Friday, January 5, 2018

D. Chief Eagle's Winter Count

When you think of music originating from Pueblo, Colorado, Native American operas don't usually come to mind. So imagine my surprise when I noticed a Pueblo address on the back of Chief Eagle's Wintercount LP.

According to the back of the album, Chief Eagle was born in 1925, in South Dakota. He was orphaned as a child, and raised by the elders of his Rosebud Sioux tribe. How he ended up in Pueblo took some digging.

I quickly discovered that Chief Eagle is actually one Dallas Jerome Bordeaux. He moved to Pueblo after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. In a 1955 feature story in The Pueblo Chieftain, Bordeaux was described as a "former professional boxer who lost only three of 25 professional fights." He worked at CF&I and was also a cake decorator, and author, penning the book Winter Count - chronicling the Sioux version that General Custer committed suicide at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, in 1876. Bordeaux also was a native dancer who organized powwows in Pueblo and at the Colorado State Fair. He appeared in the movie, "A Man Called Horse." Bordeaux died July 22, 1980, following a heart attack, at the age of 54. 

As for the album? No year on the recording, but I can only guess that it came out shortly after his book was published (1967). 

The vinyl features both male and female vocalists - Mary Therese Karlinger and C.W. Ruetten. Ruetten served as a priest, at Holy Family Parish.  Mary Therese Karlinger was born in 1949, in Nebraska. She began singing in pre-school, and appeared on the Slovenian Radio Hour and sang with the Abbey Glee Club, in Canon City. According to an Internet search, she was also the winner of the "Stars of Tomorrow" talent show. 

 "Going Home" as performed by Mary Therese Karlinger
D. Chief Eagle's Winter Count 
Twy-Mar Studios 2239

Background music is credited to R. Corty (who was a teacher at Corwin Jr. High School), Gary Stout, and Chief Eagle.

Twy-Mar Studios is listed as a P.O. box in Pueblo, on the back of the album. Another search finds that it was owned by Don and Twyla Martin - the same Twyla Martin who was also part of the Twy Mar Trio, which also included Earl Brewster and Bob Gifford. The group recorded one single, "Listen to Your Heart" (Twy Mar 2251)


  1. I have 1 of these never opened and one that has been opened!

  2. Replies
    1. Any relation to Rhonda Bordeaux or Dallas Bordeaux Jr.?

    2. I hope and pray you are one of his children as this man made quite an impression on me, since I was a child and met him. We were in Colorado Springs at the time. My whole family had gone on a family vacation and I must’ve been there right after his book was published because your father was such a determined advocate for the Native American people. I researched it and spend my life remembering a lot of what he said in “Winter Count”.

      Your father was a great man, who believed in not only his people but himself. To this day, I remain an advocate for those who are Native American, even though I have a slight bit of Cherokee, myself, and I hold my head up a lot taller when I speak about my Indian blood! I purchased his book back then, and read it, and I don’t believe that your father wrote a “Sioux”version of how Custer died! Custer was an idiot! Had he lived in our day? He had been prosecuted to the highest degree! Native Americans have always, and still do get the short end of the stick.

      When I was a child after meeting your father on my bicycle, I put a tiny little license plate that said “Custer was a Coward!” lol but very true. Now in my 60s, I think God for your dad and since I just re-found the original copy, I have a Facebook I will be reading it one more time to refresh my memory. I am sorry you lost him so young. The world lost a great man.

  3. If this is helpful- my parents were Don and Twyla Martin who built the recording studio for Productions of the Twy-Mar trio in our basement in Pueblo. As a child, I was
    blessed to have Friday Night jam sessions as part of my childhood. You are correct on the release date of the album. However, the first recording of the Winter Count vinyl was performed by the Twy-Mar Trio, with my mom doing vocals and Dallas providing percussion and that amazing war whoop. That certainly had the neighbors
    Asking questions! Bob Cortey played strings and Earl Brewster (Curley) played the organ. My dad ran the recording equipment and Harry Eugene Hopkins acted as a technical advisor (and cheerleader!). Even my sister and I were part of the first recording, chiming in with each “look, look, see the warrior return”. There were some technical issues with the first recording and then Mary Therese and the Father were brought in for the vocals, providing a beautiful rendition. The studio went on to make several recordings before closing. These included “listen to your heart”. ( not the same as Roxanne) and the flip side “I’ll walk my way alone”, both written by Twyla Martin. MaryTherese was in theater for several years after that, I believe. Other than that, the rest of the TwyMar trio has passed
    away, Twyla being the last in 2023. But even now, I will find myself singing “going home”. Or “Evensigh” as I go about my daily stuff. What an amazing legacy for so many people. If you have any questions, I can be reached at Thank you for showcasing this work of art!

  4. I grew up across the street from the family in Pueblo. I never knew what became of the family, however many years ago Dallas Jr and his wife visited my parents who were still living at the same house on Hyacinth Street.