Although touted as the misunderstood young lovers of 1965 folk rock Sonny Bono (Salvatore Phillip Bono, 16 February 1935, Detroit, Michigan, USA, d. 5 January 1998, Lake Tahoe, California, USA) and Cher (b. Cherilyn Sarkisian La Pierre, 20 May 1946, El Centro, California, USA) were not as fresh and naïve as their image suggested. Bono already had a chequered history in the music business stretching back to the late 50s when he wrote and produced records by artists such as Larry Williams, Wynona Carr and Don And Dewey. He also recorded for several small labels under an array of aliases such as Don Christy, Sonny Christy and Ronny Sommers. In 1963, he came under the aegis of producer Phil Spector at the Philles label, working as a PR man and studio assistant at the Goldstar Studios. Teaming up with Spectors engineer and arranger Jack Nitzsche, Bono co-wrote Needles And Pins, a UK number 1 for the Searchers in 1964. He also became romantically...
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