We began operation in March of 1964 in Watonga, Oklahoma. At that time the business was named Cheyenne Indian Village. We sold mostly beads and other Native American supplies in the beginning but soon began receiving calls requesting Native American music. After several close friends had voiced their producing the records. I had previously worked in electronics at the Admiral corporation so I knew that it wouldn’t take too long to learn how to operate the new equipment. With our first recording on the horizon, we changed the name of the company to Indian Records & Supplies.
I bought our first reel-to-reel recorder and traveled to Lame Deer, Montana to find a Northern Cheyenne friend of mine. He agreed to let me record his group and we made our first recording on June 22, 1968 in his living room. It took the entire night to make that first album and the sun was coming up over the mountains when we finished. The album is number 303, 12 Northern Cheyenne War Dance Songs. The man behind the music was my good friend Phillip Whiteman, who passed away in the summer of 2007. He was the help I needed to get the recordings going and since then there have been many more albums, with many talented artists.
We started with long play record albums, produced by RCA in Hollywood, CA, most of which are still available today. Then we pioneered in the short lived 8 track era, and from there to cassettes. Now all 106 of the albums produced by Indian Records, Inc. are available on CD and digital download with remastered digital sound. I have personally produced every master recording of every album and had personal relationships with all of the artists. I’ve been in their homes and ate with them in the tribal complexes. Sometimes the going was rough in 50 degrees below 0 Fahrenheit and there were many lonely miles but it was all worth it to be able to have the pleasure of meeting so many talented people. Even though many of them are gone now, their memories and traditions will live on forever in the recordings we have. I wouldn’t trade anything for the journey I was fortunate enough to take with them for the past 47 years. I have been truly blessed.