Chilliwack (band)

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Bill Henderson from Chilliwack.jpg
Bill Henderson, guitarist and vocalist
Background information
Origin Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Genres Rock, progressive rock
Years active 1970–1988, 1997–present
Labels Parrot, A&M, Goldfish, Casino, Sire, Mushroom Records, Solid Gold, Millenium[1]
Associated acts Classics (1964), Collectors (1966), Headpins
Members Bill Henderson
Ed Henderson
Doug Edwards
Jerry Adolphe
Past members Andy Thoma
Ross Turney
Claire Lawrence
Glenn Miller
Howie Vickers
Brian MacLeod
Howard Froese
Ab Bryant
Bucky Berger
Rick Taylor
John Roles

Chilliwack is a Canadian rock band centered on the singer and guitarist Bill Henderson. They were active from 1970 to 1988, while Henderson reformed the band in 1997. They are perhaps best remembered for their six biggest songs "My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)", "I Believe", "Whatcha Gonna Do", "Fly At Night", "Crazy Talk", and "Lonesome Mary". The band's lineup has changed numerous times while they have continued to tour across Canada.[2]


The band originated in Vancouver, British Columbia out of the remnants of the C-Span Classics,[3] that changed its name to The Collectors when Henderson joined in 1966.[4] Their psychedelic self-titled debut album yielded the minor hit "Lydia Purple".[5] Their second album was based on the musical score written by the band for a stage play by Canadian playwright George Ryga, Grass and Wild Strawberries.[6]

Chilliwack effectively began with the departure of vocalist Howie Vickers from the Collectors in 1969; however, the band didn't change their name until 1970,[7] to Chilliwack, a Salish term meaning "going back up" and the name of a city east of Vancouver in the Fraser River valley. With lead guitarist Bill Henderson now providing most of the vocals and doing most of the composing, the band released several records that were moderately successful in Canada. Hit singles in Canada included "Lonesome Mary", which entered Cashbox January 22, 1972 [8] "Crazy Talk" and "Fly at Night". The album track "Rain-o", a blues-based composition that appeared in different versions on the Chilliwack debut album and the later Dreams, Dreams, Dreams, was a well-known concert favourite.

Their album Riding High on Goldfish Records (Terry Jacks' Label) contained one of their biggest hits, "Crazy Talk", which was produced by Terry Jacks.

However, Chilliwack had a difficult time sustaining any success because of their constant label changes. The two Collectors albums were on Warner Brothers, and Chilliwack's first five albums were on four different labels in Canada: Parrot, A&M, Goldfish, and Casino Records. When the band finally found relative stability and success with Vancouver's Mushroom Records, with distribution throughout North America, the label went bankrupt so abruptly in 1979 that Chilliwack's third album for the label, Breakdown in Paradise, was barely released.

In 1978, Brian MacLeod (guitar, drums, keyboards) joined the band for the Lights from the Valley album, and Ab Bryant (bass) joined the band for Breakdown in Paradise, with the other members except for Henderson departing. Chilliwack then signed with Solid Gold Records in Canada and Millennium Records in the U.S. as a trio and enjoyed its greatest success with this new lineup, releasing the albums Wanna Be a Star and Opus X. The singles "My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)" (1981), "I Believe" (1982), and "Whatcha Gonna Do (When I'm Gone)" (1982) were popular both in Canada and in the U.S.[9] Rolling Stone Magazine wrote:

"At their best, Chilliwack was the finest Canadian rock band, outrocking BTO and outwriting Burton Cummings. But a lack of consistency kept it from international success."

Henderson and MacLeod received a Best Producer Juno Award in 1982 for Opus X. However, echoing the Mushroom problems, Millennium Records then collapsed. MacLeod and Bryant left the band soon after, and Chilliwack's last new studio recording was released in 1984 with Henderson as the only continuing member. Henderson continued to tour as Chilliwack with other players until December 1988. In 1989 Henderson went on to form the folk-rock supergroup UHF. Henderson also continued touring with Chilliwack, releasing a new live album in 2003.

2005 saw Chilliwack play Voyageur Days Festival in Mattawa, Ontario, Canada (near North Bay) with other Canadian bands Moxy, Toronto, Trooper, Goddo, Killer Dwarfs and Ray Lyell for the thirtieth anniversary for release of the debut album by Moxy.

Bass player Ab Bryant's son Matt Bryant is the singer/songwriter and founding member of Canadian roots/folk band Headwater.


As a side project MacLeod and the band (minus Henderson) in the early 1980s performed as The Headpins with first Denise McCann, and then Darby Mills as lead vocalist.



As The Collectors (Pre-Chilliwack)

Year Album
1967 The Collectors
1968 Grass and Wild Strawberries


Year Title Chart positions Certifications
1970 Chilliwack 63 -
1971 Chilliwack 10 -
1972 All Over You 40 -
1974 Riding High 63 -
1975 Rockerbox 64 -
1977 Dreams, Dreams, Dreams 13 142 Platinum
1978 Lights from the Valley 37 191 Platinum
1979 Breakdown in Paradise 52 -
1981 Wanna Be a Star 19 78 Platinum
1982 Opus X 12 112 Platinum
1983 Segue (compilation) 79 - Gold
1984 Look In Look Out 68 -
Greatest Hits - - Gold
2003 There and Back - Live - -


Year Song CAN CHUM US Billboard US Cash Box US Main
1967 "Looking at a Baby" as The Collectors 23 4
1968 "Lydia Purple" as The Collectors 55
1969 "Early Morning" as The Collectors 84
1970 "I Must Have Been Blind" as The Collectors 56 20
"Sometimes We're Up" as The Collectors 63
"Chain Train" 67
1971 "Rain-O" 70
1972 "Sundown" 54
1973 "Lonesome Mary" 9 75
1974 "Groundhog" 41
"Crazy Talk" 10 13 98
1975 "There's Something I Like About That" 85
1975 "Last Day Of December" 109
1976 "Come on Over" 54 12
1977 "California Girl" 19
"Fly at Night" 7 16 75
1978 "Something Better" 56
"Baby Blue" 78 110
"Arms of Mary" 32 67
1979 "Never Be The Same" 59
1980 "Communication Breakdown" 86
1981 "My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)" 3 6 22 19 16
1982 "I Believe" 7 11 33 29
"Whatcha Gonna Do (When I'm Gone)" 9 10 41 32 29
"Don't it Make You Feel Good" 48
1983 "Don't Stop" 46
1983 "Secret Information" 110
Total Hits 23 8 7
Top 40 Hits 8 8 2

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Chilliwack". 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  2. ^ Bill Henderson (2007). "Live Dates". Official website. Archived from the original on 2007-07-04. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  3. ^ "The Collectors Web Page". Retrieved 2016-05-04. 
  4. ^ "Canadian - Collectors". Retrieved 2016-05-04. 
  5. ^ "Lydia Purple". Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  6. ^ "The Collectors (4) - Grass And Wild Strawberries". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-05-04. 
  7. ^ McIntosh, Andrew (2015-06-18). "Chilliwack". The Canadian Encyclopedia (online ed.). Historica Canada. Retrieved 2015-12-01. 
  8. ^ Cashbox Jan 22, 1971
  9. ^ Adam White & Fred Bronson (1988). The Billboard Book of Hits. Billboard Books. ISBN 0-8230-8285-7. 
  10. ^ Peak positions for Chilliwack's albums on Canadian Albums Chart:
  11. ^ "Chilliwack - Billboard Albums". allmusic. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  12. ^ "Gold Platinum Database: Chilliwack". Canadian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 

External links[edit]