Some 50 years ago, acclaimed Western artist Michael Martin Murphey had a dream about a mystical ghost horse. Based on a Native American legend that was shared with the young Murphey by his grandfather, Murphey dreamed the entire song, and when he awoke, he and his co-writer Larry Cansler put the finishing touches on the story about a young Nebraska woman searching for her lost pony in a blizzard.
In 1975, the song, “Wildfire,” soared to the top of the charts, elevating Murphey to “star status,” while earning his Bob Johnston, Bob Dylan) produced Blue Sky, Night Thunder album a platinum award from the RIAA.
The song is among the most enduring on the American Music landscape.
On January 26, the song gets a theatrical retelling when Wildfire: The Legend of the Cherokee Ghost Horse hits some 1100 screens across the country.
Inspired by the # 1 worldwide hit song by Murphey – and the legend of the Cherokee ghost horse – WILDFIRE tells a story of redemption and forgiveness as a young girl deals with her guilt following the tragic death of her parents. With the family facing financial ruin, the survivors move from Texas to Oklahoma to live with the Grandma Bette on her horse farm outside of Tahlequah. Emotionally lost and distraught, young Samantha finds peace from the attention she receives from a mysterious wild horse that seems to be following her as she walks home from school each day.
Written and directed by Eric Parkinson (Future Shock), the film stars Chevel Shepherd (winner of NBC’s The Voice), Mo Brings Plenty (Yellowstone), Adrian Paul (Highlander), Cara Jade Myers (Killers of the Flower Moon) among others. Wildfire is notably the final film of the late Anne Heche, who died following a tragic auto accident in 2022.
Murphey not only appears in the film as a key character, Pastor Micah, but also provided (along with son Ryan Murphey and Travis Fite) the soundtrack for the film.
Plans for Wildfire: The Legend of the Cherokee Ghost Horse include streaming to begin on March 1, with DVD / BLU-RAY release on June 4.