The refreshingly inexpensive telling of Cher's career is available for just $7.99 on Amazon.com and £5.99 on Amazon.co.uk, with similar prices across the world (see below). If you are an Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscriber, then you are able to read the book for free -- being the only full-length Cher biography available for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. And if you are undecided, then Amazon offers customers a chance to "look inside" the book for free.
What is even better, you do not need to own a Kindle to read 'The Cher Bible, Vol. 1: Essential' -- no, instead, you can download the Kindle app from to your phone, tablet or PC and read it on there!
The eBook is just one of -- surprisingly -- a few available about the Goddess Of Pop. Its Amazon description reads:
'The Cher Bible, Vol. 1: Essentials' celebrates Cher's journey from 1946 all the way to 2016, and includes everything that a Cher bible should have — a biography, discography, filmography, tours, awards, relationships, and more, with captivating trivia and quotes scattered throughout.
There is something for everyone: from those interested in learning about one of the most successful women of the last 50 years; to casual fans who want to brush up on their Cher knowledge; to her treasured die-hard fans, who may even discover a thing or two about their favorite entertainer.
The biography part of the book covers every year of Cher's career, mentioning every studio album, single, film, television show, tour and fitness video along the way. It showcases the many ups and downs of Cher's compelling career and personal life, without delving too much into the latter. The chapters are as follows:
1946 - 1969: I Got You Babe – Sonny & Cher Top The Charts
1970 - 1980: Living In A House Divided – TV's Sonny & Cher Separate
1981 - 1995: Working Girl – Cher Earns Hollywood Acclaim
1998 - 2016: Believe – Cher Earns Her Goddess Of Pop Title
The book continues with Cher's discography. After a brief introduction to her studio albums, from 'All I Really Want To Do' to 'Closer To The Truth', they are all listed along with release dates, tracks, US and UK chart information and certifications. The same goes for her compilation, live and soundtrack albums. Cher's singles — over 100 of them, from 'The Letter' to 'I Walk Alone' — are then listed, again, with a brief introduction, and release dates and Transatlantic chart details.
Interestingly, 'The Cher Bible, Vol. 1: Essentials' then details Cher's songwriting skills, from 'Chastity's Sun' in 1973 all the way to her input on 2013's 'Closer To The Truth'.
Cher's Filmography within the book again begins with an introduction to Cher's movies, before listing each one from her cameo in 'Wild On The Beach' to her voice role in 'Zookeeper' with cast and character information, release dates and Box Office grosses. Cher's television series' and shows are then next in the spotlight, with air dates and viewership figures. This is followed by a guide to her music videos, all the way up to 'Woman's World'.
A guide to Cher's tours runs from Sonny & Cher's' 1977 tour to Cher's 2014 'Dressed To Kill Tour', with concert figures and grosses, and the songs that Cher performed during each tour. An annual list of Cher's awards are then showcased, followed by a collection of further accolades.
The book continues with an introduction to Cher's relationships, right up to Ron Zimmerman, with a quote by Cher on the majority of the relationships. The book finishes with quotes from other celebrities about Cher, from the likes of Cyndi Lauper, Oprah, Dionne Warwick, Lady Gaga and Gene Simmons.
The book is entitled 'The Cher Bible' due to the author's intention of creating a series under that title, showcasing a collection of intriguing ideas about Cher. This particular volume is subtitled 'Essentials' due to it containing, fittingly, all of the essential information about the Goddess Of Pop.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Wheway was born in central England, 1991, and grew up with a keen interest in music, especially that of legendary artists such as Elvis Presley, Cher, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner and Phil Spector's 1960's roster of artists.
"I have been a Cher fan since the mid-1990's, when I was about six years old. My father was watching 'Extravaganza — Live At The Mirage'. As soon as I saw Cher performing 'We All Sleep Alone', I was hooked."
Daniel created several blogs and websites dedicated to music, with the most popular being 'Cher News', for which he has so far wrote almost 500 original articles, attracting almost 2,000,000 views. Other subjects of his work include Blondie, Sonny & Cher and label Annette Records.
He is currently working on a small series of books, 'The Cher Bible', consisting of a collection of interesting ideas about his favorite female singer, Cher.
Cher's mother, Georgia Holt, was an aspiring actress who headed to Hollywood during adolescence to find fame. However, showbiz success evaded Georgia, and by 1945, she was in a penniless marriage to Armenian truck driver John Sarkisian, with whom she was now expecting a baby.
Georgia's mother pressured her to have an illegal abortion but she backed out on the abortion table — she gave birth to her daughter Cherilyn “Cher” Sarkisian on 20 May 1946.
John took Georgia and an infant Cher to Pittsburgh before bailing on them, thus leaving Georgia to raise Cher alone in the city whilst working for tips as a waitress in an all-night diner. A struggling Georgia placed her daughter in a Catholic orphanage for a small time but found herself having to fight in order to get Cher back when the nuns there deemed her an “unfit mother”.
CHER: “I remember my mom, she was pretty outlandish for her time. She was a model and she was beautiful and she was on the cutting edge.”
“We were dead poor”, Cher has since recalled. Georgia raised Cher whilst frequently relocating homes but at one point settled down for a while with new husband Gilbert LaPiere — whom Cher learned to call “Dad”.
Cher had entertainment running through her veins from the get-go. A three-year-old Cher ran around the house singing, naked, whilst a four-year-old Cher developed a desire to be on the big screen when she was taken to a theatre to watch classic feature-length animation Dumbo. Inspired by her mother's Broadway musical cast albums, a five-year-old Cher was already putting on small performances for her mother and her new baby sister, Georganne LaPiere.
TRIVIA: The first song Cher learned was Hey, Good Lookin' by Hank Williams; and the first record Cher ever bought was Tequila by The Champs.
It came at little surprise then that during fifth grade, 1956-'57, Cher was gathering girls from her grammar school to help her put on a performance of Oklahoma! for her class and teacher. Even then, Cher had a low voice, which came in handy when she was void of boy volunteers for her show, thus performing all the male parts herself.
Cher had inherited her dark looks from her Armenian father, who she did not meet until a visit from him after turning eleven years of age. She felt let down by her father — he was addicted to heroin and pawned Georgia's jewellery. By fifteen years of age, Cher had become uncomfortable with her dark hair, eyes and skin, having been surrounded by her blond mother's blond family. However, 1961's Breakfast At Tiffany's finally gave her a fellow non-blond and “irregular”-looking idol in the shape of its star Audrey Hepburn.
In 1962, Cher began a brief loveless sexual romance with 25-year-old actor Warren Beatty, dropped out of school and began acting classes. In November, she met and befriended struggling songwriter Salvatore Bono, known to most as “Sonny”, in a Los Angeles coffee shop.
CHER: "I got my first look at Salvatore Phillip Bono. I will never forget it, because everyone else in the room disappeared, just washed away into some fuzzy soft focus."
Sonny had tried — and failed — to gain success as a recording artist since 1955, and after meeting Cher, he landed a job working for now-legendary record producer Phil Spector as a promotion man at Gold Star Studios in Hollywood, before adding “percussionist” and “background singer” to his job title. Rooting from a friendship, Cher and Sonny became romantically involved, and next time Beatty called her — after eight months of no contact — she told him that she was now in love with Sonny.
Up until that point, Cher aspired to be an actress, like her mother, whom had now landed minor TV and film roles. However, Sonny, who was enjoying some success as a songwriter with his co-penned Needles & Pins by Jackie DeShannon (US#84), introduced Cher to Spector, who provided her with the job of a "baby-sitter" for his girlfriend Ronnie Bennett.
Spector eventually hired Cher to perform alongside Sonny, and others, as a background singer at the Gold Star Recording Studios in July 1963 when one of his usual background singers, Darlene Love, could not make it in time to record Spector's latest masterpiece: The Ronettes' classic Be My Baby. The US#2 hit was Sonny & Cher's first joint professional recording, alas as background singers.
Sonny and Cher were background singers on virtually every Spector recording until October 1964, when they sang back-up on another masterpiece — The Righteous Brothers' US and UK #1 You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'. Other classics that feature Sonny and Chers' background vocals are The Ronettes' Transatlantic Top 40 hits Baby I Love You and Do I Love You?, and Darlene Love's festive favourite Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).
DARLENE LOVE: “She was so loud, so powerful, she was louder than everybody in this studio. So Phil would keep telling her 'OK move back... Move back Cher... Move back Cher. One time I said, 'You're gonna move her back so far, she's gonna be in the alley in a minute.'”
Meanwhile, the couple emerged as a musical duo under the name of "Caesar & Cleo", playing gigs of cover hits, whilst releasing a cover of Don & Dewey's little-known The Letter on Vault Records in February 1964 — which stirred some interest in California. Sonny — whose Needles & Pins had just been revived into a UK#1 hit by The Searchers — persuaded Spector to record Cher. Her March debut solo single Ringo, I Love You — an ode to Ringo Starr with elements of The Beatles' She Loves You — was released under the pseudonym “Bonnie Jo mason” on the newly-formed Annette Records label. It went by unnoticed.
CHER: “Elvis was really my biggest inspiration, because my voice was so not girly (first record I put out was called 'Ringo, I love you', and they wouldn't play it because they thought I was a guy). He was the only artist I could really identify with.”
Still as “Caesar & Cleo”, the duo signed with Reprise Records and released another overlooked single: a rousing cover of Mickey & Sylvia's Love Is Strange. Almost simultaneously — and with a name change to "Sonny & Cher" under a new contract — they released Sonny-original Baby Don't Go, which, due to its small popularity in California and Texas, finally gave them an appearance on a Billboard music chart, alas the Billboard “Bubbling Under” chart — a chart of the week's best-selling singles that missed the main Billboard Hot 100. An attempt to get a cover of Bobby Freeman's Do You Want To Dance onto the Netherlands music chart failed.
Sonny was determined to get him and/or Cher a proper hit record, and just prior to the year's end, he penned a solo Cher song called Dream Baby, which too was a minor hit in California. A February 1965 attempt to get Baby Don't Go onto the UK charts failed but a switch to Atco Records saw another US single release — April's Sonny-written Spector-sound-a-like Just You. Like the duo's last single, it was a minor hit in California and Texas. Meanwhile, they were playing gigs up and down the West Coast, making appearances on Television shows Shivaree and Shindig! and were back in the recording studio to record Sonny's latest composition, I Got You Babe.
The hard work started to pay off: July saw Cher's cover of Bob Dylan's All I Really Want To Do enter the lower part of Billboard's Hot 100 — becoming her first hit record. Meanwhile, After several failed attempts to catch a proper big break in the US, Sonny & Cher took the advice of The Rolling Stones (who were in the US on their first West Coast tour) of moving to England to hit it big.
CHER: “I loved songs that weren't as big of hits. I loved Just You. I loved All I Really Want to Do too; that was fun. Everyone thought that was a Sonny & Cher record because they didn't know I could jump the octaves that easily.”
Sonny and Cher and their managers Charlie Greene and Brian Stone sold their cars to raise cash for the plane tickets. In protest of their hippie appearance, the London Hilton hotel turned Sonny and Cher away from its premises the morning that they arrived, and photographers captured the display as the hotel staff proceeded to escort them out the door (Cher later heard that Greene had arranged the whole thing for a publicity stunt). As a result, Sonny & Cher were on the front page of the British papers later that same day. Whilst the London Hilton objected to the couple's alternative image, it captured the rest of the British nation's interest.
CHER: “When I was young we got beaten up for looking the way we looked. No one even dared to look different. The Beatles had nice hair cuts and were in suits. The Stones were kind of on the fringe.”
The duo had become an overnight sensation as interview and photoshoot requests came flooding in the next day for the pair. More importantly, London deejays discovered and began to spin their latest recording, I Got You Babe. Sonny & Cher were quickly snapped up to make promotional appearances for the song on UK television shows Ready Steady Go and Top of The Pops. Babe knocked the Beatles' Help! off the top of the UK single charts near the end of August and stayed there for a second week.
Sonny & Cher returned home to America where they were greeted at the airport by roughly five-thousand new American teenage fans. Also greeting them was the presence of I Got You Babe at the top of the US charts — where it would spend three weeks. It even crossed over to reach #19 on the R&B Singles chart. The classic sixties duet has since sold over three-million copies worldwide.
Cher's All I Really Want To Do had to battle The Byrd's version of the same song in the charts. The group's version rose to #40 in the US and #4 in the UK. Cher's version performed arguably better, reaching the Top 20 on both sides of the Atlantic: #15 in the US and #9 in the UK.
Baby Don't Go was re-released, reaching #1 in Canada, #8 in the US and #11 in the UK, as was Just You, which hit #20 in the US. With the addition of Sonny's solo self-penned Laugh At Me (US#10, UK#9, Canada#1), the overnight sensations had an impressive five hits on the US Hot 100 chart simultaneously. Before long, a re-issue of The Letter also made an appearance at #75 on the US Hot 100.
The duo's 3-million-selling Gold-certified debut album Look At Us spent a staggering eight weeks at #2 on the Billboard 200, whilst reaching #7 in the UK. It hit #3 in Australia where track Sing C'est La Vie was issued as a single, reaching #2 (and #1 in Belgium). Cher's million-selling debut album All I Really Want To Do, fuelled solely by its title track, reached #7 in the UK and #16 in the US (where it spent an impressive six months on the chart). A Reprise label compilation album featuring songs by "Sonny & Cher and Friends" titled Baby Don't Go reached #69 in the US: it featured their “Caesar & Cleo” recordings alongside songs from other artists on the label's roster, namely Bill Medley, The Lettermen and The Blendells.
Sonny was writing, producing and arranging the majority of their material — most of which was folk-rock. Meanwhile, Cher had fast become a trendsetter for millions of teenage girls, who imitated her unique image: the jet-black straight hair; the Cleopatra-style eye liner; the equally-bold mascara; the furry waistcoats; and the often-striped bell-bottom trousers. Cher would remain a trendsetter for her whole career.
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