He was a Kiowa Indian guitarist born in Norman, Oklahoma. His father was an artist and painted the Native American murals on the hallways of the State Capital building.
He began playing the guitar while still young and he moved to Oklahoma City to attend Oklahoma University and pursue his career in the late 1950s. He left University before graduating and in the early 1960s toured with Conway Twitty. He travelled around before settling in California and joining up with Taj Mahal for three years.
He was much in demand as a session performer and worked with artists such as David Cassidy, Albert King, Eric Clapton, Gene Clark, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Leon Russell, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Gram Parsons, Jackson Browne, the Steve Miller Band, Leonard Cohen and John Lennon , and he was a member of the Graffiti Band which merged his music with American Indian poetry of John Trudell.
He released several solo albums that include Ululu that features Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Stan Szelest and Jim Keltner . Making concert performances he was a guest at the Concert for Bangladesh at the request of George Harrison in 1971.
He was an alcoholic and had an addiction to drugs and died in 1988 in a Venice laundry room from what is thought to have been an overdose. A documentary has been made about his life by Native American filmmakers.
Here he is performing “Tulsa County”…