'I Got You Babe' Was Sonny & Cher's Biggest Song, And A Pledge

By | September 26, 2017

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Sonny Bono & Cher pose for a portrait session in October 1964. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Some pop-music success stories are really stories of survival -- for Sonny & Cher, "I Got You Babe" and "The Beat Goes On" were more thanhit singles, they were also declarations of partnership and career resolve. 

In 1962, Salvatore Bono met Cherilyn Sarkisian; he was 27 and she was 16. Sonny had already been working for Phil Spector at Gold Star Studios, singing back-up, writing, arranging and producing songs, when Cher joined the studio as a session singer. Sonny and Cher became fast friends and eventually, lovers, although that didn’t take long! By 1964, Cher was 18 years old and had become Sonny’s second wife.

The first single by Sonny & Cher, "I Got You Babe," was released in 1965 and spent three weeks at the top of the pop chart.

Sonny & Cher's First Hit Was Their Biggest

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Early on, while they were recording back-up vocals for notable groups including The Ronettes and The Righteous Brothers, Sonny and Cher, each had their own unique sound and their vocals were easily spotted in these recordings. While setting out to make it on their own, they attempted to coin themselves as, Caesar and Cleo, but never really achieved any recognition using that name. It wasn’t long before they started recording songs under the name of Sonny & Cher and subsequently released their first successful album, Look at Us, in 1965. The No. 1 hit "I Got You Babe" was included in this album. Following their success, Sonny & Cher signed a deal with another recording studio, Atlantic Records, and released three albums in the late 1960’s.