I Got You Babe

Album: Look At Us (1965)
Charted: 1 1


  • Sonny Bono was an up-and-coming record producer when he got Cher a job with Phil Spector as a session singer. They started dating and moved in to their manager's house, where Bono would write songs on a piano in the garage. He came up with "I Got You Babe" and wrote the lyrics on a piece of cardboard.

    Cher didn't like it at first. She recalled to Billboard magazine: "Sonny woke me up in the middle of the night to come in where the piano was, in the living room, and sing it. And I didn't like it and just said, 'OK, I'll sing it and then I'm going back to bed.'"

    Sonny changed the key in the bridge to fit her voice and she loved it.
  • Depending on what side of the fence you stand, this is either a beautiful love song or pure schmaltz. To Sonny Bono, it was sincere - an earnest declaration of commitment and support. "The lyrics of my songs are very important to me," he told the New Musical Express in 1966. "I never write anything until that very moment when I feel the emotion conveyed in the words I write. I know what it is like to be kicked around because you dress differently. I know what it is like to see the girl you love hurt because a hotel refuses you admission because of your dress. I know what it is like to have that one person stand by you. There are a lot of other people who have experienced these things and I'm trying to put our feelings into words for everyone."
  • Ahmet Ertegun, who was the boss at the duo's label Atco Records, didn't think much of this song, so he planned to issue it on the B-side of "It's Gonna Rain." Bono was sure "I Got You Babe" was the hit, but he couldn't convince Ertegun.

    This was an era when disc jockeys could overrule record executives when it came to airplay, so Bono brought a copy of "I Got You Babe" to the Los Angeles radio station KHJ, and made a deal with their program director, Ron Jacobs. If Jacobs played the song once an hour, he could have it exclusively. When KHJ started playing it, the song got a great reaction, leading Ertegun to issue it as the A-side.
  • This isn't an anti-war song, but it went over well with the hippie crowd because it stuck up for guys with long hair when Cher sang, "Let them say your hair's too long, I don't care, with you I can't go wrong."
  • In 1985, UB40 covered this with Chrissie Hynde doing the female vocals. Their version hit #1 in the UK and #28 in the US. Sonny & Cher's original version was the first record UB40's Ali Campbell ever owned.
  • In 1994 Cher re-recorded this with the cartoon characters Beavis and Butt-Head. This version hit #35 in the UK.
  • Bob Dylan's use of the word "Babe" in his 1964 song "It Ain't Me Babe" gave Sonny Bono the idea to use it in this song.
  • In the 1993 film Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray, Murray's character is awakened to this song every morning at precisely 6:00 a.m. on the alarm clock in his hotel room. The movie grew a cult of fans that watched it every February 2, giving it a foothold in the popular culture. By association, "I Got You Babe" became part of the groundhog day tradition.

    In 2020, Bill Murray appeared in a Super Bowl commercial for the Jeep Gladiator where the song plays throughout. In the spot, he re-creates the film, but this time he discovers the vehicle, so every day feels different and exciting.
  • Sonny and Cher performed this one last time when they appeared on the The David Letterman show in 1987. They didn't expect to sing, but the host cajoled them until they did the song. Sonny and Cher put their differences aside and gave a touching performance. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Sonny Bono is the only person to perform on a #1 hit and also serve in congress. He was elected to California's 44th district in 1994, and served there until his death.
  • David Bowie and Marianne Faithfull sang this as part of Bowie's 1973 special The 1980 Floor Show for the musical variety series The Midnight Special, with Bowie wearing an "Angel of Death" costume and Faithfull donning a nun's habit. The performance was filmed at the Marquee Club in Soho, London, and aired on the TV show a few weeks later.
  • When Cher started her Las Vegas residency in 2017, she began performing this song as a virtual duet to a projection of Sonny Bono.

Comments: 22

  • Chris from Treasure Island"I Got You Babe" is the greatest love song ever written.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 17, 1965, "The Letter" by Sonny and Cher entered Billboard's Top 100 chart at position #100, four weeks later it would peak at #75 and that would also be it's fifth and final week on the Top 100...
    "The Letter" was track two of side two on the duo's debut album, 'Look At Us'*, the album peaked at #2 {for 8 weeks} on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart, and for the eight weeks it was at #2, the #1 album for those eight weeks was the "Help" movie soundtrack by the Beatles...
    Salvatore Phillip 'Sonny' Bono passed away on January 5th, 1998 at the age of 62...
    May he R.I.P.
    * One other track from the album also made the Top 100 chart, "I Got You Babe", it peaked at #1 for three weeks.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn September 26th 1965, Sonny and Cher performed "But You're Mine" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    And a week later on October 3rd the song entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #68; five weeks later on november 7th it would peak at #15 {for 1 week} and it stayed on the chart for 8 weeks...
    Also on the same 'Sullivan' show the duo performed their debut Top 100 record, "I Got You Babe", and at the time it was at #30 on the Top 100; seven weeks earlier on August 8th it had peaked at #1 {for 3 weeks}...
    R.I.P. Mr. Bono, born Salvatore Phillip Bono {1935 - 1998} and Cher, born Cherilyn Sarkisian, will celebrate her 70th birthday come next May 20 {2016}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 25th 1965, the movie "Wild On The Beach"* opened in theaters across the U.S.A.
    Sonny and Cher appeared in the movie and performed a song titled "It's Gonna Rain"...
    "It's Gonna Rain" never made Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; but on the day the movie open the duo's "I Got You Babe" was in its third and final week at #1 on the Top 100 chart...
    * The movie was directed by Maury Dexter, and between 1979 and 1983 he directed 21 episodes of the NBC-TV weekly-family series 'Little House on the Prairie'.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyPer: http://www.oldiesmusic.com/news.htm
    Harold Battiste, owner of New Orleans-based AFO (All For One) Records, died Friday, June 19th, 2015 at the age of 83...
    His label recorded hits by artists like Barbara George and Lee Dorsey and arranged tunes by Sam Cooke...
    Harold was the musical director of Sonny & Cher's '70s TV program and played saxophone on their #1 hit, "I Got You Babe" (1965)...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 22nd 1965, "Just You" by Sonny and Cher entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #72; and on October 3rd it peaked at #20 {for 1 week} and spent 9 weeks on the Top 100...
    At the time the duo's "I Got You Babe" was in its 3rd and final week at #1 on the Top 100...
    And at #60 they had a third record on the chart, "Baby Don't Go", eventually it peaked at #8 on the Top 100.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn July 7th 1965, Sonny and Cher performed "I Got You Babe" on the ABC-TV program 'Shindig!'...
    Three days earlier on July 4th, 1965 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
    (See next post below).
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 12th 1965, Sonny & Cher performed "I Got You Babe" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    One month later on July 4th, 1965 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #88; and on August 8th it peaked at #1 (for 3 weeks) and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 7 of those 14 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
    It reached #2 in Ireland, #3 in Germany, and #4 in Canada, Sweden, & the Netherlands...
    Three different records were at #2 when it was at #1; "Satisfaction" by the Stones, "Save Your Heart For Me" by G. Lewis & the Playboys, and "Help!" by the Beatles...
    On its 10th week on the Top 100 it was at #7, and the duo also had two other records on the chart, "Baby Don't Go" at #32 and "Just You" at #50...
    R.I.P. Mr. Bono, born Salvatore Phillip Bono, 1935 - 1998 and Cher, born Cherilyn Sarkisian, celebrated her 68th birthday one month ago on May 20th, 2014.
  • Cher from Tampa, FlMy mom fell in love with this song in 1965. It was her and my dad's wedding song. August of 1966, I was born. Guess what MY name is?? LOL
  • Kristin from Bessemer, AlThis song had a lot of strength when it reached #1 in August of 1965 - it prevented the Beach Boys' "California Girls" from getting to the top spot on the Hot 100-
  • Dave from Des Moines, IaI didn't know Tiny Tim covered it on his album, but he and Eleanor Barooshain (of Cake) recorded it for a Peter Yarrow movie soundtrack. The result was positively hideous.
  • Zuzana from Bratislava, EuropeOh, sorry, the show was in 1987, of course. It was really memorable, as none of them expected to perform that evening and they looked quite uncomfortable when David Letterman asked them to sing, but still they got up and sung "Got you babe" one last time. Sonny got quite emotional during the performance.
  • Zuzana from Bratislava, EuropeIn 1897, twelve years after their divorce, Sonny and Cher sung this on Letterman show. It was the last time they ever performed together.
  • Steven from Sunnyvale, CaBob Rivers (bobrivers.com), made a parody in questionable taste, titled "I Can't Ski, Babe." It doesn't seem to be on his web site anymore, but you can listen to it at http://www.jokeaday.com/7twisted.shtml
  • Dennis from Anchorage, AkTiny Tim covered this on his first album (God Bless Tiny Tim)as a duet with himself, singing the man's part in his real voice and the girl's part in his better-known falsetto voice. It was pretty silly, but then so was Tiny Tim.
  • Fyodor from Denver, CoI'm surprised it wasn't mentioned that Bono was inspired by the Dylan song, It Ain't Me, Babe, although they obviously have nothing to do with each other past the titles.
  • Teresa from Mechelen, BelgiumI mean a great experience because of his talent, I don't know if it was always easy to work with him; as I consider him a perfectionist I suppose he was exacting with the others and with himself.
    Anyway the results are very good and it's like that he made some masterpieces like "River deep, mountain high" and many others.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScI heard he would put some of them through hell. He doesn't seem to have been a very good guy. Good producer though. I read a little about him. It's been qwhile though.
  • Teresa from Mechelen, BelgiumIt's amazing how many people who started their career with Phil Spector became famous. It must be a great experience working with the inventor of the famous "Wall of Sound".
  • Ross from Independence, MoThis is #444 in Rolling Stone's list of 500 greatest songs.
  • Enrique from Lima, PeruThis song was used has been used in many film soundtracks, but the one I remember the most is "Groundhodge Day" starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, where the character played by Bill wakes up every morning of an endless day with that tune on the radio.
  • Aj from Cleveland, Gano not the last.
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