Friday, March 21, 2014

Sonny & Cher in Las Vegas

Sonny: Well, they tell me that you're the sex symbol on the show.

Cher: Only by default...

After Sonny & Cher's hit records dried up at the end of the 1960s Sonny Bono reinvented their act as a lounge routine, music with comedy folded in.

CBS programmer Fred Silverman was so impressed with this new Sonny & Cher he gave them an hour on the network during the summer of 1971. The show was a smash hit.

With a top ten television series and fresh hit records ("All I Ever Need Is You", and "A Cowboy's Work Is Never Done") burning up the charts in 1972, Sonny & Cher quickly moved from the small night spots into the big Casino showrooms on the Strip, playing to sell out crowds.

Their signature tune, 'I Got You Babe' was the number they always closed both their TV shows and their Vegas dates with. The duo released 2 live from Vegas albums, this is from the second, with Cher singing one of her solo hits from the 1970s:

Sonny and Cher went bust in 1974 when the duo divorced and their highly rated TV show was cancelled. Cher was given her own series on CBS while Sonny Bono got his production greenlit on ABC. Sonny's show was yanked after a 13 episodes, he pulled together a nightclub act with three background singers (including Darlene Love) but it was not well received in Las Vegas or on tour in places like The Latin Casino in Cherry Hill, NJ where the act was booed off the stage.

Cher had more luck on TV solo but after two seasons it was announced that Sonny & Cher would be reuniting for a new variety series. Las Vegas dates and a new LP were announced but they never came to fruition. Here's what the new version of the TV show looked like:

The Sonny & Cher Show lasted two seasons and was cancelled due to lackluster ratings. Cher once again jump started her career when she returned to Sin City as a solo act and a Disco hit, 'Take Me Home.'

Decades later she headlined a spectacular stage show in Las Vegas that enjoyed a long run before retiring from live performing. At least for now!