Big Chief Theodore Emile “Bo” Dollis was born in New Orleans. As a child he followed a tribe known as the White Eagles, and he began masking as a Mardi Gras Indian around 1960; as a member of the Golden Arrows. In 1964 Dollis became Big chief of the Wild Magnolias. In 1970, the Wild Magnolias recorded a single entitled Handa Wanda for the Crescent City label, with Jazz Fest ipresario, Quint Davis producing; nearly 30 years later, Handa Wanda remains a local favorite and a perennial Mardi Gras Classic.
The Wild Magnolis’ international reputation was enhanced with two mid-70’s albums, The Wild Magnolias (featuring the hit Smoke my Peace Pipe which the group recorded a different version for Life Is A Carnival) and They Call Us Wild which combined with the tribe’s deep folkloric roots with New Orleans funk. Subsequent appearances on Rounder Records in the early ‘90s underscored The Wild Magnolias’ continuing iportance in New Orleans’ cultural scene, as does their Metro Blue/Capital Records debut, Life Is A Carnival.