DEAR JERRY: In the mid-'50s there was song out titled “I Got My Sights on Someone New,” by Roddy Jackson.
I bought a copy and then noticed on the label that the songwriting credit reads “S. Bono.” Could it be that this is Sonny Bono, long before he became famous?
David the Night Surfer, Baltimore, Md.
DEAR DAVID: That is not exactly the situation. Sonny Bono wrote and produced “I've Got My Sights Set on Someone New” (Specialty 623),
Your record is the first of three Bono-produced Specialty releases by Roddy Jackson. It and “Hiccups” (Specialty 649) came out in 1958, and “Gloria” (Specialty 666) in '59.
At one time or another, Sonny did record as Don Christy, Plrince Carter, and as Ronnie Sommers.
No change of name would be nearly as important to Sonny's career as when Cher changed her's and became his wife and singing partner.
Starting with their 1964 single “Baby Don't Go,” Sonny & Cher became one of the top duos of the rock era.
Among the stars I remember seeing in the film are Hank Snow, Bill Anderson, Stoney Cooper, Wilma Lee, and a very young Hank Williams Jr. There was one backstage scene in which Hank watched a film of his father singing “Hey Good Lookin'”
George W. Hudson, Toronto, Canada
DEAR GEORGE: I am surprised to find the usually amazing Internet Movie Database does not include this film. Especially since the VHS edition seems to be easily available online.
My now legendary psychoanalysis skills are not needed here, as the evidence establishes some degree of sanity on your part. At least with regard to your memory of this movie. “Country Music on Broadway,” a 1963 theatrical release, is billed as the first ever full length all country music motion picture.
Besides those performers you mentioned, others seen in this country music who's who event include: Ferlin Husky, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Skeeter Davis, George Jones, Buck Owens, Porter Wagoner, Roy Drusky, Stonewall Jackson, Audrey Williams, Wilburn Brothers, Anita Kerr Singers, Merle Kilgore, the Duke of Paducah, and host Ralph Emery. Nearly three dozen tunes are featured in “Country Music on Broadway.”
IZ ZAT SO? Here's more on the Sonny & Cher name game:
Before they professionally became Sonny & Cher, the pair recorded in 1964 as Caesar & Cleo.
Besides Roddy Jackson, Sonny released records using names like Don Christy (1959-'60); Prince Carter (1961); and Ronnie Sommers (1961).
Before using “Cher” on record labels, she recorded as “Cherilyn” her given name. In a real departure, on the Beatles novelty tune, “Ringo, I Love You,” Cher is shown as Bonnie Jo Mason.
Taking the single-name idea one step further, Sonny Bono had a couple of 1965 hits “Laugh at Me” and “The Revolution Kind” where the artist credit simply reads “Sonny."