Denver Indian Singers

Canyon Records C-6096

Canyon Records
Singers: Don Malnourie, Keith Fox, Kenneth Little, Conrad Little, John Black Bear

Such are the Denver Indian Singers . . . workers by day in the city, but helping to preserve traditional Indian singing in their own time. They are an exceptional blend of voices, and come from families of singers.

Five of the Denver Indian Singers are on this record. Don Malnourie and Keith Fox are of the Arikara Tribe of North Dakota, and came to Denver from their northern homes. Their fathers have sung for many years with the White Shield Singers – a group famous at pow-wows throughout Northern Plains States and across Southern Canada. Kenneth Little and Conrad Little are brothers; they are Sioux, originally form Fort Yates, North Dakota. John Black Bear is also Sioux. He is from Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and son of Oliver Red Cloud, another famous singer.

This group is, of course, known to all the Indian people of the Denver area. They are equally known to dancers at the more important Indian celebrations in other states. They have sung at Eagle Butte and Rosebud in South Dakota; at Lame Deer, Montana; at Clinton, Oklahoma; at Red Lake, Minnesota. In New Mexico they took top honors at a celebration where some of the best Indian singers in the nation were also appearing.

They are a young group, with fresh, strong voices – trained in the old tradtion, but singing with the verve and style of today's urban Indian.

On this album they offer a collection of Pow-wow type songs. The song for the Vietnam Veterans was composed by Ralph Wells, Jr., a leading White Shield singer, now passed on. The Denver Indian Singers honor his memory by including it on the record. The Trick Song, last selection Side 2, is used in dance contests. Its sudden rhythm changes and abrupt cut-off (done with the singers' voices, not mechanically) are designed to keep the dancers on the alert, to prove their skilled footwork and controlled flexibility.

Play song


Performed by


Native Words



Grass Dance Song 1 Sioux
Grass Dance Song 2 Sioux
Grass Dance Song 3 Sioux
Slow Grass Dance Sioux
Arikara War Dance Song 1 Sioux
Arikara War Dance Song 2 Sioux
Song For Vietnam Veterans (Ralph Wells Jr.) Sioux
Round Dance 1 Sioux
Round Dance 2 Sioux
Grass Dance 1 Sioux
Grass Dance 2 Sioux
Fast Grass Dance Sioux
Contest Or Trick Song Sioux