CHER: A Biography by J. Randy Taraborrelli

CHER: A Biography

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Is a biography of Cher possible? What with her recent plumage change from bird of paradise to talented actress, the clear lines of a human being axe emerging. The public Cher began as a need of Sonny Bono's. Sonny was a small-time record entrepreneur in Los Angeles with a huge crush on Phil Spector's talent and income. A dull songwriter, Sonny needed a front to conceal his lack of talent. He was unhappily married when he met Cherilyn Sarkisian, a girl with almost nothing going for her. Cher's mother Georgia had married eight times, three times to Cher's father, a drug addict, bad-check passer and criminal. At 16, Cher dropped out of 11th grade, moved in with Bono, 11 years her senior. Bono was helping Spector produce tracks and Cher sang backup vocals. She was spellbound by Bono, who got her to drop acting classes and became her Svengali. At last he wrote ""I Got You Babe,"" a hymn to Cher and hers to him, and their duet hit number one on the charts. Cher sings in Sonny's register--he ""really had no range to go to, so she had to go to his. . . Cher would begin sounding a bit flat and off-key. . . [H] er voice went 360 degrees around a note but never really centered on it. Sonny never even came close. . ."" Paired, their oddly matched voices sounded warm. Cher's version of their marriage today is that she was in utter slavery. Only when she broke onto Broadway as an actress did she get outside her image as a personality. This giant step was later followed by her work in Silkwood, which got her an Oscar nomination, and as the mother in Mask, her stretchingest role so far. Meanwhile, as a soloist, she has a voice ""that can cut through a cement orchestra."" A fun read, and even moving.

Pub Date: Nov. 17th, 1986
Publisher: St. Martin's