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PODCAST: Bill Henderson of Supergroup Chilliwack

TODAY IN B.C.: Member of the Order of Canada is a singer, songwriter and music producer

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‘Today in BC’, host Peter McCully chats with Bill Henderson, best known for being the founder of the popular rock band Chilliwack.

In the 1960’s, Henderson helped formed the psychedelic rock band The Collectors, which went on to release three albums before disbanding in 1970. Henderson then went on to form Chilliwack, which became one of the most successful Canadian rock bands of the 1970s and 1980s, with hits such as ‘My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)’ and ‘Whatcha Gonna Do (When I’m Gone)’.

Throughout his career, Henderson has continued to perform and record music both as a solo artist and with Chilliwack, as well as being a member of UHF, with Shari Ulrich and Roy Forbes. The trio recorded two albums.

Henderson has also been an advocate for Canadian music and served as the President of the Canadian Independent Record Production Association (CIRPA) and has served as a director of the Canadian Association of Recording Arts and Sciences. (CARAS)

‘I was concerned about the industry, the way that I felt it manipulated artists and their careers. I was mystified by some of the attitudes I met around the boardroom tables’, said Henderson. ‘I got an opportunity and the first one was CARAS. Someone asked if I would like to do it and I thought about it and I came back with what is it you want me to do? They said we’d like you to represent the artist’s viewpoint. I think I caused them a little more trouble than they were hoping to, because I pushed for some things that were, in my opinion, from the artist’s viewpoint’.

In 1989, Henderson had new gig, musical director for the Canadian edition of Sesame Street.

Henderson’s two daughters are also singers. Camille Henderson was a member in the early 1990s of the pop trio West End Girls. Saffron Henderson is a singer and voice actress.

In 2019, Chilliwack was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame by Henderson’s good friend Randy Bachman.

‘The Hall of Fame said to me on the phone, this is not for you. This is for Chilliwack. It made me think, wow, how many guys have been in the band? I worked it all out to 26. So, I thanked every one of them in my speech’, says Henderson.

‘I also told them what the word Chilliwack means - as far as your canoe can go. I said, here we are. Our canoe still floats’!

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Peter McCully

About the Author: Peter McCully

Peter has been a broadcaster and publisher on both of Canada’s coasts and has owned a small newspaper and run an advertising agency along the way.
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