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c. 1966

Recording with Cher

Unguarded shots of the superstar in the studio at age 19

Cher was only 19 years of age when these unguarded pictures were taken, at Gold Star Studios in LA, but the album she was working on —entitled simply Cher—was her third.

That would have been some achievement for, well, anyone really. But Cherilyn Sarkisian had dropped out of high school three years earlier.

In the intervening years, she also had a number one single, in both Britain and the USA. Oh, and got married.

The man she married was called Salvatore. Not ringing any bells? His mom had called him Sono, which evolved into Sonny.

Cher met Sonny when he was working for Phil Spector as a general runaround. Cher became Sonny’s housekeeper, he introduced her to Phil, and they ultimately became legends as Sonny and Cher.

That relationship was officially sealed at a secret marriage ceremony in a Tijuana hotel room

Sonny had actually wanted Cher to be a solo star but she, dealing with pervasive stage-fright, insisted he hold her hand, literally and metaphorically.

Together they sold over 40 million records. And still found time to record solo Cher records—as these pictures show. 

(By the way, Sonny was one of only two members of the US Congress to have scored a number-one pop single on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Who was the other?)

Michael Ochs / Getty Images
Michael Ochs / Getty Images
Michael Ochs / Getty Images
Michael Ochs / Getty Images
Michael Ochs / Getty Images
Michael Ochs / Getty Images
Michael Ochs / Getty Images
Michael Ochs / Getty Images
Michael Ochs / Getty Images
Michael Ochs / Getty Images

Trivia answer: Former vice president Charles Gates Dawes wrote Melody in A Major, which became a popular song for violin and piano in 1912. The tune was transformed into a number one Billboard hit in 1958 by Tommy Edwards called It’s All in the Game.

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