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
Jerry Adolphe
Past members Doug Edwards
Ross Turney
Claire Lawrence
Glenn Miller
Brian MacLeod
Howard Froese
Jamie Bowers
Ab Bryant
Bucky Berger
Rick Taylor
John Roles

Chilliwack is a Canadian rock band centered on the singer and guitarist Bill Henderson, which started off with a more Progressive rock sound that incorporated elements of folk, jazz and blues, before moving towards a more straight-ahead hard rock/pop rock sound by the mid-70s. They were active from 1970 to 1988, while Henderson reformed the band in 1997. Their six best-selling songs were "My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)",[2] "I Believe", "Whatcha Gonna Do", "Fly At Night", "Crazy Talk", and "Lonesome Mary". The band's lineup has changed many times while they have continued to tour across Canada.


The band originated in Vancouver, British Columbia. The members of the C-FUN Classics[3] changed the band's name to The Collectors when Henderson joined in 1966.[4] Their psychedelic self-titled debut album yielded the minor hit "Lydia Purple" 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.

Vocalist Howie Vickers left the Collectors in 1969; the remaining members formed the band Chilliwack in 1970,[5][6] to Chilliwack, a Salish term meaning "valley of many streams" and the name of a city east of Vancouver in the Fraser River valley.

Lead guitarist Bill Henderson led the remaining former Collectors members: Glenn Miller (bass, guitar, backing vocals), Ross Turney (drums) and Claire Lawrence (flute, saxophone, keyboards, backing vocals);[7] he provided most of the vocals and did most of the composing. During 1970, Miller briefly left the band, who were joined on the road by Robbie King (keyboards, bass) and played at Expo '70 in Japan and other gigs across Canada.

In 1971 bassist Rick Kilburn played live with Chilliwack for a short time before Miller returned later that same year when Lawrence departed. New member Howard Froese (guitar, keyboards, backing vocals) joined in 1973.

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] (and was their first US charting single, peaking at #75 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1972), "Crazy Talk" (#98 in the US in January 1975) and "Fly at Night" (#75 in the US in May 1977). 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 (January 1977), was a well-known concert favourite.

In 1974 their album Riding High on Goldfish Records (Terry Jacks' Label) contained one of their biggest hits, the aforementioned "Crazy Talk", which was produced by Terry Jacks. This album was not released in the US until early 1975 (on the Sire Records label), where it was retitled Chilliwack (their third U.S. release to bear that title).

However, Chilliwack had a difficult time sustaining any success because of their constant changes of label. 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.

The the band was then signed to Vancouver's Mushroom Records, with distribution throughout North America. After completing one album for the label, The Collectors began work on their seventh album, to be titled Lights from the Valley. The first attempt at recording proved unsatisfactory, leading to discord among the band members. Veteran guitarist Froese was replaced by Brian MacLeod, who contributed guitar, drums, keyboards, and backing vocals. The album was re-recorded; some of Froese's vocal and guitar work, as well as percussion from drummer Eddie Tuduri, were included in the final mix. By the time of the record's release, bassist Glenn Miller and long term drummer Ross Turney had left the group. Mushroom was also having financial problems which hampered the promotion of the album after its release in June of 1978.

Drummer Skip Layton and former Prism bassist Ab Bryant were recruited to perform with Henderson, Jamie Bowers (guitar, keyboards) and MacLeod in Chilliwack's live gigs. [9] Henderson, MacLeod and Bryant, began working on Chilliwack's eighth album, and were joined by John Roles (guitar, keyboards, backing vocals) and drummer Bucky Berger. The Mushroom label went bankrupt abruptly shortly after the album, Breakdown in Paradise, was released in December 1979. Berger was replaced by Rick Taylor shortly thereafter, and the lineup of Henderson, MacLeod, Bryant, Roles and Taylor toured into 1980.

Chilliwack then signed with Solid Gold Records in Canada and Millennium Records in the U.S. in 1981 as a trio (Henderson/MacLeod/Bryant) and enjoyed its greatest success with this lineup, releasing the albums Wanna Be a Star (September 1981) and Opus X (October 1982). The singles "My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)" (Their first US Top 40 hit, peaking at #22 in December 1981), "I Believe" (US #33 in March 1982), and "Whatcha Gonna Do (When I'm Gone)" (US #41 in December 1982) were popular both in Canada and in the U.S.[10] 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."

The trio of Henderson, MacLeod and Bryant were joined drummer Paul Delaney in early 1982 for US promotional appearances on TV shows, like Solid Gold and The Merv Griffin Show, before heading out on the road later in the year with an expanded lineup of Henderson, MacLeod, Bryant, Joey Franco (drums), Glenn Grayson (keyboards, backing vocals) and Dennis Grayson (keyboards, backing vocals).

Henderson and MacLeod received a Best Producer Juno Award for Opus X. However, echoing the Mushroom problems, Millennium Records then collapsed. MacLeod and Bryant left the band soon after, in early 1983, to devote more time to their other project, the Headpins, and Chilliwack's last new studio recording, Look In Look Out, was released in July 1984 with Henderson as the only continuing member, joined by session players Ashley Mulford (guitar, backing vocals), Richard Gibbs (keyboards), Mo Foster (bass), Simon Phillips (drums) and Tom Keenlyside (saxophone), with additional vocals provided by Mark LaFrance, Saffron & Camille Henderson, Dustin Keller and Bob Rock.

By 1985 the band was without a record deal and Henderson cobbled together a touring only lineup made up of former member Claire Lawrence (sax, backing vocals), Jerry Adolphe (drums), Brian Newcombe (bass), Robbie Gray (keyboards, backing vocals) and Dave Pickell (keyboards). Pickell was replaced almost immediately by another former member John Roles (guitar, keyboards) and this grouping played mostly in Canadian clubs and smaller venues until Henderson disbanded the group in December 1988.

In 1989 Henderson went on to form the folk-rock supergroup UHF and decided to launch a new Chilliwack lineup in 1997, made up of Adolphe (drums), Doug Edwards[11] (bass, backing vocals) and Roy Forbes (guitar, backing vocals, from UHF). Forbes was succeeded on guitar in 1998 by Bill's brother, Ed, and Chilliwack released a new live album, There and Back - Live, in 2003.

Chilliwack performed at 2005's Voyageur Days Festival in Mattawa, Ontario where they appeared 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.

Chilliwack continues to play, mostly in the spring, summer and early fall, at outdoor gatherings and festivals.[12]

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Chilliwack". 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  2. ^ "24 Minutes with Bill Henderson". Peterborough Examiner, By Joe Leary. January 19, 2017.
  3. ^ "Proudly Canadian: Chilliwack". Cashbox, , 02/13/2014 Sandy Graham
  4. ^ "Canadian - Collectors". Retrieved 2016-05-04. 
  5. ^ "Henderson, Chilliwack still going strong after 40 years". Estevan Mercury, October 5, 2011
  6. ^ McIntosh, Andrew (2015-06-18). "Chilliwack". The Canadian Encyclopedia (online ed.). Historica Canada. Retrieved 2015-12-01. 
  7. ^ "Chilliwack returns to Sooke". Sooke News Mirror, By OCTAVIAN LACATUSU March 9, 2016
  8. ^ Cashbox Jan 22, 1971
  9. ^ Ottawa Journal 4 August 4 1978 p. 47
  10. ^ Adam White & Fred Bronson (1988). The Billboard Book of Hits. Billboard Books. ISBN 0-8230-8285-7. 
  11. ^ "Wildflower hitmaker Doug Edwards, ‘one in million’ pop artist, dies at 71". Vancouver Sun, Katherine Dedyna. November 12, 2016
  12. ^ "Chilliwack rocks during Nanaimo Bathtub Weekend Launch Party". Melissa Fryer - Nanaimo News Bulletin, Jul 14, 2016
  13. ^ Peak positions for Chilliwack's albums on Canadian Albums Chart:
  14. ^ "Chilliwack - Billboard Albums". allmusic. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  15. ^ "Gold Platinum Database: Chilliwack". Canadian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 

External links[edit]