Starting on the Cher Show

NewlogoSo back in March I promised to start reviewing Cher's solo show after April work ended. So here we go. The first episode has been posted along with some context.

Trashy3Other fans mentioned last year that, disappointingly, the Timelife episodes were cut, in this episode's case even more heavily than those that appeared on VH1 back in the mid-1990s. So that's kind of a drag. Since the songs cut from the first episode were jazz and Broadway standards, it's hard to blame the high cost of pop songs.

Episode two coming up soon.

 


And Then The Thing Was Done: The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour

LogoWhew. The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour review is done: https://www.cherscholar.com/the-tv-variety-shows-and-specials.html.

Huge milestone!

I looked at my publication date for episode 1 and it was all the way back to January 25, 2019!! And here I thought I’d finish the whole series in a little over one year. (There are 52 weeks in a year, right? 67 episodes. No problem.) It took me 3 years and 2 months.

I remember starting the project sitting at my old desk at the Central New Mexico Community College job, happy as a clam. Shortly afterwards, I was unfortunately promoted to a job I did not want and went back to ICANN, COVID happened and now possible nuclear antihalation is on the horizon. But hey, at least we’re halfway done with this project! Smiley face.

The 67 Comedy Hour shows are done. We have 63  shows to go (29 Cher shows and 34 Sonny & Cher Show part deux, plus a handful of TV specials). I’m going to take a little break for NaPoWriMo 2022 but then I’ll be back to review the Cher shows, some of which I’ve still never seen, even though they come out on the Time-Life series two years ago. I was waiting to review them here right after watching them. So looking forward to that.

Last night I actually had a dream about the last episode I just posted, #67. I dreamed I was going to write about how this was a typical “clips” show, or “greatest hits” type show we’re so used to seeing now, the retrospective. And I had always read that this was a cobbled-together finale of clips.

But I dreamed a young producer met up with me to set me straight. Btw, none of the show’s producers are young anymore; some are not even alive. And he told me this the last show was assembled from never-before-seen clips that were cut from earlier episodes and thus, new to us. But in any case, not rerun clips.

I thought ‘how novel” and I looked forward to reviewing the episode today to see if this was, in fact, true.

It was!


Famous Mononyms and Questions to Cher Scholar

CharoJPC

So while I was in Cleveland, we heard that the hip new song the kids are listening to, if by kids we mean my 5-years older-than-me sister-in-law (who is a trends-watcher nonetheless), is "ABCDEFU" by the artist Gayle. Looking her up online, Gayle is described in an article as a one-named artist "like Cher." 

Which makes me crazy right now because Cher hasn't been the only one-named artist since "like Madonna" or before that "like Charo."

And since "like Adele," it's become absurd to keep saying "like Cher."

But this reminds us that when Cher legally became a mononym in the late 1970s, people lost their minds over it (or rolled their eyes a lot). This is what brought to being Cher's nickname, "Just Plain Cher" or "JPC."

There are so many single-named artists now there are web pages listing them: http://www.namenerds.com/uucn/listofweek/onename.html 

So many in fact, someone has taken the time to rank the mononymed singers: https://www.ranker.com/list/best-mononymous-singers-and-musicians/music-lover

TV Tributes

CherbettyBetty White recently passed away short of her 100th birthday, which made everyone sad. Cher took part in the televised tribute, even singing the theme song for the tribute and talking about what a good friend Betty was:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5rfZ4olWyw

 

ChertinaLast year, Cher also contributed to the Tina Turner tribute when Turner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwUxoSLLtUk (Cher parts start at 6:30 and 10:45)

 

 

 

Questions to Cher Scholar

Speaking of Tina Turner, I recently compiled a list of Cher's appearances with Tina for a friend. 


Buttons2Shame, Shame, Shame (Cher show, 1975-6) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCncupnwYDQ

 

Resurrection2
Resurrection Shuffle (Cher show, 1975-6) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHq11PKfws0

 

BeatlesBeatles Medley (Cher show, 1975-6) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y62c6Cs07S4

 

 

CountryCountry Side of Life (Cher show, 1975-6) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8iXSUMeZGE

 

MusicMakin Music Is My Business (The Sonny & Cher Show, 1977-8) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK8SnJKiwhU

 

Divas2Divas Live (1999): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwE8oOuAjzI

 


OrprahOprah: (bad version) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_n33Tsdnj4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPwgIO1LhqU&list=PLeKeuge7TXP_Sl1JLeFsYO5UMDFt0fGLL


EtOn Entertainment Tonight Cher talks about Tina as a role model for her: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RadomvThxns

 

Cher and Tina Turner know each other going back to the 1960s when Sonny & Cher allegedly did caravan-of-stars style / soul revue tours when they were starting out, performing alongside big headliners Ike and Tina.

A Cher fan recently wrote to me asking for all the songwriting Cher credits. I compiled this list of wikipedia links for him:

Cherelton2https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half-Breed_(album) - 1973 The "Chastity Sun" lyric rewrite of Seals & Crofts' "Ruby Jean and Billie Lee"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxes_(soundtrack) - 1979 "Bad Love"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Take_Me_Home_(Cher_album) - 1979 "My Song (Too Far Gone)" about her divorce from Gregg Allman.

https://www.lesdudek.com/Gypsy-Ride.html - 1981 "Don't Trust That Woman" with Cher's lyrics and Les Dudek's music

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leather_Jackets_(album) - 1986 "Don't Trust That Woman" with Cher's lyrics and Elton John's music

Cherles2https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not.com.mercial 1994 (writing) full album except for ""Born with the Hunger" (Sally Eikhard) and "Classified 1A" (Sonny Bono), released 2000

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_a_Man%27s_World_(Cher_album) 1995 "One by One" (thanks to Cher scholar Steven for pointing this one out)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Believe_(Cher_album) 1998 "Believe"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_Proof_(Cher_album)
 2001 "The Music's No Good Without You" and "Real Love"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closer_to_the_Truth 2013 "Take it Like a Man," "Dressed to Kill," and "Lovers Forever"

 


Cher Decades Smell Testings

Spray2So last year Cher released a fun new product in her new perfume line, four different perfumes called Decades (based on the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s). I was very excited to see what this was all about. Unfortunately, I was too excited because the night I received my spray-bottle versions I opened and snorted them immediately without trying a blind test them myself. Which I immediately regretted. 

So now whoever comes into the house is subjected to a Cher perfume smell test. For the most part, the test smellers have failed miserably and there seems to be no rhyme or reason who does better or worse (age, schnoz, recall ability). Seems it's hard to guess a decade by its scent although it doesn't seem an illogical task; decades do have particular smells: incense we associate with the 60s, that Windsong perfume I religiously purchased every year for my mother's birthday in the 70s, Calvin Klein in the 80s and, of course, teen spirit in the 90s.

That scents are so hard to ID is not surprising to me, though. There was a Children's Museum in St. Louis called The Magic House that my friends and I used to visit long after we were children (it was that fun) and The Magic House had an exhibit of boxes on a table with steel lids. You'd open each lid one by one and there'd be a powerful smell you were supposed to identify. The smells would be so familiar but impossibly illusive...like banana. 

The Results:

Mr. Cher Scholar (3 years older than me) initially ID'd all the smells correctly and then second-guessed himself and changed two of his answers. He said distinct memories came up from his childhood for each smell. The 60s scent had a floral smell he associated with that decade, the 70s scent reminded him of his mother's Jean Nate; and the 80s smelled like a date.

RollerballI gave the rollerballs out as a gift for Christmas. Dave (same age as me) guessed them all correctly. He couldn't articulate why. My friend Julie (younger but 80s era) got them all wrong. After knowing the correct smells, she did associate her mom's perfume to the 80s scent.

I threw two small Christmas parties this year (due to Covid). The first party was for my local cousins (both 60s kids). The party was a bit of disaster as the family was fully lactose intolerant and the menu was unintentionally dairy-laced. My cousins Mark and David both failed miserably. I blame the dairy.

The second party was for local friends all of whom were 90s kids. (I made sure to gather dietary requirements this time.) My friend Mary ID'd the patchouli in the 60s bottle right away. But got the others wrong and then proceeded to fold her answer sheet into an origami swan. Her husband Peter got the 60s/70s right but not the 80s/90s. He said he could tell they went from strong to subtle decade by decade. Melo got them all right but she cheated and guessed by the color wheel. Kalisha got the 70s/90s right but not the 80s/60s.

Rollerball2Last week, I just took a trip to Cleveland to try the rollerballs out on family members. My sister-in-law (five years older) got one right (80s), my brother (5 years older) got them all wrong, but did keep the 60s/70s together (which he said were more pungent) and the 80s/90s which he said smelled more contemporary, sweet, warm and leathery. My mother (1940s generation) made all the same guesses my brother did. My Dad (same generation) got only the 70s scent right.

You can get the rollerballs separately or in a set. 

Soon, according to Cher's Instagram, we will be able to buy the fancy bottles in all the decades too. Decades-bottle 


New Cher Channel Videos

I'll be visiting my parents and brother's family in Cleveland next week. When I get back, I'll have a lot more smell-test results on the Cher Decades perfumes and will be posting those when I get back. In the meantime...

Mainman2Main Man

Cher recently posted the official video for her 1988 single, the Desmond Child song "Main Man." Cher performed this on the MTV Video Music Awards that year but the song failed to Mainman1chart. The home-video feel of it was due to being shot at her Benedict Canyon Egyptian compound (soon to be sold to Eddie Murphy).

The hair is less big and the outfits less blingy and coincidentally this song will make an appearance in my 2022 NaPoWriMo project this April.

As in all the other videos of this era, Robert Camilletti makes an appearance; but instead of the fictional-music-video role he normally played, this video seems to be saying this is a glimpse into their much quieter real life together.

Elijah also makes a brief appearance in footage from the aforementioned Video Music Awards performance.

This has always been one of my favorite songs from Cher's Geffen Record/Power-Ballad era.

Looking for Love/When Will I Be Loved

Cher also released two more Celebration at Caesars clips, Johnny Lee's "Looking for Love," from the very popular 1980 movie Urban Cowboy, combined in a medley with Linda Rondstadt's "When Will I Be Loved," a song Cher sings from atop a mechanical bull.

These performances are illustrative of what I think is so special about this show. Since I was about 11 or 12, I've seen this concert many, many, many times and I believe it's a key show in her live-show timeline. Many fans had mostly only seen Cher on television up to the early 1980s, variety show episodes and some experimental TV specials up to this point. Not all fans had had the opportunity to see Cher perform live on the road or in one of her Las Vegas shows. So this was a different kind of TV special, a sustained concert. And Cher was turning a new leaf as a musical performer. The seeds of this show grew out of her Take Me Home tour which was her first tour without Sonny. Her demeanor is remarkably different from the torch singer on the 1970s TV shows.

She is confident, makes eye contact with the audience and the camera, her body language is full of bravado and she moves with a kind of ease that will make an impression on all the fans watching her. It's the ingredient of swagger everyone will take for granted by the end of the 1980s.

Looking4love3 Looking4love3 When1

 

 

 

Looking4love2
These performances are very sexual. Cher is looking awesome in a cowboy hat and sporting her own turquoise jewelry.  (And dancing with her at one point is Damita Jo Freeman, who allegedly taught Michael Jackson how to moonwalk, see pic at right). Cher's interaction with the male dancers is very physical. Cher lightly teases the hip-gyrating dancing cowboys and there's plenty of affectionate touching.

When2In "When Will I Be Loved," she romps with sometimes two cowboys. And there's an interlude on the mechanical bull with one of those cowboys which is very, very suggestive, their rhythmic movements indicating sex and exclamations of ecstasy, all providing some ironic distance from the lyrics of the song, ostensibly lamenting Cher's sad love experiences (lied to, put down, pushed 'round). It's a real "woe-is-me, wink-wink" performance.

When3 When3 When3

 

Look at all those cowboys!

When6


Cher Takes Over Smells, Slippers, Cosmetics and More

WisdomHappy 2022, Cher fans. Taking a moment to catch-up on all the great Cher stuff happening right now.

WisdomofsoundA few months ago Cher contributed to the 2021 Wisdom of Sound with her Miley Cyrus song "I Hope You Find It." This was a benefit concert for the Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery and Nagi Nunnery in Nepal. Cher made an appearance, Richard Gere hosted and the live-stream included Laurie Anderson (also love; where else could Anderson and Cher appear together??), Jon Batiste, Norah Jones, Angelique Kidjo, Steve Miller Band, Gregory Porter, and Maggie Rogers.

Last year Cher also released an offshoot of her Eau du Couture line, scents from the decades (60s, 70s, 80s, 90s) for sale at Walmart in a larger bottle and small roller-ball bottles. I've been asking my friends to do blind smell tests to identify the decades. How bizarre this seems to locate a certain scent for an entire decade. I'm curious to know if there is consensus on this wild experiment. More on that later (I'll be testing family members in Cleveland soon). So far the younger kids are doing better at guessing the decades although they weren't around for some of them. 

F187cd8b-6cb9-40d1-b7ed-6ce86f4d5ada.5c9b1b75e3c084d13ed6874e3bf0d9ec F187cd8b-6cb9-40d1-b7ed-6ce86f4d5ada.5c9b1b75e3c084d13ed6874e3bf0d9ec

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cher has also done big things for Ugg in just one week. Here's their Cher page:

Ugg

Here's the tweet on the power of Cher:

Ugsspike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More ugg pics:

Ugg2 Ugg2 Ugg2

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ugg ad in Cher's Malibu house: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ei5cc_isx60

But that's not all. MAC Cosmetics this week has also unveiled a big campaign with Cher and the rapper Saweetie:

Macad1 Macad1 Macad1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The MAC ads:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_gsH9yLNuw

https://www.tiktok.com/@cher/video/7049723316873088262

And that's not all! Late last year Scent Beauty released a body lotion for Eau du Couture and Cher went on HSN to promote it. Frustratingly, you could only get the lotion in combination as part of a set. But then they offered it as a one-off if you purchased other Scent Beauty products, so I bought my friend a few of the new Dolly Parton perfumes for Christmas and snared my body lotion that way. Now it seems you can just buy the lotion separately. It was like a Christmas shakedown.

Hsndec21 Hsndec21

 

 

 

 

 

Cher on HSN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbFVoSzjGjU

 

OwnwordsI was reviewing my date calendar from last year (it's full of quotes to inspire) and found I missed this Cher quote from April 2021: “If you really want something you can figure out how to make it happen.”

I have no memory of this quote by Cher, at least in the famous quote pages and books…yes there’s a book of Cher quotes.

 

 

Mrms-2And best news of all, after over a year of hiatus I'm finally back on track with the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour episodes with what I think is a very good lost episode, #56 from December 12, 1973. There are only 11 more episodes for this first variety show series. Then we move on to Cher solo shows.

https://www.cherscholar.com/the-sonny-cher-comedy-hour-episode-56.html


Christmas with Cher, 2021

Chersanta

It's baking time...so this will be the last Cher Scholar post for the year. I feel like 2021 was mostly getting my head back on track after the drama of last year. Hard to believe I've done not one single Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour recap (and I was so close to the end of that series). Well, hopefully next year.

The Cher Christmas tree is up this year with two more dolls. (Had to upgrade to a bigger tree this year). The nativity of boyfriends is back, as well.

30oyit 30oyit



 

 

 

 


It's Christmas so it's time for people wanting to watch Moonstruck again. Here's one last essay from this year's scholarly readings of Moonstruck-think-tanking, "An Honest Contrivance': Opera and Desire in Moonstruck" by Marcia J. Citron.

Citron talks about the movie's tone, "romantic idealism tethered to the magic of the moon" and how the movie's conceit balances so precariously by successfully between realism and maudlinism. She identifies each part of Puccini's La Bohème as a part of the movie's soundtrack, the actual opera scenes, and the ways in which each Puccini theme ties to a character, mostly Ronny. She concludes "the verismo idiom of Bohème...has a stunning impact on the film." She even provides us with a table listing each act, the DVD timestamp, the piece of the score, the location in the plot and whether the musical element is a soundtrack piece or a literal opera performance. "The visit to the Met to see Bohème occupies a central place in the story, and Bohème is foregrounded as ritual through signs, posters, and phonograph recordings...it's use of opera music...performs important meta-level functions for memory, conciousness, and desire."

MoonstruckCher's character in the film is explored as well: "Loretta Castorini an uncomprehending novice...throughout the film she has been independent and functioned as an individual with her own mind. Film scholars see her as an unusually strong female character in a genre in which women have been subordinate to men...Loretta appears to have internalized the opera-desire connection and made it her own, even though Ronny instigated and controlled the music." (referring to the scene in his apartment when he put a Puccini record on his turntable and then later when he invites her to the opera).

You can check out the essay on JSTOR: https://www.jstor.org/stable/30162938

So recently my friend Natalie asked for a Christmas mix. My personal Christmas mix is on my iPod and quite a few of the songs included on it are not available on Spotify, including all of Cher's Christmas offerings. Searching for them today online  reminds me how much Christmas material Cher performed on her various TV shows. Maybe this is why she's not in such a hurry to give us a Christmas album. We're insatiable, Chrismastly speaking.

Years ago I did a brief breakdown of all the Cher Christmas shows.

Here are the elements of those shows:

MisletoeThe 1969 Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour with Cher
Where they started singing "Jingle Bells" that tragically hip way. Look, he surprises her with misletoe. Adorable!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT06CBkTkyM

You can now watch the entire show on Amazon Prime.

The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour (1972 and 1973) Shows

OholynightThe ultimate Cher Christmas song is, of course, "O Holy Night." Unforgettable. So much so that there was once a yearly tradition to recreate it on David Letterman. Watch Paul Shaffer yearly rendition (as is tradition).

Sonny & Cher do "Jingle Bells" in 1972.

FestiveThe 1973 show was a big production of festive.  

MidnightCher also did this one both years, I believe: "One Tin Soldier/It Came Upon a Midnight Clear"

You can now watch the 1972 show on Amazon Prime.

The 1973 show on Amazon Prime.

Cher, 1975

1975Cher's opening "White Christmas/We Need a Little Christmas" Medley"

1975-2The poinsettia-fest that is "Some Children See Him

The full cast doing the big finale ("I Love the Winter Weather/ I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm/Let It Snow," "Santa Baby," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," "Jingle Bells with a Steel Guitar," "Christmas Island," "Christmas in Trinidad," "Silent Night") with Foxx, The Lennon Sisters and The Hudson Brothers.

FinaleThe full show, (the Redd Foxx as an elf is a funny sketch.)

The Sonny & Cher Show (1976)

The Divorced Show also had a Christmas episode.

1976The "Jingle Bells" open

1976-2The kooky medley with Bernadette Peters and Captain Kangaroo which has Elijah's first if not an one very early appearance.

Watch the show on Amazon Prime.

In the 1980s we also had a few Christmas appearances:

PeeweeCher on Pee Wee Christmas

MermaidsxmasThere's a Christmas party scene in Mermaids.

Cher's only official Christmas recording, "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" with Rosie O'Donnell.

Have a Cherry Christmas everybody and stay out of trouble. ;-)


Out Here On My Own: Cher, Irene Cara and Karen Carpenter

OutherecherCher is in the process of releasing parts of her 1982 Concert Special A Celebration at Caesars song by song on her YouTube channel. If I hadn’t already seen the show a zillion times, this kind of release scheme would annoy me much, much more.

I often kid (not kidding) that I want to have a big, celebratory, (not a little bit gay) funeral with this show playing on a big screen. I have loved this show since I first watched it on Showtime in 1982. And watching it again recently, I am seeing something really strong and meaningful about the show, especially as it is positioned between her earlier variety show specials and her soon-to-come movie career and power-ballad phase. I’m noticing a lot of new things, which is incredible because as I’ve watched the show a zillion times.

But more about all that when Cher finishes releasing all the songs. Before then I wanted to talk about the song published today, “Out Here on My Own.” For weeks I’ve been eagerly awaiting this particular song release and my enthusiasm has to do, I think, with my identification with the song as it is sung separately by Cher in this concert special and Irene Cara in the movie Fame.

I don’t go to Cher generally to find myself and I don’t go to Cher songs to find myself in the lyrics of those songs. I would make the case even Cher doesn’t even use her own music to see herself therein. Cher’s music does other things that are helpful and meaningful to us. Maybe other Cher fans feel otherwise and do see themselves in her narratives and musical declarations. But all that said, this is a song I do see myself in, so much so that a line in the lyric is in contention with one other song’s line for the eventual tombstone.

OutherecaraI’m always fascinated by how Cher’s versions diverge from other artists’ versions. In this case, Irene Cara whose character Coco, as you may recall, was a tough little New York cookie, self-assured as to her future in entertainment, seemingly more mature than the other students at the Performing Arts High School. However, Coco promptly falls prey to a sexual predator and her bravado tragically crumbles.

In the movie, this song is a moment of honesty for Coco. She has distanced herself from potential friends with all her bravado and although this is a love song, it’s also about reconnecting with the other artists around her in a more honest way. Cara gives the song raw innocence and then summons up a bit of courage at the end to sing “I may not win, but I can’t be thrown, out here on my own.” It’s very moving at the end of the song when Bruno reaches for her hand. 

Cher’s version, on the other hand, is underwritten by Cher’s more experienced persona and the performative bravado of her new 1980s cool-chick self, as opposed to the newly-abandoned Hollywood party-and-glamour girl self, which was a previous shed from her wide-eye, innocent hippie self. This new Cher isn’t shy about singing with power. All the lyrics resonate differently coming from her; but then even so, there’s also a pleading ache in her delivery. She is still full of fear and doubt, wondering where she fits in. But her finale is much more frim. “I may not win, but I won’t be thrown,” (that’s the epitaph, right there). Notice the subtle difference between the words can’t and won’t, an inability and a refusal. Illustrative of what makes the two versions so character-specific.

Superstar-CarpentersIt’s interesting to see similar contrasts with two other songs covered by both Cher and Karen Carpenter. They both sang the Leon Russell songs “Superstar” and “Song for You” around the same time, the Carpenters’ versions were either more successful in the charts or better identified as a Carpenters song.

For years I have felt that Karen Carpenter’s more innocent rendition of “Superstar” was better because it showcased a kind of naivete and had a kind of misplaced crispness.

For the same reason, I’ve always liked Cher’s “Song for You” better (although Leon Russell’s own 1970 version is my favorite) because Cher’s voice contained more jadedness (already in the early Leonrussell1970s) than Karen could manage. Karen’s version seemed saccharine in comparison. Cher’s version seemed more credible.

But lately I’ve come to appreciate Cher’s “Superstar” a bit more with its elevated, knowing pathos. I can now appreciate both versions like with “Out Here On My Own.” (Does there always have to be a best and better?)

Superstar-cherI love Cher’s “Out Here on My Own” and when I hear it, I think, yes, I can see me in here. Maybe this is even a case where Cher herself relates more personally to the song, this being her first major concert tour or residence as an solo act without either Sonny, Gregg Allman or Black Rose.

The fact that Cher’s Broadway musical focused so much on overcoming insurmountable fears and Cher’s fears around those fears (with a Finding-Nemo-like prescription to “just keep swimming”) just makes this song
resonate all the more today.

Carpenters-songSuperstar

Cher’s promotional single, an unreleased Jackson Highway song (1970, did not chart): 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u46SfTDCCuo

TV version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pFeG6IV_aE

Carpenter’s 1971 version (#2 Hot 100, #1 Adult Contemporary):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJmmaIGiGBg

Cher-songforyouSong for You

Foxy Lady album version from 1972, not released as single:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVHLPYIfzVE

TV version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIY0SyyLJ_U

Carpenter’s 1972 version:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQKnpJul8MU

List of lots of other covers:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Song_for_You


Christmas Songs, Lucy Arnaz and You'd Better Sit Down Kids

CherxmasChristmas Music

So here we are the day before the Thanksgiving weekend. In a few days it will be the appropriate time to binge on Holiday songs. Since last year was like the least festive year I've ever had (truly 'the year without a Christmas tree' for the whole extended family), this year the yen to fest feels strong.

Meanwhile my friend Natalie has been feeling blue and her birthday is coming up so as I was discussing the fact that her gift has been picked out and is on its way she stopped me to say the only thing she wants from me is another Christmas mix tape. (She thinks it's hilarious I  studiously curate these mixes as an agnostic). So yesterday I started my Massive Christmas Playlist on Spotify to give to her this weekend.

Sadly, it has not one Cher Christmas song in the whole 6+ hours! Since Cher's best holiday songs were on her television shows (and are at best bootleg-able), none are on Spotify except for the one with Rosie O'Donnell and....eh.

So expect a Cher Christmas song blog post in the next few weeks.

A Night at the Academy Museum

A-night-in-the-academy-museum-abc-cherI also want to say something about Cher's appearance on A Night in the Academy Museum. She had three segments. In one she talked about how important costumes are for actors in helping them form their characters. In another short segment, we see her famous fu*k- you dress and in a final segment she highlights her friend Diana Ross' dress from Lady Sings the Blues and an Elton John explosion of an outfit.

The special felt like a the longest commercial for a museum you've ever seen. A very good commercial, but a commercial nonetheless. I have to say my favorite part was Diane Warren's segment at the end talking about how many times she's been nominated and showing us the podium where one could visit the museum and pretend to win an Oscar. She was very funny and her whole spiel was pitch perfect.

You'd Better Sit Down Kids

Lucyjr2Despite Lucille's Ball's big presence in Cher's story (which is not insignificant), I have never been a big Lucille Ball fan or an I Love Lucy fan. Although I can say I do enjoy the antics of Lucy and Ethel sometimes and find Desi very attractive and Lucille Ball is excellent in Stage Door (a movie whose flowers determined my wedding bouquet) and in Big Street (a movie Cher showed us on TCM when she hosted).

I can just skip her TV shows is all. And one day last month I was sick with a cold and watched something I normally wouldn't watch, Lucy Arnaz's documentary on her parents, Lucy and Desi: A Home MovieIt was actually illuminating to see Lucy and Desi in private moments before the hoopla of their public life together.Kids

But in any case, Lucy Arnaz talks about the moment her parents, (who in her lifetime where always viciously fighting), were finally separating and she said she can't listen to Sonny Bono's song "You'd Better Sit Down Kids" because, she says, that's exactly how it was. 

So I'd like to take a moment to enjoy the song in all its variations today:

Cher's original version on her solo album of 1967 With Love, Cher.

Sonny's later-day version on 1971's duet album All I Ever Need Is You which I have to say I've alwaysLiza loved for its raw (and I would say, brave) sentimentalism.

Sonny's 1973's Sonny & Cher Live, Vol. 2 version.

And Liza Minelli also recorded a version

As did Gary Puckett and the Union Gap.


Shaggy and Scooby-Doo in Drag

So much Cher stuff to catch up on. Last night I did a smell test on the "decades" Cher couture scents from Walmart (soon to have their own fancy-pants bottles as well). Cher has also made some interesting recent streaming appearances. More on all that later. 

Since this has been somewhat of an intense week, all things considered, I wanted to do something fun today. And what could be more fun than Scooby and Shaggy dragging it up on Cher's cartoon yacht?

Let's review the fun new Scooby-Doo and Guess Who episode. I will not be revealing who-done-it for those who have yet to watch the show on HBO or Cartoon Network.

The gang meets Cher on her big boat (remember, they already know each other from when they crashed Sonny & Cher's second honeymoon in the early 1970s). Cher has been busy recycling trash at the bottom of the ocean. (Click my phone screenshots to enlarge.)

Cher has a big trash tank and she turns the sea trash into baubles for jewelry. Take that James Cameron!

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Somehow this all makes me feel better about Cher's ostentatious cartoon yacht.

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The gang's all here. Shaggy and Scooby are still hungry all the time. Daphne still stands like that. Velma still has that self-satisfied look on her face. Velma's character has changed the most actually. She reads as more annoyingly smart now than helpful. Cher hatches as many plans in this episode as Velma does. Cher, herself, seems irked with all the Velma-splaining in fact. It's a disturbing descent for our once-brilliant role-model heroine.

But anyway, it's Scooby's birthday and Cher tries to bake him some cupcakes but Scooby and Shaggy eat all the dough. She gives them her cartoon Cher stare.

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Then they decide to workout in the yacht's poolside gym. Cher's deck has some groovy furniture and we would expect nothing less. Just like in her workout videos, Cher wears sequins to sweat.

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A shark monster interrupts the workout and he might as well because Shaggy and Scooby weren't taking it very seriously anyway.

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The shark chases everybody into Cher's posh bedroom. Shaggy and Scooby dress up in Cher's clothes because...well yeah! And the shark monster can't help himself either, which is very charming (and funny).

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This bedroom sequence was hilarious. There's even a reference to Cher's wig room when all the characters hide from the shark monster beneath a Cher wig. You can almost spot some famous Cher looks.

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The team regroups and Cher finds some suspicious seaweed. She then tries to bake Scooby a birthday cake but an mysterious old sea captain absconds with it. 

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The shark monster shows up again and scares Cher's hair straight up into the air. The shark then chases them through the yacht and Cher beads some ocean-trash jewelry in strings so they can tie up the shark-guy. Then Cher hatches a plan for everyone to scuba dive.

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They scuba to an abandoned relic of a ship called the Dolly. (I hope there isn't a dig buried in there.) Things happen. Sharks ensue.

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Cher looks awfully cute in scuba gear.

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Back on the yacht the sharks (now there are two) are pissed! The team regroups. Cher has another idea to capture the sharks in a net.

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Shaggy and Scooby distract the sharks by dressing in drag mermen outfits. This greatly confuses the sharks.

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Cher pours some sea-trash beads on the deck and the sharks fall right into it!

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I've obscured the culprits but suffice it to say Cher gives them a well-deserved Cher stare at the reveal and the term "meddling kids" is invoked.

I'm happy to report that Cher does the same hip-cocked stand we loved in the old 1970s-era episode and Scooby gets a birthday treat at the end so all is well. The cast does a final pose in the wig room. 

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The end.