Bishop Bullwinkle


Bishop Bullwinkle
Birth nameBernard Thomas
Born(1948-08-22)August 22, 1948
Tampa, Florida, U.S.
DiedJune 16, 2019(2019-06-16) (aged 70)
Plant City, Florida, U.S.
GenresSoul/Gospel
Occupation(s)Musician

Bernard Thomas (August 22, 1948 – June 16, 2019), better known as Bishop Bullwinkle, was an American singer/comedian best known for appearing in the viral YouTube video "Hell to the Naw Naw".

Background

Bishop Bullwinkle's real name was Bernard Thomas. The Bullwinkle part of his name came from a childhood nickname; while in school, a classmate of his wrote on the bulletin board, "Bernard Thomas is funny like Bullwinkle the moose".[1] He was based in Florida.[2] He had mixed reactions to his style and song content, drawing both praise and condemnation.[3]

Career

"Hell to the Naw Naw"

In the video which is shot outdoors, Thomas is seen in a white suit, wearing sunglasses and a white hat. The props used are a podium with a monkey and fire extinguisher resting on it. By July 22, 2015, the video went viral and got over 200,000 views with over 4,000 likes.[4] As of January 17, 2019, a video of the song attracted over 32 million views and 236,000 likes.[5] Another video has attracted almost 37 million views and over 275,000 likes.[6] The song was even played on NBC.[7]

A video of an 86-year-old grandmother dancing to the song went viral in a very short time. Beverly Jenkins uploaded the video of her grandmother Claudia Haggerty dancing to the song. By September 4, 2015, it had attracted 3 million views since it was posted. It was shared over 100,000 times on Facebook.[8]

Bullwinkle attracted mixed reactions for his video and song, which is about the hypocrisy of some preachers and parishioners.[9]

Appearances

Along with Clarence Carter, Sir Charles Jones, Theodis Ealey, and Denise LaSalle, he was scheduled to appear at the 13th Annual Chi-Town Blues Festival at Merrillville's Star Plaza Theatre on March 4, 2017.[10] On March 11, he was scheduled to appear at the 11th Annual Motor City Blues Festival, an event which included Sir Charles Jones, Willie Clayton, Bigg Robb, Shirley Brown, and TK Soul.[11] In June 2017, he was booked to appear at the Southern Soul and Blues Lovers Festival in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.[12] He was booked to appear at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on September 9, 2017, but it was rescheduled for Friday, November 10, 2017.[13][14]

Death

Thomas died on June 16, 2019 from complications of a heart attack. His family confirmed his death. He was seventy years old. The funeral was scheduled for the following Saturday, June 22, 2019.[15]

Discography

Compilation albums

TitleAlbum details
The Da Vinci Code
  • Released: August 16, 2019
  • Label: Music Access
  • Formats: Digital download, streaming

Singles

As lead artist

TitleYearAlbum
"Some Preachers"2015The Da Vinci Code
"Pouring Water On a Drowning Man"
(featuring Sir Jonathan Burton)
2019
"No Woman, No Cry"
"Is It Real"

As featured artist

TitleYearAlbum
"I Can't Be Faithful"
(Pokey Bear featuring Bishop Bullwinkle)
2017Bear Season

References

  1. ^ Plant City Observer, Friday, Oct 2, 2015 - News, P.C. man enjoys fame from viral music video by: Justin Kline - CHECK IT OUT
  2. ^ Know Your Meme - Hell to the Naw Naw, About
  3. ^ Chicago Reader, February 23, 2017 - Both revered and condemned for his brazen humor, Bishop Bullwinkle is a meme-ready bluesman David Whiteis
  4. ^ Pulse Nigeria, 07.08.2015 - Hell 2 Da Naw Naw, Pastor's music sermon goes viral on YouTube (VIDEO) Oge Okonkwo
  5. ^ YouTube - Bishop Bullwinkle Hell To Da Naw,Naw,Naw With Da Bicycle
  6. ^ YouTube - Official Bronshay: Bishop Bullwinkel - Hell to the naw naw
  7. ^ YouTube - JD Entertainment: Bishop Bullwinkle's Song HELL TO THE NAW!Being Played on NBC
  8. ^ The Huffington Post, 04/09/2015 - POST 50, Dancing Texas Granny Becomes Unlikely Internet Sensation By Yagana Shah
  9. ^ Chicago Reader, February 23, 2017 - Both revered and condemned for his brazen humor, Bishop Bullwinkle is a meme-ready bluesman David Whiteis
  10. ^ Chicago Tribune, February 24, 2017 - Clarence Carter, of 'Patches' fame; Chicago's Willie Clayton headline blues fest By Bob Kostanczuk
  11. ^ Hour Detroit, 9 Mar. 2017 - 10 Things To Do As Daylight Savings Begins - By Anjelica Dudek
  12. ^ Birmingham Times, June 29, 2017 - People, Places and Things by Gwen DeRu , Saturday
  13. ^ The Florida Times-Union, Sep 21, 2017 - Entertainment, Ticket Tracker: Clutch, Squirrel Nut Zippers, POSTPONED
  14. ^ The Florida Times-Union, Sep 28, 2017 - Entertainment, Ticket Tracker: Lynne-Moorer, Jackson Browne, Johnny Mathis announce shows, TICKETS AVAILABLE
  15. ^ Bay News 9, June 17, 2019 - Tampa Area Viral Musician Known for “Hell to the Naw Naw” Dies at 70 By Saundra Weathers