Song: “I Got You Babe” by Sonny & Cher
Reached #1: August 14, 1965 (their first, 3 weeks)
They say that Sonny Bono got the idea for the song from the title of a Bob Dylan song that the Turtles made famous – “It Ain’t Me Babe”. Apparently, it was a side project – Bono was writing and producing for Phil Spector and his Wall of Sound – designed to break Sonny and his wife into the big time.
Clearly, it worked, and became Sonny & Cher’s signature hit.
Of course, they’d been trying to make it for a while. Sonny had landed Cher a job as a backup singer for Spector when she was just 16. Two years later, they tried their hand as the duo Caesar and Cleo. That didn’t work out, so they tried their real names less than a year later… and that first single was a middling success (“Baby Don’t Go”). Then they released the side project single. “I Got You Babe” roared to the top of the charts… and Sonny & Cher never looked back.
When they ran into the Age of Aquarius, which dried up record sales, they switched to Vegas and started the lounge act that eventually became The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour on CBS.
Then they divorced.
That kind of put a damper on the TV show – Cher left for her own show, while Sonny’s attempt to fly solo flopped. Cher reunited with Sonny for a while professionally, but the duo finally went their own way in the late ‘70s.
Sonny moved toward politics, Cher moved toward icon status, and then Sonny met that tree in 1998.
Tomorrow, the 13-week first #1 for a vocal group out of Philly…
No other songs reached #1 on August 14.