Joanna and I are old enough to remember the old “Sonny & Cher” shows on television, and we’ve both been longtime fans of Cher as both a singer and an actor. We attended one of her supposed “farewell tour” performances, at which the Village People served as her warm-up act. We had a great time (while hearing five of the 50 songs on this list.
A decade earlier, when we were in college, we had developed a routine: We worked hard throughout the week and usually on weekends, but on Friday nights we put on sweats or pajamas, ate pizza or nachos for dinner, and watched “The X-Files.” My favorite episode of the show was a “Frankenstein”-inspired episode titled “The Post-Modern Prometheus. ” Filmed in black and white, it featured songs by Cher — including one of our favorites, “Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves.” You can see clips from that episode, set to the song, here.
This 1971 song came long before the latest dance-music version of Cher, letting her real voice come through. I also like it personally because of the references to “Dr. Good,” which seems to be the kind of patent medicine once widely sold in America. Patent medicines come up in my media history class because of their importance to both advertising and muckraking journalism-induced reforms.
Lyrics here, with cool video from “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour” below — in fact, this apparently became Cher’s first music video: