The Farr Side: Cher an icon that can Turn Back Time

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You know Cher had once said that she knew she had been around awhile when she saw a cartoon in Reader’s Digest that had said, “… after nuclear war all that would be left would be cockroaches and Cher.”

As funny as that may have been to read, it was just as humorous to hear her comment on seeing that herself. I can remember hearing that a few times during her Farewell Tour 20-some years ago. It was funny then and I still chuckle about it now.

But, in all honesty, Cher has been in the limelight since the 1960s when she and her then-hubby, Sonny, debuted as the popular duo Sonny & Cher. Together, they hit it big with such classics “The Beat Goes Go,” “Baby Don’t Go” and the mega-hit “I Got You Babe.”

The '70s came and so did Cher. She was everywhere. Hit TV shows (with Sonny Bono) and a slew of chart hits. Only now she was simply known as Cher. Sorry, Madonna, Cher was truly the first real superstar artist to simply go by just her first name.

“Dark Lady,” “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” and “Half-Breed” all went to No. 1 making her one of the biggest stars of the decade. She was drop-dead gorgeous, talented and loved by many. It seemed that she blossomed even more as they years would pass, even surviving the disco era when other artists fumbled. She managed to come through with another massive hit with “Take Me Home.”

The '80s is arguably the best decade ever for music, particularly rock 'n' roll. Cher was grossly absent for the first half of the decade, but everything would soon change for the star.

David T. Farr
David T. Farr

Cher returned bigger and better than ever and she was in her 40s. In fact, the music industry had two women at the time causing a massive stir with amazing comebacks: Tina Turner and Cher. Luckily, they were both friends. However, it meant that other artists from the times would have to make way for these commanding ladies. It was an exciting time on the charts seeing the likes of Turner and Cher amid names like Madonna, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson and Taylor Dayne. But, it was the '80s and it all worked out nicely for all of them.

Cher dominated MTV with videos for her hit songs “I Found Someone” and “We All Sleep Alone.” Her album “Cher” was huge and her image just rocked.

“Her “Heart Of Stone” album was just as big and spawned the singles” If I Could Turn Back Time,” “Heart Of Stone,” “After All” (with Peter Cetera) and “Just Like Jesse James.”

If the music wasn’t enough, she dominated the big with such box office gems as “The Witches Of Eastwick,” “Silkwood,” “Suspect,” “Mask,” ”Mermaids” and a little ol’ movie called “Moonstruck” — to which she won an Oscar for Best Actress.

The '90s saw much of the same success carried through including more hits including “Save Up All Your Tears,” Love And Understanding,” “Love Hurts,” “Walking In Memphis,” “Shoop Shoop Song” and “One By One.” Those songs would have been enough for most artists still holding on to relevance, but not for Cher. Nope! She would end the decade with one of the biggest songs of the entire era and her career.

In 1998, Cher released the album “Believe” and broke all the record books. It was a huge album and brought a whole new generation of music lovers to Cher. The single “Believe” quickly hit No. 1 across the globe and became the biggest song of the year.

The album was a dance floor masterpiece. Every track was great. You could not turn on any music station and not hear the title track, “Strong Enough” and “All Or Nothing.”

I had been a fan of hers long before the '80s because my parents loved the music of Sonny & Cher. I couldn’t wait to see her “Believe” tour and later the Farewell Tours (the first time around). I have been fortunate enough to see her seven times in concert and each time it was better than the previous time.

The 2000s saw Cher continue with movies and music. Her most memorable came with “Burlesque” and “Mama Mia.” Both flicks came with music that featured the diva. She even released a full album of Abba covers.

This past holiday season was a big one for Cher — who will soon be 78 years young — released her first-ever Christmas album, which was a hit.

She’s enjoyed a massive career that has spanned some six decades. She’s the only living artist to have hit the charts in seven different decades. She’s released 80 singles, won countless awards including Grammys, Oscars and was even a Kennedy Center honoree. And yet, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has not inducted her. It’s time!

She’s currently one of the artists nominated for induction. It only seems fitting that she make the final cut and see her name among the greatest of all time.

— David T. Farr is a Journal correspondent. Email him at

This article originally appeared on The Holland Sentinel: The Farr Side: Cher an icon that can Turn Back Time