Several Canadian musicians formed the C-FUN Classics band in Vancouver in the mid-sixties. Bill Henderson joined the group 1967 and the band changed their name to the Collectors. The group began recording singles that were moderately successful in Canada. Two of the original members left the group in 1970 and the group changed its name to Chilliwack.
By 1981, the group’s lineup was only a trio: Bill on guitar and lead vocals, Ab Bryant on bass, and Brian MacLeod on guitar, keyboards, drums, and backing vocals.
The group finally broke through in the US in 1981 with the release of My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone). It’s nearly impossible to forget the chant of “Gone, Gone, Gone, She’s been gone too long.” Bill and Brian co-wrote the single. The record was their last top ten record in Canada and also reached #22 on the US Hot 100. Cable TV launched MTV in 1981 and when the channel played Chilliwack’s video for the song, it helped the record also reach #16 on the Mainstream Rock chart.
The band’s next single in 1982 was I Believe. The ballad did fairly well in Canada, reaching #13, but stalled at #33 on the US Hot 100 and missed the Mainstream Rock chart completely.
Later that year, the group released the rock song Whatcha Gonna Do (When I’m Gone). The single reached #17 in Canada but had exactly the opposite results of their previous single in the US: the single only reached #41 on the Hot 100 but made it up to #29 on the Mainstream Rock chart. After that, their top forty charting days were over.
The group continued recording albums through 1984 but soon after found themselves without a recording contract. They continued to tour and play in smaller settings until the group disbanded at the end of 1988.
A few reunion appearances came during the next half-dozen years. In 2003 the reunited band recorded a live album and in 2015 the band created a new music video for the song, Take Back The Land. Bill Henderson heads the current Chilliwack band for public appearances.
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