Monday, May 20, 2013

Blast from the Past: HAPPY BIRTHDAY Cher!

The following is a special edition (rerun) of a previous Blast from the Past, in addition to the usual weekly feature. Why? Because it's Cher's 67th birthday! I had to edit a little, because YouTube videos tend to cycle out. But I managed to put a number of favorites in to take the place of the expired tracks. Enjoy, and happy birthday Cherilyn Sarkisian Bono Allman JustCher!


So, it's come to this. After having run posts on Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Pat Benatar, Paula Abdul, and other divas of the 80s, 90s and beyond, I realized that I'd left out Cher. Cher's career began before I was born, and who knows, she'll probably outlast me. She was performing in Las Vegas long before I moved here in the 90s, and has made return engagements, both on tour and as a semi-permanent act. Her shows are so popular, she can't ever retire, despite having tried. In her mid-60s now, she's still making music, with an upcoming collaboration with Lady Gaga (who can only hope to have such a long-lived career).

For all the talk of the reinventions and comebacks of other stars, no one touches Cher. She was a hit with Sonny Bono in the 60s, as one half of Caesar and Cleo, which became Sonny & Cher. When their music started to stall, they won their own variety show on CBS. During the program, she launched a successful solo act. When the Bonos divorced, Cher had her own show, and then again partnered with Sonny on TV. 

In the late 70s, Cher's music faltered, so she dabbled with disco, and Las Vegas. When that didn't go so well, she started seriously acting, and. . .was very, very good at it. Go ahead and watch her in Silkwood, The Witches of Eastwick, Suspect, Moonstruck, Mask: She's terrific in all of them. While establishing herself in Hollywood, she relaunched her singing career in the mid-80s, and struck gold again. A string of albums, each with a hit or two followed. Her risque videos flustered MTV, and Cher just kept going. She made a couple of odd detours, including a run as an infomercial queen, but she managed to make most of us forget that by making new music and movies.

Recently, Cher showcased her voice and acting skills in Burlesque with Christina Aguilera. While the movie didn't do particularly well at the box office, it isn't because of Cher. In fact, if you are inclined to watch this sort of picture (think Chicago or Moulin Rouge) you'll probably get a kick out of it. So, long story short (I know, too late) Cher deserves far more recognition than she gets. She shouldn't be a guilty pleasure at all, just a pleasure. And it shouldn't go unmentioned that Cher has had a number one song in each of the last six decades. Top that, Gaga.

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