The song was written and produced by Sonny Bono. It featured both Sonny and Cher doing the vocals with backing tracks from The Wrecking Crew, the Los Angeles-based session musicians. Part of what makes the song is the wonderful syncopated bass line that Wrecking Crew member Carol Kaye came up with to enliven what was a one-chord tune with an ordinary melody line to give it some personality. The song is a quinessential 1960s pop song, with references to miniskirts, supermarts, the Vietnam War, and electric baseball scores.
In 1967, “The Beat Goes On” went to #7 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and on Cash Box. It was #5 in Belgium, #8 in the Netherlands, #9 in Canada, #14 in Australia, #15 in France, and #29 in the U.K. The song was also featured on Sonny and Cher’s 1967 album In Case You’re in Love.
When Sonny Bono died in 1998 at the age of 62, the song was sung at his funeral. The phrase “And The Beat Goes On” appears on his tombstone.
The song has been covered by Britney Spears, Buddy Rich, Patricia Barber, and Mina.
Here are the lyrics to “The Beat Goes On” by Sonny and Cher:
The beat goes on, the beat goes on
Drums keep pounding
A rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da
Charleston was once the rage, uh huh
History has turned the page, uh huh
The mini-skirt’s the current thing, uh huh
Teenybopper is our newborn king, uh huh
The grocery store’s the supermart, uh huh
Little girls still break their hearts, uh huh
And men still keep on marching off to war
Electrically they keep a baseball score
Grandmas sit in chairs and reminisce
Boys keep chasing girls to get a kiss
The cars keep going faster all the time
Bums still cry, “Hey buddy,
have you got a dime?”
If you are interested in reading about and listening to another song by Sonny and Cher, please click here for “I Got You Babe.”
Check Out The Groove Pad for More 1960s Music
The Pass the Paisley Groove Pad is a resting stop, a place to chill out and listen to the featured song on the stereo. If the mood strikes you, click on the juke box to access and listen to the 50+ songs there. You always listen free! The TV has several channels, with selections updated twice a week. Every now and then, Pass the Paisley hosts an all-request of 1960s and 1970s songs for a Be-In at the juke box in the Groove Pad. Keep on truckin’. Hope you enjoyed “The Beat Goes On” by Sonny and Cher.