Musings On Music History: Sonny & Cher Call It Quits, Lyle Lovett Scores, And Blondie Gets Born (Sort Of)
06.26: On this day in 1975, Salvatore Bono and Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPiere officially called it quits. Best known as Sonny & Cher, the duo’s biggest hit, “I Got You Babe,” turned out to be something of a misnomer in the long run, as they, obviously no longer had each other. Cher went on to solo singing success (think of the killer battleship-shot, what-the-hell-is-she-wearing video for “If I Could Turn Back Time“) and acting success (the never-gets-old Moonstruck), and Sonny went on to become a U.S. Representative (R-California). Yes, two very divergent paths, but one common beginning. Amazing how things turn out, isn’t it?
06.26: Nobody knew it at the time, but on this day in 1977, Elvis Presley played what turned out to be his final concert at Indianapolis’ Market Square Arena. Long removed from his ’50s heydays and his late-’60s comeback, The King passed away less than two months later, leaving a gaping hole in rock ‘n’ roll.
06.27: On this day in 1993, Lyle Lovett scored one for the everyman when he tied the knot with Julia Roberts. Yes, an odd combination, indeed, but just another in a long line of musician/celebrity marriages, as far as we’re concerned. They played into the stereotype just as well as anyone else, with their “love ’em and leave ’em” attitude and their candle that burns twice as bright shtick. Everyone thinks it was Lyle that made out good with that relationship, but we say it was Julia because, well, Lyle is an awesome musician & singer and she is not.
06.27: On this day in 2002, John Entwistle of The Who died in his sleep of a cocaine-induced heart attack in Las Vegas. One of the most influential and vital bass players every to slap and pluck four strings, Entwhistle opened up the bass and showed everyone that, far from simply providing essential rhythm, his instrument was the groove, was the anchor for The Who’s rock and roll and could take the lead in the right hands. Namely, his.
06.30: On this day in 1975, Cher hopped back in the marriage saddle, this time with Greg Allman. The couple married just four days after Sonny and Cher called it quits. The fickle Cher then filed for divorce from Allman ten days after they married, but the pair stuck it out until 1979 before calling it quits for good. Did we say fickle? We meant, “Holy moly, Cher. Maybe you should give this marriage thing a little more thought before just going out and marrying the next rock star you meet at a party.”
07.01: Blondie’s Debbie Harry was born on this day in 1946. Fronting the not-really-punk punk band in the ’70s means she’ll forever and ever (or as long as music historians ponder that time period in music history) be remembered in the same breath as The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, Talking Heads, The Clash, and X. Actually, now that we look at that grouping, we realize that the punk movement of the late ’70s encompassed many bands that didn’t carry that “punk” sound, but were, instead, just playing what they wanted, how they wanted, damn the critics and mainstream opinion. That’s fairly punk. Happy b-day, punk rocker Debbie!