AJC Deja News: In 1975, Cher visits Macon and sets tongues wagging

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Today’s AJC Deja News comes to you from the Thursday, Feb. 13, 1975, edition of The Atlanta Constitution.

Love is in the air every Valentine's Day, but in 1975, southern rock legend Gregg Allman and TV star/singer Cher's budding love affair in Macon became front page news in Atlanta.

“Gregg and Cher?” reporter Art Harris asked in the Constitution’s Feb. 13, 1975, edition. “Or, to be more specific, [the pair] acting like ‘more than just good friends’ in what one would normally consider the less-than-romantic setting of Macon, Ga.? Blossoming jet-set romance on the banks of the Ocmulgee?” Both parties, each recently divorced, were witnessed holding hands and “cutting up a bit.”



“My wife works at the bank, and she’s been ringing me up every hour,” one local said. “She wants to meet Cher. Her friends want to meet Cher. Everyone wants to meet Cher.”

PHOTOS>> Gregg Allman through the years

Frank Fenter, executive vice president of the Allman Brothers’ label, Capricorn Records, was a bit more blunt in his assessment of Cher’s junket to The Heart of Georgia.

“Macon is not exactly like the French Riviera,” Fenter said. “You have to have a reason to come to Macon.”

The couple’s June 1975 marriage confirmed the rumors and, apparently, the reason Cher was in town. But the course of true love never has run smooth, even on the banks of the Ocmulgee, and Cher filed to dissolve her marriage to Allman nine days after the nuptials. But the couple stayed together, had a son, musician Elijah Blue Allman, and divorced in 1979.

Credit: Jerome McClendon

Credit: Jerome McClendon

MORE DEJA NEWS>> Check out what we’ve covered before (and again)

It was a busy, if brief, week in Macon for the two. From performing an impromptu duet at Macon’s “numero uno night club,” Uncle Sam’s, to dining on filet of beef stroganoff, poulet vol-au-vent (chicken “stolen from the wind”) and drinks with a band member, locals needed to be on the ball if they wanted an audience with Cher.

“After [the couple] posed for several photos and Cher signed a few menus, one friend commented that ‘Gregg seemed pretty infatuated,’” Harris wrote. “Of Cher, the friend said, ‘She seemed a little nervous about her TV show.’” Cher’s self-titled solo variety show debuted on CBS Feb. 16, 1975. It lasted one season.

When the Allman Brothers Band celebrates its 50th anniversary in March at New York's Madison Square Garden, it will take place without its namesakes. Duane Allman died in a 1971 motorcycle accident; Gregg Allman died in 2017 from complications due to liver cancer. Of her ex-husband's death, Cher said "words are impossible."

She returned to Macon for his funeral.


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