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Big Chief Bo Dollis performed with the Wild Magnolias at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • Big Chief Bo Dollis performed with the Wild Magnolias at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

WWL-TV reports that Theodore "Bo" Dollis has died. The longtime Big Chief of the Wild Magnolias was 70.

Dollis masked as a Mardi Gras Indian for more than five decades, and is best known to many for his signature vocals on Wild Magnolias songs including "Handa Wanda" and "New Suit."

The song  "Smoke My Peace Pipe (Smoke It Right)," climbed onto the Billboard singles chart and the Wild Magnolias' recorded music spread Mardi Gras Indian sounds to wide audiences beginning with two mid-1970s albums, The Wild Magnolias and They Call Us Wild.

Dollis received the Lifetime Achievement Award last year from the Gambit-affiliated Foundation for Entertainment, Development and Education's Big Easy Music Awards. His health precluded his attendance, and the award was accepted by his son, Bo Dollis Jr. In recent years, Bo Dollis Jr. has led the Wild Magnolias on stage while Dollis Sr. led the band on some of his hits. 





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