Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Sloppy Jo's Straight Delivery

Like any young boy, in 1964 Cher wanted to be a girl and so insisted on using the uber feminine alias Bonnie Jo Mason for her debut novelty single Ringo I Love You. Back in the 60s, Cher's androgyny was given the cold shoulder from radio executives who believed she was a sick and corrupted gay man. Produced by lothario Phil Spector, he was actually the one who simply believed Cher needed a name change to sound more American. 45 years later and the track still sounds fresh and remarkably intense. Deliberately borrowing ideas from The Beatles' She loves You, her aura of untamed beauty, mortification, deapan glee and joy is coaxed out of her to magnificentlly nostalgic effect.

Through Sonny, Cher had already sang backing vocals on such tracks as You've Lost That Loving Feeling by The Righteous Brothers, the aching Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Darlene Love, A Fine, Fine Boy by The Crystals, and Be My Baby by the Ronettes. Unable to prove she was not a homosexual, Bonnie Jo Mason remained unsuccessful, but this song is a charming introduction proving that whenever Cher stands in front of a microphone with her tongue-biting yet straight delivery, credited lead singers or even the censors do not stand a chance of stopping him.

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