Bishop Bullwinkle (Gone But Not Forgotten)

Daddy B. Nice's #14 ranked Southern Soul Artist

Portrait of Bishop Bullwinkle (Gone But Not Forgotten) by Daddy B. Nice

"Hell Naw To Da Naw Naw "

Bishop Bullwinkle (Gone But Not Forgotten)

May 1, 2024

Gone But Not Forgotten:

Daddy B. Nice recounts the blow-by-blow history of the most incendiary recording artist in 21st Century Southern Soul.

November 26, 2015: Story & Interview

Daddy B. Nice's Profile of Bishop Bullwinkle

Bishop Bullwinkle's "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw": The Early Days...

Bishop Bullwinkle is a YouTube phenomenon. He has never released a single, much less an album. His fame/notoriety as an X-rated preacher/performer was ignited by an open-air appearance singing “Hell Naw To The Naw Naw” on the Tom Joyner morning show on WDLT, Mobile, Alabama a couple of years ago. The performance was posted on YouTube, gradually gaining millions of views.

You’ll have to content yourself with listening to the many YouTube versions of the song currently online, because Bishop Bullwinkle has shown no eagerness to release a record or even an online mp3. Be aware that many YouTube versions continue to be deleted by southern soul artist Bigg Robb for copyright infringement even as new versions proliferate. Regardless of the controversy, "Hell Naw" burst on the southern soul scene like no other tune in years.

See Daddy B. Nice’s #1 Southern Soul Single of 2015: “Hell Naw To The Naw Naw” by Bishop Bullwinkle.

Daddy B. Nice's TOP 25 SOUTHERN SOUL SONGS OF 2015

1. "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" ------Bishop Bullwinkle

Once in awhile, a song comes along that makes everyone feel like they've been creating inside a "box". "Hell To The Naw Naw" was such a record.

Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle singing "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" on YouTube.

Bigg Robb removed the official Bishop Bullwinkle video for "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" from YouTube for copyright infringement, citing Bullwinkle's unauthorized use of the instrumental track from Robb's "Looking For A Country Girl."

Juke Joint Music, the Bigg Robb album from which "Looking For A Country Girl" was taken, was first published and copyrighted by Robert Smith (Robb's given name) at CD Baby upon its initial issue in 2012.

In a related matter, Bishop Bullwinkle's "Some Preachers" has been reported to steal the instrumental track from Sheba Potts-Wright's "The Real Deal". "The Real Deal" was first published and copyrighted by Ecko Records and Sheba Potts-Wright on her LET YOUR MIND GO BACK album in 2011. At the time of this news story, the YouTube video for Bullwinkle's "Some Preachers" had not yet been taken down by the victims.

Bishop Bullwinkle's "Hell Naw 2 To Da Naw Naw"--an unheard-of and explicit preaching sermon set to R&B--caused a sensation throughout the chitlin' circuit over the course of the last year, dwarfing the usual numbers for southern soul video (the genre's main exposure for singles) and giving the idiosyncratic singer/preacher instant notoriety and "headliner" status in chitlin' circuit venues. And yet, the song was never made into a record, never offered for sale.

"Hell Naw 2 To Da Naw Naw's" first chart appearance was on....

Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "BREAKING" Southern Soul Singles Preview For. . .

-------JUNE 2015---------

1. "Hell 2 Da Naw Naw"---------Bishop Bullwinkle

A one-in-a-thousand, hybrid gospel/southern soul song arising from a preacher's (or would-be preacher's) frustrations with the hypocrisy of his fellow churchgoers, "Hell To The Naw Naw's" six-plus blissful minutes go by way too quickly. Already a hit in Florida (Tampa, Orlando), the song has amassed 150,000 plays on YouTube and an astounding number of enthusiastic comments. And who wouldn't love someone named Bishop Bullwinkle?

Listen to Bishop Bull Winka singing "Hell To The Naw Naw" on YouTube.

One of the only two available YouTube versions of the song at the time was a video of a local shopping-mall appearance with Bishop Bullwinkle singing in front of a boombox for a few by turns enthusiastic and bemused onlookers and passersby. The video included J. Anthony Brown from former Dallas talk-show host Tom Joyner's morning show snatching the microphone from Bullwinkle and singing a verse of his own inspiration. (That video has also been removed by Bigg Robb.)

However, the initial online recognition for the song (your Daddy B. Nice later discovered) came in December of 2014, when the blog Southern Soul Paradise made "Hell To The Naw Naw" its "song of the day" and reported:

"This is one of those songs that is in so much demand in the south --- turn on any radio station in south central Alabama and you will hear it."

At the time, the song still hadn't made it to radio stations in Mississippi and Louisiana.

Bishop Bullwinkle made an appearance the following month as Daddy B. Nice's #3 Single for July:

3. "Some Preachers"-----Bishop Bullwinkle

I don't think you'll be hearing this follow-up to "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" on the radio. It's true underground African-American "folk" culture, undiluted and outrageously raw, and it's the reason your Daddy B. Nice got into southern soul in the first place. If you think Bishop Bullwinkle "crosses the line" with lyrics like:

"Some preachers ain't shit.
Some preachers, they need to quit...."

....There's much worse. Listen to "retired preacher" Bullwinkle's full story in the song. You'll understand his anger and passion, and you'll realize he's following in the huge footprints of Clarence Carter, Marvin Sease and Bobby Rush.

Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle singing "Some Preachers" on YouTube.


Meanwhile, the letters kept pouring in--"More Clamor For Bishop Bullwinkle"--seeking to buy the (non-existent) two singles or CD.

By August the Bishop was a full-fledged phenomenon:


From Daddy B. Nice's Corner
August 22, 2015:


Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle singing "Hell 2 Da Naw Naw" (The Official Video) on YouTube.

Read more about Bishop Bullwinkle in Daddy B. Nice's Mailbag.

And here's a glimpse of the pre-"Hell To The Naw Naw" Bishop Bullwinkle, as an X-rated preacher-slash-stand-up comedian. Videos of his pre-singing appearances are proliferating on YouTube. There is a long tradition of story-tellers in the chitlin' circuit, Willie P. Richardson, Poonanny, and Marcel among them. Bishop Bullwinkle appears to come out of that lineage--with a dose of Richard Pryor.

--Daddy B. Nice

Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle story-telling "County Jail" on YouTube.

Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle preaching "The Great Titanic" on YouTube.


Gradually, biographical details of the mesmerizing, grey-whiskered, preacher-rapper emerged. Bishop Bullwinkle is the performing name of Bernard Thomas, 68-69 years old, of either-or-both Plant City, Alabama and Tampa, Florida.


Bigg Robb, when asked by your Daddy B. Nice about Bishop Bullwinkle...

....was surprisingly sanguine and complimentary of Bishop Bullwinkle "the person".

Asked about the upcoming concert (See Daddy B. Nice's Concert Calendar) on Black Friday in Vicksburg when he and Bishop Bullwinkle would share the same venue for the first time, Robb said:

"Personally, I love Bernard Thomas aka Bishop Bullwinkle as a person. He is very witty and creative. The man is 68 years young and living his dream. That's a blessing from God."

But!... (Robb continued)

"As far as his infringement of my copyright, infringement of my master recording, infringement of my trademark, and exploitation of these things without compensating the songwriters, publisher and the record company which owns "Looking For A Country Girl," I think it's ridiculous and wrong.

"Those familiar with my catalog of music know that I have replayed and remade many songs from various songwriters. Put my own twist on them. And I've been blessed to have hits including these guys' music with my ideas, but I have always contacted the publishers and paid the royalties. As well as I normally shout out the originator of the music on the record. It's called "respect" and "following the rules".

"Please understand I am happy for the success of 'Hell 2 The Naw Naw" and look forward to performing on the same bill with Bullwinkle. I'm not mad at him for using my music. It's the biggest song in Southern Soul this year and I co-wrote it."

And when Bigg Robb says he "co-wrote" "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw," you can be sure of this. He means his name will be on the copyright if and when the song is published.



Daddy B. Nice notes: In a requested telephone interview with Daddy B. Nice that took place Saturday, December 12, 2015, Bishop Bullwinkle responded with anger and defiance to Bigg Robb's allegations of copyright infringement. The bulk of the interview was profanity-laced, and it was difficult to confirm details because of the one-sided, tirade-like nature of the exchange. Bullwinkle was sympathetic at times, but more often stressed, passionate, words tumbling out faster than he could think 'em or I could write 'em.

"Bigg Robb is a god-damned liar!" "Bigg Robb is a mother-f--g liar! Print it just like that on your website!"

This was Bullwinkle's pre-eminent theme, repeated a dozen times.

"John Ward ain't called me back. I'm waiting. He ain't done nothing. Bigg Robb told a big lie. I couldn't get a sample (from Robb). He didn't want to do it. Bigg Robb want to own the fucking song. We were going to partner. Then Robb want 70%. 'You take 30%.'

"Bigg Robb is a fucking liar. He been sampling records the whole time. Then he take "Naw Naw" off a YouTube. NBC contacted me. They wanna do a TV show on 'Naw Naw.' Bigg Robb contacted them and NBC dropped the show. NBC said it was because it sampled Marvin Gaye! And Bigg Robb was a friend of mine.

"They can all go to hell. I got a new track coming. I ain't taking that shit. Bigg Robb sent me some papers. I gave 'em to my lawyers. Let's go to court. What time we going? What's the fucking wait on? If I did something wrong, why ain't I in copyright court?

That's the real truth. If I disrespect you, take me to court. Bigg Robb needs to get his lawyer and his thick pieces of paper and talk to my lawyer. That's the truth."

--Daddy B. Nice - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

DBN Update 10/16/21 This paragraph was originally posted on Daddy B. Nice's Corner.

October 15, 2021: Around Southern Soul Nation....


Your Daddy B. Nice talked with Bigg Robb about the Bishop Bullwinkle situation. In this month's Top 100 Countdown New Generation chart featuring Bishop Bullwinkle at #13, I appeal to Bigg Robb to let stand a YouTube page I found featuring the original "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" with the Bigg Robb instrumental track still intact. After the copyright infringement crisis, most of the original pages were taken down, subsequently replaced by Bishop Bullwinkle With Da Bicycle, which currently has 65 million page views in spite of a much inferior instrumental track. I was expecting Robb to toe a hard line on the issue, but he graciously accepted my reasoning that with Bullwinkle gone it could only benefit southern soul and posterity to leave the original page online. You can read about it and listen to the overlooked video at Bishop Bullwinkle, New Generation.
(Read down...) - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

See the chart.

September 20, 2021: Daddy B. Nice's Profile

Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle singing "Hell 2 Da Naw Naw" on YouTube.

A month ago, if anyone had asked me if I had ever interviewed the late Bishop Bullwinkle (aka Bernard Thomas of Plant City, Florida), I would have said, "Hell Naw!" And I would have been wrong. Yes, it's true that I once turned down a phone call from Bishop Bullwinkle. In the midst of the furor over Bullwinkle's appropriation of the instrumental track from Bigg Robb's "Looking For A Country Girl," I wanted no part of listening to a one-sided tirade from the Bishop on how he was being unfairly treated.

But when I began researching my own exhaustive account of Bishop Bullwinkle in the DBN 21st Century Artist Guide to Bishop Bullinkle, I had to stand corrected. I discovered I had interviewed Bishop Bullwinkle, and it was just as I had anticipated, a one-sided, obscenity-laced tirade. The interview, along with everything else you ever wanted to know about Bishop Bullwinkle, is contained in that previous artist guide, and what I have done in this new profile of the late Bishop Bullwinkle is to summarize all the salient sections of that guide under titles and topics with hyper-links that will take the reader instantly to the exact point in the page of that sprawling document. (Below in the "About Artist"section.)

Meanwhile, in the interests of keeping it real (to which Bishop Bullwinkle would undoubtedly agree) I want to say Bullwinkle was not an especially nice guy. Driven, yes. Obsessed, yes. Inspired, oh yeah. Funny...hell yaw! A hint of malice....well, maybe. In other words, he was a human being like the rest of us, composed of strengths and flaws---in his case, oversized strengths and flaws.

Now you may ask...Well...Why is Bishop Bullwinkle relevant to the New Generation? After all, Bullwinkle was in his late sixties when he recorded "Hell 2 Da Naw Naw," and he passed away five years later (2019). Here, in a nutshell, is why.

The New Generation charts the most significant contributors to southern soul music in the period 2010-2030. If you could fly your own spacecraft up into the stratosphere and look down at the landscape of southern soul in this period, two peaks would stand out, Pokey Bear's "My Sidepiece" and Bishop Bullwinkle's "Hell Naw 2 Da Naw Naw". The primary YouTube pages of these two tunes each total some sixty million views, and along with other YouTube videos of each song---some still online, some taken down---the grand total for each is somewhere in the territory of a hundred million-plus views. These are staggering numbers for a southern soul recording, and as such they constitute the best evidence yet that southern soul music is 1/ growing in popularity and 2/ a harbinger of things to come in popular music. "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" has become a part of the culture, and a common phrase that pops up in random conversation in every stratum of society, even if the source may be forgotten. Southern Soul has to take possession of that and celebrate that, which is what we are doing.

Bullwinkle brought a bracing whiff of reality to southern soul. He brought emotion---and even anger---to the genre. "Hell Naw" wasn't just another song in the southern soul tradition, with historical or latest-trend-type antecedents, themes or formulas. "Hell Naw" was completely outside the box. No one had ever heard anything like it.

When the song begins, what hits you first (if you can remember or re-imagine the first time you heard it) is the age in the singer's voice. This guy is old. The only other southern soul recording artist who evokes a similar reaction is R.T. ("It's A Mule") Taylor, the aged and marvelous but much less well-known singer brought to the recording studio by Jeter Jones and Ronald "Slack" Jefferson. By the time you're adjusting to the novelty of an old person (Bullwinkle) navigating the lead vocal, the rhythm track is thumping along and suddenly you realize...This old guy's rapping! And he is good! His lyrics are nothing less than astounding.

The Bigg Robb instrumental track responsible for the copyright controversy was never foremost in the success of "Hell 2 Da Naw Naw"; it was the passionate vocal and the unique content: the fiery sermon from the "Church Of Nothing But Da Truth". The song painted a slice of life that was woefully under-represented in popular culture: the inner workings of a small black church in the South, narrated by a rude and undiplomatic firebrand unconcerned with any societal repercussions or niceties.

If you've been patient enough to read this far, you're probably a Bishop Bullwinkle "Hell To The Naw Naw" fan in some degree, and for you I have a special treat: the original YouTube version of "Hell 2 Da Naw Naw". Mind you, "Hell 2 Da Naw Naw" was never released as a record, at least not in its heyday of 2014-16. It was a YouTube phenomenon, appreciated on a handful of YouTube pages, most of which were taken down for copyright infringement. But there is one that has been overlooked. It's still posted in a dusty corner of the the YouTube universe, overlooked by (among others) the sixty-four million people who have viewed Bishop Bullwinkle Hell To Da Naw, Naw, Naw With Da Bicycle with so much appreciation.

And yet, there is a profound difference between the original "Hell Naw 2 Da Naw Naw" and the remake (Bullwinkle with the bicycle). For example, one of the most blisteringly memorable of the original's stanzas went like this:

"I got kids dropping out of school,
Talking about they don't need to learn.
They standing on the corner rolling blunts,
Talking about, "Come on, let's burn."
They walking up and down the street,
Got their pants hanging down to their knees.
Talking about they looking for a job,
When I see them I say, "Nigga please!"

There is no "N-word" in the Bullwinkle On The Bicyle version, just a meek "please," and it is a significant omission. The song's edginess and impact, its familiarity with the "streets," even its rhythmic flow, is hindered and diluted.

But that's only the most egregious example. Then there's the replacement musical background for the infringed-upon Bigg Robb instrumental track from "Looking For A Country Girl". Although Bigg Robb's instrumental track was never the prime element in the success of "Hell To The Naw Naw," in retrospect it was far crisper than the soupy remix concocted for Bullwinkle on Da Bicycle.

Finally, I've listened to both versions countless times trying to decipher what makes Bullwinkle's vocal on the original so much more powerful than the vocal on the remake. In truth the two vocals are similar, and tens of millions of viewers and buyers of the belated mp3 have never known anything but the remake. Still, the original with the Bigg Robb instrumental track packs a ferocity, energy and intensity that the remake can't match. If the remake is almost identical, the ultimate difference may be the duration. The Bullwinkle On Da Bicycle version clocks in at four minutes, fifty seconds. The original version clocks in at six and a half minutes. Maybe lopping off more than a minute and a half of lyrical content accounts for the disparity.

So why, you may ask, is your Daddy B. Nice still procrastinating about posting the link? Can it be because I'm dreading what will happen if I do? Namely, if I post a link to the video, it most assuredly will be taken down for copyright infringement, resulting in the one and only existing remnant of the true---the original---"Hell 2 Da Naw Naw" becoming lost forever. And when fans in the future write me, pleading with me to send them a copy of the original "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" in the same way fans of Lady J write me a half-dozen times a year begging for copies of "Same Old Bullshit," I will have to say no to them too: that it's out of print, taken down from YouTube and I can't disseminate it.

So I make a public appeal in advance to Bigg Robb to let this last-surviving, historical relic of "Hell Naw" stand. And I say to Bigg Robb...You know I was with you through the copyright imbroglio. I was with you then but this is now. Bishop Bullwinkle is gone and cannot benefit. This is a YouTube video, not a retail single. You know it can't do you any harm. Just the opposite. Attention will actually accrue to you as insiders learn your part in the evolution of this song and cultural phenomenon. Permit the video to stand. Let me memorialize this YouTube video by making it the official YouTube link from my site. Given the overwhelming search engine dominance of the "Bullwinkle With Da Bicycle" page, the only likely visitors to this forgotten YouTube page will be viewers funneled through the Daddy B. Nice Bishop Bullwinkle artist guide, meaning educated and serious fans eager to experience the real thing and learn Bigg Robb's part in it.

Okay. One last caveat for the readers. I've been using the term "original" loosely. There was at least one previously-posted YouTube video of "Hell To Da Naw Naw"---the true "original"---filmed under a tent in a Mobile, Alabama outdoor shopping mall (although the details are getting a little fuzzy) with a boombox as part of a WDLT-Mobile radio promotion. In fact, the WDLT video is what started the whole thing. It's what motivated Bullwinkle to put a fuller version on YouTube (the original posted at the end of this paragraph). It's how Bullwinkle got into copyright trouble in the first place. He thought he was just playing an instrumental track on a boombox while he rapped and sermonized for a few onlookers, never imagining the song would morph into the cause célèbre it became and catapult him into the nasty thickets of the music business. Reminds me of a guy who worked for me for forty years, with whom I had a "falling out" because what he called "borrowing" was what I called "stealing".

Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle singing the original version of "Hell Naw To the Naw Naw" on YouTube.

To automatically link to Bishop Bullwinkle's charted radio singles, awards, CD's and other citations on the website, go to Bishop Bullwinkle in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.

Note: Bishop Bullwinkle also appears on Daddy B. Nice's Top 100 21st Century Southern Soul Countdown (2000-2020).

--Daddy B. Nice

About Bishop Bullwinkle (Gone But Not Forgotten)

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Bishop Bullwinkle and "Hell 2 Da Naw Naw," with links to the previous Daddy B. Nice Artist Guide where they are discussed. Click the desired links.

Bishop Bullwinkle: Gone But Not Forgotten (September 1, 2019: A Belated Obituary)

Bishop Bullwinkle's "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw": The Early Days...

Bigg Robb, when asked by your Daddy B. Nice about Bishop Bullwinkle...

In an interview with Daddy B Nice Bishop Bullwinkle Responds to Copyright Infringement Accusations With Anger And Defiance…

Daddy B. Nice on Plagiarism, Copyright Law, Copyright Infringement, Bigg Robb & Bishop Bullwinkle

Best Mid-Tempo Song 2017: "I Can't Be Faithful" by Pokey Bear & Bishop Bullwinkle

.Bishop Bullwinkle's New "No Woman, No Cry" Single

New Album Alert! The Davinci Code (Bullwinkle’s One & Only Album) - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

Honorary "B" Side

"I Can't Be Faithful (w/ Pokey Bear)"

5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Hell Naw To Da Naw Naw  by  Bishop Bullwinkle (Gone But Not Forgotten)
Hell Naw To Da Naw Naw

CD: Hell To Da Naw Naw Naw - Single

Sample or Buy
Hell To Da Naw Naw (The Single)

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Sample or Buy I Can't Be Faithful (w/ Pokey Bear) by  Bishop Bullwinkle (Gone But Not Forgotten)
I Can't Be Faithful (w/ Pokey Bear)

CD: Bear Season
Label: Ross Music Group

Sample or Buy
Bear Season (Pokey Bear)

5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Beast Of Burden by  Bishop Bullwinkle (Gone But Not Forgotten)
Beast Of Burden

CD: The Davinci Code
Label: Music Access

Sample or Buy
The Da Vinci Code

5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy No Woman, No Cry by  Bishop Bullwinkle (Gone But Not Forgotten)
No Woman, No Cry

CD: The Davinci Code
Label: Music Access

Sample or Buy
The Da Vinci Code

4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Do You Hear Me Now by  Bishop Bullwinkle (Gone But Not Forgotten)
Do You Hear Me Now

CD: The Davinci Code
Label: Music Access

Sample or Buy
The Da Vinci Code

4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Pouring Water by  Bishop Bullwinkle (Gone But Not Forgotten)
Pouring Water

CD: The Davinci Code
Label: Music Access

Sample or Buy
The Da Vinci Code

4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Some Preachers by  Bishop Bullwinkle (Gone But Not Forgotten)
Some Preachers

CD: The Davinci Code
Label: Music Access

Sample or Buy
The Da Vinci Code

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