Cher Prayers For This World Video (2017 Cries From Syria)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

50th Anniversary of Sonny & Cher's First Song, 'The Letter'

Sonny & Cher
Today marks the 50th anniversary of Sonny & Cher's first ever song, 'The Letter'!

In early 1964 - months after they had started singing back-up for Phil Spector - Sonny Bono decided that he and Cher should record a song together. He chose 'The Letter' - a 1958 mostly-unknown single by a duo called Don & Dewey, who had written it.

On 18 February 1964, Sonny & Cher recorded the song. Outside of being backing vocalists, it was the couple's first professional recording together. To further cement the recording into music history, it became Sonny & Cher's first ever single.

Sonny learned from Spector to put an unimportant instrumental piece on a single's B-side, so not to take attention away from the A -side. The flip of 'The Letter' was so unimportant that its name changed from 'String Fever' to 'Spring Fever' on certain re-issues.

The duo rush-released the single under the guise of "Caesar & Cleo" on Vault Records. Despite having hit potential, the single didn't reach the US Hot 100 though it became a regional hit in California, and to a lesser degree, Connecticut and New York.


'The Letter' by Caesar & Cleo
In the next few weeks, Sonny persuaded Spector to give Cher a solo shot at success. He did - with her first ever solo recording 'Ringo, I Love You'. But that's another story for another day.

Following 'The Letter', Sonny & Cher had little-to-no success with singles 'Love Is Strange' (again, as "Casear & Cleo"), 'Baby Don't Go', 'Do You Want To Dance' and 'Just You' - plus Cher's solo 'Dream Baby' (as "Cherilyn").

'The Letter' eventually became a hit...

In mid-1965, Sonny & Cher - as "Sonny & Cher" - caught their big break with #1 single 'I Got You Babe'. 'The Letter' was one of four early singles (the others being 'Baby Don't Go', 'Just You' and 'Love Is Strange') to be re-issued to latch onto the folk-rock anthem's success. The Don & Dewey-cover peaked at #75 on the US Hot 100 on 20 November 1965. It sold around 30,000 copies.

'The Letter' on the US Hot 100

However, it had already been brought to a much larger audience as a track on Sonny & Cher's August 1965 d├ębut album 'Look At Us', which spent a staggering eight weeks at #2 on the Billboard 200 and sold over 3-million copies worldwide!

Visit Cher News' offspring site 'The Wondrous World of Sonny & Cher'

Short share:

  • 'Closer To The Truth' has re-entered the Canadian album chart at #13.

6 comments:

  1. Correction: THE LETTER was never included on LOOK AT US

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was side 2, track 2 on the original LP.

      Delete
    2. I just listened to it. :)

      Delete
  2. off topic, Daniel have u heard about CHER being considered the next BOND GIRL?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No lol. But that reminds of how she was being "considered" to be the next Catwoman about five years ago.

      Delete