional shot for CBS Television, who provided this image. Photographer unknown. The stage wardrobe she was often seen wearing was created by Bob Mackie, who even designed outfits for the Cher doll.

After their very ugly public divorce in 1974, the chart success of both would quickly again spiral downward. Sonny eventually became a politician. Cher, well, history has proven over and over again you can never count her out for anything. These are the tracks that proved Cher was always the star her former husband/mentor/svengali always knew she would become.

First Part

* Dark Lady, 1974, Dark Lady* Living In A House Divided, 1972, Foxy Lady* Miss Subway of 1952, 1974, Dark Lady* All I Ever Need Is You, 1972, All I Ever Need Is You (Sonny and Cher)* The Way of Love, 1971, Cher (aka Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves)* I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good), 1973, Bittersweet White Light* The First Time, 1972, Foxy Lady* Carousel Man, 1973, Half-Breed* It Might As Well Stay Monday, 1972, Foxy Lady

Second Part

* Half-Breed, 1973, Half-Breed* Song For You, 1972, Foxy Lady* If I Knew Then What I Know Now, 1972, Foxy Lady* A Cowboy’s Work Is Never Done, 1972, All I Ever Need Is You (Sonny and Cher)* I Hate To Sleep Alone, 1971, Cher (aka Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves)* I Saw A Man and He Danced With His Wife , 1974, Dark Lady * Train of Thought , 1974, Dark Lady  * This God-Forsaken Day, 1973, Half-Breed


* Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves 1971, Cher (aka Gyspys, Tramps and Thieves)

Love to you all.