On April 3, 1978, Cher did BIG things. Her one night only television event, CHER… Special, brought in BIG ratings for the ABC network, earning Emmy nominations for not only the production, but for guest star Dolly Parton as well.
It was a landmark event for feminism, gender expression, and creativity on network television if you ask me.
Picture it **I can’t find the video, but it’s my favorite part**:
A spotlight on the floor and the voice of Cher’s mother is heard calling her young daughter: “Cher? Cher? Cher, is that you? I thought I asked you not to mess up my record albums.” Cher steps into the spotlight, made up to look like a younger version of herself with her hair in pigtails. The young Cher sits on the floor and tells her mother that she is upset because she is not blonde and she says that all the pretty girls have blonde hair and blue eyes. Her mother tells her daughter that she is beautiful and someday she will realize just how special she really is. Cher tells her mother that she will try to understand and explains that she got into the record albums so that she could learn the songs from West Side Story for school. When her mother asks Cher what part she is going to play, Cher replies, “all of them”.
You better werk, Cher. “I will be playing ALL the parts… Thank you.” It was a bold move for the time; a sexy female pop star dressed as a man several times over. Though Cher has always been a bold lady… and a visionary. I mean… this is layered ‘net performance art if I’ve ever seen it. The way she’s superimposed, the way the piece is effectively abridged to mere minutes long—- AND THE DRAG in prime-time!!!! So ’78 does 2014. Living.
While we’re here, we should also note Cher and Dolly’s “Heaven and Hell Medley” (featuring The Tubes) where they mash-up Country, Gospel, Rock and Disco while wearing the entirety of Bob Mackie’s sequin reserve alongside smoke, mirrors, hoochie-coo girls, and a heavenly choir. **Shout out to Cher’s half up half down, crimped, side pony wig.** Now, THIS is an epic stage production.
Fuck, those were good times… Lest we forget them.
Because Cher is not afraid to let her fellow divas have some solo spotlight, here’s Dolly Parton doing “Two Doors Down.” Just a set, a voice, a wig, and two spectacular… lungs.
Icons I tell you, ICONS.