The Raiders - Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian) (1971)

The Raiders - Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian) (1971)

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"Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)" is a song written by John D. Loudermilk. The song was first recorded by Marvin Rainwater in 1959 and released on MGM as "The Pale Faced Indian", but that release stayed unnoticed. The first hit version was a 1968 cover by Don Fardon, a former member of The Sorrows, that reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the UK Singles Chart.

In 1971 Paul Revere & the Raiders recorded the song on the Columbia Records label, and it topped the Hot 100 on July 24. The RIAA gold certification followed on 30 June 1971 for selling over a million copies. It was later certified platinum for selling an additional million copies. The song was the group's only #1 US Billboard hit, and their final Top Twenty song.

Historical context

The song refers to the forcible removal and relocation of the Five Civilized Tribes, including the Cherokee people, from the southeastern states of Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama to the southern Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma. The removal of these tribes throughout the 1830s is often referred to as the "Trail of Tears". The removal of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole came on the heels of President Andrew Jackson's key legislation, the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The Cherokee were the last of the Five Civilized Tribes to be removed after signing the Treaty of New Echota.

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