Sonny Bono (1935 - 1998)

Singer and Songwriter, Sonny Bono, died yesterday (1/5/1998) in a sking accident near Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

Born Salvatore Bono on Feb 16, 1935, in Detroit, he started writing songs at age 7, eventually appearing when he was 12, on "Peter Potter's Hit Parade", television show. In 1957 Sonny had one of his original songs, "High School Dance" recorded by Larry Williams on the B side of Williams' "Bony Maronie" single. His first hit song was recorded in 1964 by the Searches, titled, "Needles and Pins". The same year Sonny married Cher whom he met while both were working as backup singers on many of Phil Spector's legendary recordings. In 1965 the singing duo struck gold with another Sonny original, "I Got You Babe" and the rest became history.

It's my personal opinion that Sonny Bono never received all the credit he deserved as a songwriter. Certainly, as a songwriter he has earned an enduring respect and affection from the fans of Vanilla Fudge for such classics as "Bang Bang" and "The Beat Goes On".

Sonny in later life started a career in California politics which eventually culminated in his election to the US House of Representatives in 1994. God bless Mr. Bono and may he rest in lasting peace.


By Wendell Berry

The longer we are together
the larger death grows around us
How many we know by now
who are dead! We, who were young,
now count the cost of having been.
And yet as we know the dead
we grow familiar with the world.
We, who were young and loved each other
ignorantly, now come to know
each other in love, married
by what we have done, as much
as by what we intend. Our hair
turns white with our ripening
as though to fly away in some
coming wind, bearing the seed
of what we know. It was bitter to learn
that we come to death as we come
to love, bitter to face
the just and solving welcome
that death prepares. But that is bitter
only to the ignorant, who pray
it will not happen. Having come
the bitter way to prayer, we have
the sweetness of ripening. How sweet
to know you by the signs of the world!

["The Collected Poems of Wendell Berry, North Point Press]

Peace +