All the Things We Got
Fifty-three years ago this week, Sonny & Cher scored their first No. 1 hit with "I Got You Babe," a love-conquers-all duet that topped the charts for three weeks in August 1965.
Responding to Dylan
Sonny Bono wrote the song as a sentimental antidote to Bob Dylan's caustic "It Ain't Me Babe."
Cher's First Impression
Cher was unimpressed when Sonny woke her up to play it for her for the first time on their living room piano. "I didn't like it," she tells Billboard. "I just said, 'OK, I'll sing it and then I'm going back to bed.' So I was never a very good barometer [of a song's potential to be a hit]."
Be My Babe
The success of "I Got You Babe" put an end to the couple's days as backup singers. The hit singles they had contributed to include "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" by the Righteous Brothers and "Be My Baby" by the Ronettes (above, with Phil Spector).
"The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour"
"I Got You Babe" went on to become the signature song of "The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour," which premiered in 1971 on CBS. The variety show was canceled in 1974 because of the couple's divorce, then revived briefly in 1976 as "The Sonny & Cher Show."
In 1993's "Groundhog Day," Bill Murray's character was awakened every morning at 6 o'clock sharp by an alarm clock radio playing "I Got You Babe." He got to live the same day over and over again, babe.
The song's staying power has transcended genres and generations. UB40's reggae cover cracked the Top 40 in 1985, with vocal help from Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders. In 1994, Cher recorded a new version—with Beavis and Butthead.
While they were together, Sonny & Cher sold more than 40 million records worldwide. Rolling Stone later named "I Got You Babe" one of the best duets ever and ranked it No. 444 on the magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of all time.
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