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Ask Cher Scholar: Cherokee People

On Wednesday, October 22, 2008 Joanne Nichols wrote:

My 27 year old son and I have a bet.  I say Cher did record and release "Cherokee People" (or is it "Cherokee Nation"?)  he says she did not.  Please help and tell me where I can find the release.

I’ve received this question three times, each time the Cher student is practically positive they have heard a Cher version. I’m not telling Cher fans anything they don’t already know to say Cher never recorded this song.

I guess the more interesting question for us is why does the public at large consistently and passionately insist that she did.

Is it because Cher did cover similar Native-American themed kitschy songs in the 70s?

Is it because the song has a kind of organic Cher sound to it? It’s hard to sing it yourself and not sound like Cher?

There are many better 70s drama-fest songs I would have preferred Cher cover, however: "Son of a Preacher Man," "The Night the Lights Went Down in Georgia" (which Cher was offered, but Sonny turned down and Vicki Lawrence recorded it). Cher did do a cover of "One Tin Soldier" for a Comedy Hour Christmas show.

Cher scholars, what are your thoughts?




Is it possible that people are remembering seeing her sing it on her TV show? My husband and I both see her singing this song in our memories.

The voice I hear singing this song is hers - or one like hers, and her voice was quite distinctive.

Cher Scholar

If people remember her singing it on TV then I'm afraid they're wrong. I've watched hours and hours and hours and hours of Cher TV coverage and seen credit lists of all her solo and duet shows and have never come across a performance of her doing this song - even on a special or guest spot on someone else's show.

But I hear what you're saying. I think it's an audial illusion.


I'm sure that she did it on their tv show, she was all decked up in a white indian outfit with a big white feather headress trailing on the flour, made a lasting impression on me - but could be wrong...

Cher Scholar

She sang Half Breed in the big Indian outfit.


My husband had and still does, have a crush on Cher. We have been looking for the episode where she sang "Cherokee People", with the long white Indian headdress. He remembers it like it was yesterday. It has been stuck in his mind for 45 years. Half breed is when she is on a horse.

Cher Scholar

A lot of people have that memory but there's no episode listing or rerun of the TV shows with Cher singing "Indian Reservation (Cherokee People)" or her singing the song on a TV special or live show.

I have a distinct memory myself of Sonny & Cher sharing a stage with Stiller and Meara but I can't find evidence of that either.

Muriel Muex

Paul Revere (and the Raiders) sang that song not Cher.

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