Pop Music Yesterday....and Today....
Pop music in the 1960s spawned a number of famous recording duos who dominated the charts and influenced future songwriters and groups to this day. Let's look at a few popular duos from the 1960s who were also recorded under lesser-known identities before becoming well-known as the names they are recognized as today.
We cover a lot of lifestyle questions on our site - so this one is a pleasure to write!
In 1957, an early release by the duet Tom & Jerry did not do well, yet the duo did manage to make the top 100 on the music charts. However, later albums proved to be highly significant, not just for pop rock, but also for folk-rock. After achieving little success as Tom and Jerry and reforming as Simon and Garfunkel in the mid-1960s, the duo carved an iconic route through mainstream and folk music.
Simon and Garfunkel amassed several mainstream singles, including Homeward Bound, Sounds Of Silence, I Am A Rock, Mrs. Robinson (from the film The Graduate), The Boxer, and the Garfunkel-led lament Bridge Over Troubled Water, among others, with a bombardment of wonderfully produced pop and folk arrangements. Garfunkel went on to record numerous well-received albums after they parted up, but Paul Simon became renowned as one of the most prolific and essential songwriters of the pop music era.
Paul Simon achieved top 10 pop songs after splitting from Simon and Garfunkel with Mother And Child Reunion, Kodachrome, Loves Me Like A Rock, and 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover. Simon, on the other hand, broke new ground musically and personally with the album Graceland, in which he expertly blended a collage of musical genres and political themes into one of the most amazing solo albums of all time. Although somewhat controversial, it remains the gold standard for all solo artists that wish to experiment with their musical background and add a blend of diverse cultures to their record in order to captivate not only their current fan base but also to establish a new one.
Jan Berry and Dean Torrence surfed the waves of the Beach Boys-led surf music style in the early 1960s, despite being best known for their 1959 single Baby Talk. Their catchy single Surf City (the duo's sole number one hit) was co-written by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, who also contributed backup vocals. Jan Berry reciprocated in 1966, singing lead on the Beach Boys' smash Barbara Ann. Jan and Dean's other chart singles were Drag City, the foreboding Dead Man's Curve, and the amusing The Little Old Lady From Pasadena. Jan was badly injured in a car accident in April 1966, and the duo's popularity was cut short.
Caesar and Cleo
Caesar and Cleo, a husband and wife combo, did not achieve success until they changed their names to Sonny and Cher and went on to become pop mega-stars not just in music but also on television. Their breakthrough single, I Got You Babe, reached number one and stayed there for three weeks in 1965. Sonny and Cher had individual hits while still together, Sonny with Laugh At Me and Cher with All I Really Want To Do and Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down). Their remarkable musical combination and witty repartee generated a tremendously popular CBS-TV variety show that aired from 1971 to 1974. Sonny and Cher had top 10 songs as a pair, including Baby Don't Go, The Beat Goes On, All I Ever Need Is You, and A Cowboy's Work Is Never Done. Unfortunately, the marriage ended in divorce in 1973, but Sonny and Cher's narrative does not.
They temporarily rejoined in 1975, after which Cher went on to have a successful solo career while Sonny entered politics. Sonny Bono was elected mayor of Palm Springs, California, and subsequently to Congress in 1994, where he died tragically in a skiing accident in 1998. Cher continues to perform music while pursuing a successful acting career.
And - Cher!
Cher had hits as a solo artist in the 1970s with songs such as Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves, The Way Of Love, Half-Breed, and Dark Lady, among others. Cher was also a talented actor, having appeared in the critically acclaimed films Silkwood and The Witches of Eastwick. Cher received an Academy Award for her performance in the film Moonstruck in 1987. In 1989, she relaunched her musical career with a top-five song named, After All, a duet with Peter Cetera from the film Chances Are, and the intensely contemplative If I Could Turn Back Time. Surprisingly, Cher was back in the Top 40 10 years later with her number one smash Believe, which lasted four weeks as the top pop song and remained on the charts for twenty-five weeks. Cher is still unrivaled as one of the most recognized female singers today, and her signature voice will be heard for decades to come.