I Can't Title This Humorously Without Being Disrespectful [UPDATED]

UPDATE 12/10:

This little post ended up causing a few of Billy's biggest fans to become upset, and while I've tried to explain that this site is typically written tongue-in-cheek and expresses opinions, and that I actually enjoyed his music, it's kind of hard to convince someone who's never been to our blog before that it's really all in fun. Anyway, a nice thing that happens here sometimes is that people find other fans in the comment section, and we learn more about artists that precious little information was available for online. In this case, a lady named Ruth found this post and not only shared some stories but passed along a press kit from back in the day, which I am happy to share below. Thanks, Ruth!


So I won't. Are you as surprised as I was to learn there was such a thing as Billy ThunderKloud and the Chieftones? Sounds like something from The Simpsons. I was sort of expecting them to be a lounge act, and half assumed I'd find out Billy's real name was Alvin Schneiderman. Thankfully, as tacky as the name and their getups are, these are real Indians. Canadian Indians, in fact, who made country music. Representing the Tsimshian nation, these dudes had a minor hit in 1975 with the song "What Time Of Day." Something tells me that ThunderKloud is not a real name, and that it was in fact lifted from an Amon Düül song title.

This cover of the Bobby Hebb classic "Sunny," which has been covered by everyone, including artists as disparate as Percy Faith, Electric Flag, Cher, Frank Sinatra, José Feliciano, Eddy Arnold, The Walker Brothers, and the Boogie Pimps (Boogie Pimps?!?), appeared on their shamefully named 1974 album, Off The Reservation. It's actually a good rendition. The pedal steel, even though it sounds out of place at first, really sounds great. Towards the end it sounds like the guitar player was auditioning for Elvis' band, but seeing as it was 1974 Nashville, that's a forgivable transgression.

As far as I can tell, Billy is still around, and supposedly made the rather natural transition from cheesily dressed performer to used car salesman...in Nashville.
Thankfully this was not true, and I'm sorry to have cast that upon him.

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Saturday, November 05, 2005 3:44:00 PM

Billy ThunderKloud is a great entertainer. I've had the pleasure of seeing his show on several occasions and he is wonderful! The "get-up", as you called it, was not tacky and as you said was in the 70s. Those types of stage costumes were common in country music back then.

Billy had several songs in the top 40 on the country charts back in the 70s. A great accomplishment for a full-blooded Indian from Canada. As for the Off The Reservation album you say was shamefully named, that was one of Billy ThunderKloud's first albums and he indeed was off the reservation since he was raised there before becoming an entertainer.

Billy still occasionally entertains and is not a used car salesman. Just goes to show, you can't believe everything you read!


Saturday, November 05, 2005 4:21:00 PM

Hey Judy, thanks for reading, and thanks for writing. I was skeptical myself about the car salesman thing, I'd much rather think he's still alive and doing his thing. I'd love to catch his act. Unfortunately there's very little info about him online.

And I know that Nudies (and Nudie ripoffs) were all the rage in country music for many years, but I still think the get ups are tacky. And even though he was raised on a reservation, I think the album title gives the wrong impression when you see it. Kudos to him for making it, I just wish he didn't have to be a human cartoon to accomplish it. Hell, all that stuff might have been his idea for all I know. It just seems a little cheap to me.    

Saturday, November 05, 2005 6:24:00 PM

Billy ThunderKloud wasn't a human cartoon and he made it because he's a talented entertainer and puts on a great show! You can find several of his albums online.


Friday, November 11, 2005 7:09:00 AM

Billy ThunderKloud was indeed a remarkable entertainer. Once a person saw his state performance, they were totally sold on him. He still has one of the most remarkable voices I have ever heard. I traveled almost 20 years with the group and saw first hand how the public responded to him. Standing ovations at almost every show, sometimes as many as six at one show.

I was President of his Fan Club, Northeast Manager Booking Manager until 1988 when the group disolved. Billy, Barry and Jack are all still alive and doing well. Unfortunately, Richard Douse passed away very suddenly few years ago at a very early age.

This group was very highly respected across the USA, Canada and in Europe. Billy was presented a mountain lion my Walt Disney personally. He also performed at President Nixon's Innagural Ball. Just a couple of highlights of his remarkable entertaining experience.

There are many wonderful performers in this world but Billy was definately a tremendous performer. You should take the time to listen to a couple of cuts from one of his albums if you have one. He truly was one of the best.
He was loved and respected by some of the biggest entertainers in the country.


Saturday, February 17, 2007 11:49:00 PM

Billy ThunderKloud is indeed a fine entertainer. He and the band lived neighbors to us when they first came to the states to live and play. He was respected by all and showed much pride in his Indian heritage. He and the boys also pitched in and helped the neighbors in the area with haying and other farm chores. They also would stop and play ball with the 4H kids. He is a hereditary Indian Chief even though brother Barry is older. I do know his real name but since you don't I guess I will not tell either. Their outfits were great for the era. As stated by another poster that was the going thing in the 70's. I don't know where he is now but I would love to hear them sing again. He and Richard married women from the neighborhood. I take offense to your comments as I know this whole community would. Too bad you couldn't have seen one of their shows. You may have a change of heart.

Sunday, February 18, 2007 12:54:00 AM

I don't think I ever disparaged him as an entertainer. Just as you note that I haven't ever been wowed by Billy on stage, I also know you're not a reader of this blog. Many times these posts are face value observations, with no real link to the atmosphere or reality of what spawned the artist or their music. One thing you'd undoubtedly pick up on is that we are smart asses, and you shouldn't take us seriously. You've obviously got your memories of how it was, and I've got my perceptions based on finding this album many years later. It's telling that what little I wrote would offend you, when you are defending trappings and nicknames that would make most people shake their head, simply based on the fact that you liked the arist. That he was a great entertainer, and nice citizen, doesn't change the fact that people might find the whole thing a little exploitative now. Someone can tell the story, the real story, later.    

Monday, April 30, 2007 12:09:00 PM

Billy was a friend of mine. I am native american from Mississippi. I was inspired to be a great entertainer as he was; and I have become a great entertainer! Although, I have changed my musical genre to Gospel... I get standing ovations as billy did. who ever puts billy down puts down native Americans all over the country. He is one who uses Native American mascots for their ball teams. What about the Detroit Negroes vs. The Texas Rednecks! That would do justice for us!Billy used to be the Entertainer's entertainer. He was not "cheesy" he was claSSY. Go and educate yourself!    

Monday, April 30, 2007 1:20:00 PM

Yeah, that's real classy. And I never even used the word "cheesy" in the article or comments. But thanks for reading so carefully. And thanks for also assuming that I am not Native American, when you have no idea.

Once again, these are my opinions. I believe the man can sing. I believe the people who've commented and say he was a great entertainer. I also believe the outfits, his band name, and album title are exploitative. You can disagree. His quality as an entertainer does not affect my opinion about those things, though it obviously does for other people.

What I do see is people who've never followed this site landing here from a web search, barely reading what I wrote, taking out the portions they construe as negative and then commenting condescendingly, as if it's impossible to find some parts of his shtick offensive. I was complimentary about the parts I thought were good.

I do know that the reaction of every one I've ever shown that album cover to is usually, "What the...!", conveying a small measure of shock.

I picked up another one of his albums, and I plan to write about that one as well. I look forward to your overreactions. :)    

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 4:09:00 PM

I was the bass player for Billy in 76-77. It was 1st class all the way and one of the better paying rd. gigs at the time, and yes we had to dress up too. That was the style back then.Had a 1st class showbus with a driver and got to go and see places I could never do on my own.Billy was a class act and a friend. Wish you could have seen our show. Hank Butler Atl.Ga.    

Monday, March 09, 2009 3:00:00 AM

I met Billy in 1973 at a fair in Kentucky. His voice was the greatest I have ever heard, and I saw Elvis several times. They did not ever exploit their Indian heritage. The last concert I attended was in 1984, and I have missed seeing the guys so much over the years. They were wonderful people, and I miss them. When Richard died I was heartbroken. There were 4 of us "girls" who liked to travel together to see the performances. One of the group died on New Year's Eve. I hope she is in heaven with Richard. You would call us groupies, but we knew the difference because we really were great friends.    

Saturday, May 30, 2009 11:26:00 PM

Back in 1975 I heard the record What Time Of Day, on the radio and took off to the record store to get a copy. They didn't have it. Later I found the album in question and bought it. The reason I wanted it was because I thought it was Dale Ward. Dale had a several records out back in the 60s. Do you remember A Letter From Sherry? I swear I thought I was listening to Dale Ward. I started a fan club for Dale in Nashville back in 1964. Noel Ball was promoting or producing him from W-MAK. Sorry if I got off topic.    

Saturday, May 30, 2009 11:32:00 PM

There was nothing wrong with Billy's outfits. Noting wrong with his show name either. Did you ever see Porter Wagoner and The Wagon Masters? How about Conway Twitty and the Twitty Birds? His real name was Harold Jinkins by the way. Billy has a great voice!    

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 7:25:00 PM

I played bass for Billy in the mid to late 80's he is a wonderful entertainer and person. We played Canada as well as the northeast,south and out west.Billy's voice is so pure and clean and takes a back seat to no one! Oh by the way, Hello Ruth! and I think I know who Judy is also, how's Ma....anyway,Billy and I were very good friends I haven't talked to him in a while now and I do hope he's doing well and is Happy. We rolled down many roads togther and had a lot of Fun and played a lot of Good Music those days and players I'll always remember. Not to long ago I opened a box that I had stored and I found a lot of Live tapes from those days Billy, if you see this contact me if you would like a copy there really good! Warren K,Chad,Mike and Myself are on them!! Your still one of the greats. My e-mail is bandit808@comcast.net Take care all and have a safe and happy New Year!! 2010....    

Sunday, February 28, 2010 11:42:00 AM

Billy was a great person and performer. I sure would like to see him and talk to him again. I sat many an hour and we would talk about alot of things. I sure would like to find out how he and the guys are doing today. I hope sometime he will sing again because he had a great voice. He really cared about people. Billy had many parts to him he is a great person.    

Monday, March 15, 2010 6:49:00 PM

billy thundercloud was a great singer ans performer. He played at a fair in lexington ky, in the early 70's and was really good. thet even had an aucton to raise money for charity and the highest bidder got to walk the fair grounds with him. I have several pictures of him and the band even one holding my daughter who was 2 at the time. I sure would like to hear from him again. If you heard them sing you would love them. they dressed and looked like indians and was very nice to see.monday march15,2010 carol gilpin at ( ruthgilpin@windstream.net    

Saturday, April 17, 2010 11:30:00 AM

Billy and the Chieftones were great. I had the pleasure to see many of their shows from 1974-1976 (many of them were at the Allentown Fair), and then I saw one show in 1982, but that one was just Billy & no Chieftones:( I was a kid with a HUGE crush on Barry:) I liked their music and their costumes. I will treasure the photos that I took back then. Sure would love to know what they are up to now. I had no idea that Richard has passed away until I was reading this page.    

Sunday, June 13, 2010 10:36:00 AM

I grew up knowing Billy, and he was a second dad to me whenever we were on the road with him and the band-members. The whole Band was like my big brothers, and they ALL seemed to look out after me when we traveled together.

Along the way in our travels, I was taught how to connect the cables up to the sound board, as well as setting up most of the equipment, unloading the trailer and repacking so the equipment would all fit inside after the shows.

I loved that life, and I have to say I miss it. I used to love to go and hear Billy sing. I respected all of the band members, and miss seeing them on a regular basis. I remember so many fun times.

Billy held each one of my babies when they were small too. Now they have all grown up. But they did not get the opportunity to know him or the group of wonderful musicians and the BIG CAT Simaugit like I did.

I would love to have the opportunity to talk with anyone of the group again that might remember me.

I am Kim or othwise known as Ruth and Sonny's daughter.

My mother was President of his Fan Club, Northeast Manager Booking Manager until 1988 when the group disolved. And I cried when they disolved.

Billy did some singing on his own, but it was never the same. I will always treasure the photos that I had taken back then. As well as the ones I got from my mother before she moved.

I sure would like to see him or anyone from the band for that matter and talk to them again.

I sat many time with Billy or Barry, or Richard and we would talk about alot of things while on the road.

I have almost every album, and some very special tapes of the shows he did up here in the North East.

Message me on Yahoo IM at luchs32 or e-mail me at luchs32@yahoo.com if you were a part of the band and remember me.


Sunday, June 13, 2010 10:36:00 AM

This comment has been removed by the author.    

Wednesday, September 08, 2010 12:44:00 PM

Hey, I have seen Billy perform many times and he was wonderful. (I too know his real name - but not telling). His picture is on my computer screen - see him everyday. Would love to know what he is doing and how he is.

I do know that Albert wrote and book and will be out soon.

Boston (South)    

Wednesday, September 08, 2010 1:02:00 PM

Oops I guess I should really proof read my comments.

Boston (South)    

Friday, October 08, 2010 5:25:00 AM


Sunday, November 07, 2010 11:37:00 AM

I used to see him almost every year at the MN State Fair. I've tried for several years, unsucessfully, to find some CDs of them. My folks had an album, that I'd would love to get a copy of. Not sure of the name, but it was blue and had Indian Nation, Beautiful Sunday, and How Great Thou Art on it.

I would love any info on where to get some of his CDs    

Sunday, November 07, 2010 2:56:00 PM

Google Billy ThunderKloud and you'll find quite a few sites that sell his albums and there are a couple that have copied them to CDs.    

Tuesday, November 09, 2010 10:33:00 AM

Thanks to all of you who have jumped in and praised Billy ThunderKloud. Times now are so different than they were back then. Back then it was about performance, pride and appearance. Now, if you think you have talent, you can get up on many stages in ratty jeans and greasy hair, to say the least - we all have even seen this on the Grand Ole Opry stage.

It is a culture change and a lot of it we do not like, especially after being used to such class. Obviously, this person was not brought up in an era that class still existed. He really needs to get a life and stop putting down those he knows nothing about. Actually, he should be ashamed of himself. There are still plently of those people out there that would still run the Indian of the reservation if they could - he can only dream about it. We have all had the pleasure and memories of Billy - this guy just doesn't get it!!    

Tuesday, November 09, 2010 12:22:00 PM

You should pay attention to what was actually written, and the responses I've made to other angry, well-intentioned people who can't get around the fact that I found the outfits tacky and exploitative and a bit offensive. That's my opinion and all the knee-jerk Internet caterwauling in the world won't change it.

You should be ashamed of all the assumptions you've made here, especially the bit about the reservation.    

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 11:22:00 AM

I doubt that they are assumptions. You give yourself away in your first paragraph. It speaks millions for your profiling of others. Like I said before, get a life and stop critising others just because it may not be "your style". You may not even have a style. Does that make you a little jealous of all the attention Billy got for over 20 years? Like I said - you are a wantobe looking to express an opinion that no one really gives a hoot about, but others will defend reality, weather you like it or not. Give it up!!    

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 1:06:00 PM

Wow, what? You think I took the time to listen to this record, scan the cover, and write about it because I am jealous?

Let me give you some background about this blog: we take old lost and forgotten vinyl records and write about them. Much of the time there's no available information about an artist, so we have to talk about the cover or the lyrics, or tell a little story. We have a definite tongue-in-cheek style, and we imagine that most people reading would recognize that.

However, in many cases we are the only place an artist is written about on the Internet, so people end up finding us when they do searches. A few of our posts have become sort of de facto message boards for people who were fans of artists we've written about. That's fine, and it's great for people to reminisce about that stuff, and we end up learning more about the artist in the process.

We did this blog because we love music, all kinds, and we often run across some things that surprise us or make us laugh. I'm not going to apologize for how we go about things, and I could care less about your assumptions. I thought maybe you were a reasonable person, that's why I responded to your comments.

Did you ever consider I might be Native American? Maybe I come from a place where I've seen them treated poorly? Of course not, you have your mind made up already.

Since I wrote this article a few years ago, I've picked up a few more of Billy's albums. All because I am jealous of him and hate the music, you think?    

Saturday, November 13, 2010 9:27:00 PM

Just want to share a note.....I also saw BT&C in concerts in Louisville. I recently found my album and was excited to discover all four members had signed it! -Barbara    

Sunday, November 28, 2010 9:23:00 AM

I would like to forwrd an attachment to you to review and you may post it if you wish after you review it. Please let me know how I do this please.    

Sunday, December 05, 2010 12:08:00 PM

I have forwarded an attachment to you and I hope that you can attach it ti this site to share with everyone. It would be a wonderful treat. Have a fabulous Holiday Season.    

Monday, December 06, 2010 4:39:00 PM

Ruth, please send it to therecordrobot@gmail.com and I will endeavor to share it here.

Happy Holidays!    

Friday, December 17, 2010 12:20:00 PM

Thank you so very much for posting - you are awesome for doing this!! I hope that lots of fans will stop back in and see it, especially around the Holidays. Best to you and yours. Merry Christmas.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011 7:20:00 PM


Tuesday, March 01, 2011 8:25:00 AM

See the crap you can start just by saying a few words. I'm native (much younger than most commenters here) I really don't see anything wrong with what you wrote. People take things way too personally.

It would really be interesting to see what Billy thought of those outfits he had to wear. I'm sure they were not all worn by choice, but by what the record company thought would be bring in the money. You have to admit...compared to today's fashion...it's a bit over the top..but that's the 70's for ya. When I saw the cover...immediately thought of Elvis. Even his hair is some what like his at that time. If memory serves correctly...Elvis was Native American as well.    

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 3:09:00 AM

Thank you so very much for posting - you are awesome for doing this!! We did this blog because we love music, all kinds, and we often run across some things that surprise us or make.    

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 3:10:00 AM

Thank you so very much for posting - you are awesome for doing this!! We did this blog because we love music, all kinds, and we often run across some things that surprise us or make.    

Sunday, September 04, 2011 12:01:00 AM

Thank you very much. I have been searching for it for a long time.    

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 6:40:00 PM

Billy died. Barry is my stepdad . He lives in orlando    

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 7:48:00 AM

Billy is not dead and he hasn't talked to Barry in over 30 years!!    

Sunday, November 27, 2011 5:17:00 PM

Billy is not dead and I, too, can confirm he and Barry have not spoken in over 30 years...for very good reasons. With this said, Barry has no clue about anything involving Billy.
Unless the poster of November 22 is Kevin (who was once Barry's stepson) I cannot imagine who may have posted this erroneous information. The last anyone checked Barry was still unmarried although by now he might be considered in a common law marriage.    

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 10:06:00 AM

I also would be more than pleased to say that Billy, Barry and Jack are alive and doing well. Unfortunately, Richard GrayOwl passed away several years ago, leaving a wife and two boys. Everyone should say a prayer this Holiday Season for the family he left behind. He was also an awesome entertainer and is greatly missed. Rest In Peace, Richard.    

Saturday, December 03, 2011 3:46:00 AM

i like it Mobile Accessory    

Sunday, December 11, 2011 8:20:00 PM

Ha! I can't help but laugh at all the misinformation on the internet about Billy ThunderKloud. I personally know more about him and the band than anyone one else alive. I was married to Billy for twenty years and boy could I give the world an earful. But I'll save it for my book. Richard, by the way, died of liver cancer, his boys were grown and his wife "Terry" had long since left him for another man.    

Monday, December 12, 2011 6:18:00 PM

I was obsessed with Billy and the band when I was a little baby girl! Every time they came through Utah, I had to go to the show. When I was about 3 or 4, my aunt made me an awesome beaded denim Billy jacket. I think I might have met the band and shown them the jacket, but I'm not sure it was so long ago. I'm also not sure, but think I saw Billy in a restaurant in a little Nevada border town a couple of years ago. I was too scared to ask if it was really him though. :)    

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 2:28:00 AM

come here from Malaysia =)    

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 11:37:00 AM

I remember seeing Billy and the Chieftones play in Minnesota when I was quite small. It was an awesome performance and I never forgot it!

I recently found a signed album cover by Billy, Barry, Jack and Richard from their "Where Do I Begin To Tell The Story" album which, by the way, contains the songs Beautiful Sunday, Indian Nation and How Great Thou Art (for the post on Nov. 2010). I had to buy a record player so I could listen to it. They're getting hard to find!

I was excited to see them in costume as it made the whole Indian culture real for me. I would later in life meet Chief Archie Mosey from the Turtle Lake Band of Ojibwa (in full head dress) and must say it brought me back to the awe-struck days of listening to Billy. Chief Archie has since passed away and I think of Billy and his band every time I see one of Chief Archie's grandchildren.

I have much respect for the accomplishments, especially in the music industry, for any member of the Indian race and am thankful for the chance opportunity to listen to them so many years ago! I appreciate the fact that they were not embarrassed to embrace their culture and made me proud to find my own Indian roots and that of my husband's (Cherokee, by the way).

Thanks for the memories!!    

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 1:12:00 PM

Have any of you diehard fans thought about making a Wikipedia page for Billy and his band? It seems a little unfair that our now-dormant blog is the only source of information on this, especially as we are an entertainment site and not to be taken very seriously most of the time.    

Monday, March 05, 2012 12:23:00 AM

nice blog    

Monday, June 04, 2012 5:22:00 PM

This mix is perfect for a dj mix tape that I'm putting together. Please let me know when you have new stuff out. I'll definitely play it.    

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 9:51:00 PM

nice posting.. thanks for sharing.    

Friday, July 13, 2012 6:50:00 AM

Hey thanks for sending me down memory lane...PS.... no negative comments here! lol Some people are so mean.    

Thursday, September 20, 2012 3:14:00 AM

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.    

Thursday, September 20, 2012 3:20:00 AM

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.    

Thursday, June 27, 2013 6:05:00 PM

Billy inspired a great deal of love and loyalty. He spoke to a group of Campfire Girls for me who were studying Native American History and was always happy to give of himself. I am sorry Susan has unhappy memories and would love to read her book but he was always a gentleman to me and had a voice that can not be beaten by anyone.I feel priviliged to have known him and had him visit my home.    

Thursday, June 27, 2013 6:48:00 PM

LOL Just had an amusing memory that you all might like. My then 5 year old daughter had heer first crush on Barry and he would carrry her around. Guess he was more her size but she still remembers him.    

Sunday, July 07, 2013 4:11:00 PM

Billy is very much alive and living and singing on occasion. He still does not speak to Barry, and has disowned him as a brother, and family member. This makes me sad because I loved both all of them. They (the band) were as much my OTHER dad's on the road as my very own dad Sonny. It was such a sad time to lose touch with them, then to hear about Richard. I later on really liked a man that drummed for Billy a few times when he traveled up here to the North east. I called him Dan'l. I also really liked another guitar player Billy had when Barry left the band. I would love to hear From Jack or Billy, or any of the remaining band members that used to travel with Billy. Kim    

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 12:44:00 PM

I saw them in Nashville a long time ago and bought their album which I lost. Can anyone tell where I can get a CD.    

Friday, October 18, 2013 7:14:00 AM

Google Billy ThunderKloud. There are several sites with CDs.    

Sunday, November 03, 2013 4:52:00 PM

Billy was a great person and performer.    

Friday, April 25, 2014 5:20:00 PM

The CLOTHING Billy ThunderKloud and the Chieftones "wore" during their entertaining career....was WELL LIKED by their FANS! MOST Native Americans in late 1960's through the 1970's WORE all kinds of Native American designs on their clothes and lots of accessories....LOOK AT ALL Elvis's Jump Suits he had MADE and WORE in the 1970's! MARVIN RAINWATER, Native American singer, song writer wore fringes, feathers and etc.! The KLAUDT FAMILY Gospel Singers WORE Native American costumes...BUT SOME "fans" DIDN'T; so they wore "white" people's clothes/hair styles! {dresses for girls and suits for boys} Then the group REDBONE, all members had a "little" Native American-blood. They took off the suits from the 1960's and let their hair grow and wore Native American clothes...and WHO CAN FOR GET...."C-H-E-R"...and her song HALF BREED/Indian Pony and HER Native costumes on the Sonny & Cher Show and Cher's Show! Everybody that WAS Native American was PROUD to BE THEMSELVES and wear THEIR Heritage! WISC. Fan    

Monday, August 18, 2014 3:31:00 AM

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Friday, October 24, 2014 5:41:00 AM

Just love this site. This site is a great site for all soulful music. you must try this Free Music Promotion which really helps to increase your traffic. Do stop bye. Keep up the good work.    

Tuesday, November 03, 2015 11:53:00 AM

Billy and I spent many hours just talking and balancing coins on end at a Nashville bar we both frequented. I often wonder where he landed. I met his ex-wife many years ago at a flea market in Nashville. I was buying one of his albums from a flea market vendor and she walked up and asked me if I liked him. I said I know him and she said "So do I, I was married to him." Don't recall her name, and don't recall if Billy was still in Nashville at the time. Would love to chat with Billy if anyone knows how to contact him. Gary Cobb

Monday, February 13, 2017 9:55:00 AM


Sunday, April 30, 2017 8:10:00 AM

TO: Billy ThunderKloud and The Chieftone FANS :) HI :) You CAN FIND this Group on You Tube :) :) A WONDERFUL Fan POSTED a LIVE Video of Billy ThunderKloud and The Chieftones, The Chieftones are wearing their BEAUTIFUL Indian Head Dresses. GO to YouTube; TYPE Billy ThunderKloud and The Chieftones; What Time Of Day video-#16 Hit in 1975 :)
Another GENEROUS Fan POSTED their WHOLE Album: All Through The Night because Fans requested; CRAZY HORSE, Battle Hymn Of The Republic, Testament, Little Arrows, Put A Little Love In Your Heart, Open Up Your Heart, Thinking About You, Running Bear and the rest of the songs. UNDER; The Chieftones, Mona Lisa 1965, there is the First Half of their song; Big Fat Woman, RANG DANG DOO was TAKEN OFF :( so was DO LORD :(
Other songs UNDER; Billy ThunderKloud and The Chieftones are; Pledging My Love, Kaw-Liga, Mr. Dee Jay and M U C H M O R E :)
Web Site: Appearing In The Motel Lounge: 2011. .Type in their Name at the Top. . BOTTOM of that next page you get to hear the WHOLE songs; MY WAY and Love Story :) :)
MORE SONGS ARE COMING :) :) :) to YouTube :) :) You can BUY their Albums and SOMETIMES, Key Chains, Necklace, Booklets, a T-shirt, ETC. on e-Bay.com Their 45's are sold on e-Bay.com UNDER the RECORD LABELS and Song Titles :) :)
Take Care; from Wisc. Fan    

Sunday, January 21, 2018 5:22:00 PM

Make Your Choice -SAW    

Tuesday, June 05, 2018 8:36:00 PM

Billy ThunderKloud passed away on June 5, 2018 from complications from a stroke/pneumonia at his home in Palm City, FL.

Born Vincent Clifford on May 7, 1948 in the village of Kispiox in British Columbia and raised in the village of Kitwanga. Billy was a hereditary frog clan chief, belonging to the Gitksan tribe. His Chieftainship name was Chief Dau-Hkansqu. At age 14, he hopped a train from Port Edward, BC to the Indian Residential School in Edmonton, Alberta. As part of a school experiment, Billy was selected from 120 students, along with three other students, to form a musical group. The group was formed to familiarize the non-Indian with the young Indian of today. Billy and the band began touring the US in 1964 as The Chieftones, with Billy (Vince), as the lead singer. In 1965, they released their first two singles “Rang Dang Doo” and “Mona Lisa.” During the next three years, they released five singles for the Claremont, Cuca and Youngstown labels, and were represented by the William Morris Agency. Their song "I Shouldn't Have Did What I Done" is featured on the 2014 compilation album Native North America, Vol. 1.

In 1972, Billy adopted the stage name Billy ThunderKloud and the group was billed as Billy ThunderKloud and the Chieftones, signing a recording contract with Superior Records, owned by Duane Allen of the Oak Ridge Boys. Two albums were released on Superior Records. In 1974, Billy signed a recording contract with 20th Century Records and moved to Nashville. Billy and the Chieftones signed with Buddy Lee Attractions in October 1974 for exclusive bookings, and in 1975 added five musicians to the band. After 20th Century closed its record label, Billy signed with Polydor Records. Hit recordings include What Time of Day (20th Century), Pledging My Love (20th Century), Indian Nation (Polydor), Try a Little Tenderness (Polydor), and It's Alright (Polydor). The single What Time of Day not only reached #16 on the country charts but #32 on the AC charts and #92 on the pop charts. One of Billy's greatest achievements was when he was chosen Outstanding Indian of the Year in 1975. Billy and the Chieftones performed at President Nixon's second Inaugural Ball. Billy was a Kentucky Colonel and was also named an honorary Shriner. Billy continued touring until 1991.

Billy was retired and living in Palm City, FL at the time of his death. He's survived by his wife, Bev, daughters Shawnee (Nick), Chey Kuzma (Sam), and three grandchildren.

At Billy's request, there will not be a service. If you would like, you may make a donation in memory of Billy to National Indian Child Welfare Association, Shriners Hospital for Children, St. Jude's Children's Hospital, American Diabetes Association, or a charity of your choice.    

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