Thursday, October 3, 2013

40 Year Itch : Half Breed Hits #1

On the week ending October 6, 1973 Cher topped the Billboard charts with "Half Breed", a song written to play up Cher's mixed heritage, which includes some Native American roots. Like her other #1 single, "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves", also produced by Snuff Gordon,  the song is a story about a girl shunned because of her heritage.

For the song's TV debut on The Sonny and Cher Show ( still going strong despite the couple's break-up), Bob Mackie designed one of his most famous costumes-- a headdress decked out in feathers,  a sequined halter top and a loin cloth that  reached down to her platform shoes. Mark Bego writes in Cher: If You Believe, of the star's first reaction to the costume:

I remember when I first got that (outfit) I thought 'Oh my God, Sonny's going to have a heart attack when I walk out in this !' It looked like I was naked and he was always a little bizarre about that. But he saw me in it and he was OK with it".

A lot of people have been OK with it.

At a recent Experience Music Project exhibit on Women In Rock, I came across the Mackie designed costume. Not something I'd feel comfortable wearing myself.

Top 5 Singles in the Billboard Hot 100 October 6, 1973

1 Cher "Half Breed"
2 Paul Simon "Loves Me Like A Rock"
3 Marvin Gaye "Let's Get It On"
4 Grand Funk Railroad "We're An American Band"
5 Stevie Wonder "Higher Ground"

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