Bill Jenkins and the
 Virginia Mountain Boys
    TRADITIONAL MOUNTAIN MUSIC, EARLY BLUEGRASS, AND 
CAMP MEETING SONGS THE WAY THEY WERE MEANT TO BE PLAYED
 
 
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L to R: Robert Cottingham (Mandolin), Ken Worrell (Guitar/Vocalist), Clyde Bailey
(Banjo/Vocalist), Bill Jenkins (Guitar/Vocalist), Joe Gilley (Guitar), Bill Collier (Bass)
                                    [Bill Collier has since retired and Joe Gilley is now on Bass]

                     


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WHAT AN OUTSTANDING TWO YEARS IT HAS BEEN !!!!



March 2014:










August 2014:  









February 2015:








April 2015:







May 2015:
Bill Jenkins and the Band were invited 
to play a 50th Anniversary Show at the
National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Only one other person has ever had a 50th 
Show.....his name was Jack Benny.





Bill Jenkins was inducted into the 

   Virginia Musical Museum 
           
           Hall of Fame
 
 
 
 

The Governor of Virginia honored Bill by
issuing a proclamation in his honor and the
House and Senate of Virginia passed a Joint
Resolution in his honor for promoting 
traditional Virginia music.



WAVY TV 10 also honored Bill by making 
him the "I AM HAMPTON ROADS" person
of the week.  His TV interview was aired on 
April 2nd.  Click the TV link to watch.



Bill has released a new album called "COUSINS" which is now playing on PANDORA RADIO.  He 
found some old recordings he did with his cousin 
Ben Borden III in 2004. For some of the best cross picking harmony you have ever heard, click 
on the ALBUMS box and choose the "COUSINS" album. You can listen to all the 11 songs in full for FREE, and download them individually for only $.90 
each or the entire album for $8.00. 
 
(Several other albums are also available for listening
      and download. Links are on the same page.)
 
I am sending you to BANDCAMP because you can listen to all the entire songs for free and they charge                      less for the downloads.  

The albums are also available on iTunes, Amazon                    Music, Google Play, Spotify, etc.
 




   


 
 


TV LINK
 
 
 
 
 

LISTEN FREE
 
ALBUMS
 
 
 
 
 
                                                    
 
  Sorry everyone could not attend the National Press Club show. 
                   
      
                Click the YOUTUBEVIDEO box to view sample videos of:        
 
         
      The National Press Club Show,

                                                           The American Theatre Show, and               YOUTUBEVIDEOS

        First Night Williamsburg Show
        



   
Bill Jenkins' First Guitar
 


 Bill With Russell   and Robert
Cottingham, Early 60's


Bill at the National Press Club 1964
 
 
Bill at the National Press Club 2014




The Coveted Blue Coffee Cup
 
 
Bill With His Guitar at the Virginia Musical Museum
 

    Bill's Guitar



Bill with Senator Tommy Norment  Receiving Joint 
     Resolution
 
 
 
 
 

After a musical career spanning over 57 years, Bill Jenkins is now the latest member of the Virginia Musical Museum Hall of Fame. His old Martin D45 guitar is in a case next to Ralph Stanley's banjo. Other distinguished members of the Hall of Fame include: Wayne Newton, Roy Clark, Kate Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, Patsy Cline, the Statler Brothers, Pearl Bailey, the Carter Family, and a few others. In recognition of his induction into the Hall of Fame and for his long time commitment to preserving this historic music, the Governor of Virginia issued an official Proclamation and the House of Delegates and the Senate passed a Joint Resolution in his honor.
 

On March 28, 2014 Bill performed for a second time at the National Press Club. In 1964, three young teenager, Bill Jenkins and the two Cottingham brothers, Robert and Russell, were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play there. During the weekends, the young men were playing "Hootenannies" in the D.C. area when their talent was noticed by the Washington correspondent for the Richmond Times Dispatch.  He was greatly impressed by their musical ability and that they were playing "traditional" mountain music at such an early age. He arranged for the three young men to put on a one-hour evening show. Fifty years later, Bill Jenkins and the Virginia Mountain Boys, and Robert Cottingham, were invited to perform a special 50th Anniversary Show. It was a historic event in that only one other person in the long history of the Club had ever had a 50th Show, his name was Jack Benny.


As a youngster, Bill appeared on the Dominion Barn Dance in Richmond. Later he performed with the Virginia Gentlemen and with Red Allen and the Kentuckians.  Bill has performed on the White House lawn and was featured on a nationally syndicated Smithsonian Institute program   promoting traditional music. Jenkins founded The Virginia Mountain Boys in 1971 and they have been performing together ever since.

 
Jenkins was born and raised in the Tidewater area of Virginia into a family with a long musical history.  Bill has three cousins who were musicians and a great uncle who was a noted old-time auto harpist. Bill's earliest musical influence was with the extended family singing at his aunt's home.  As he later recalled, "We were very poor and did not have a car, or a phone, or money for entertainment.  Many nights we would just sit around and sing a lot of old songs that had been handed down through the years.  Many of these songs such as  'In the Pines', 'Little Bessie', 'Wayfaring Stranger', 'Man of Constant Sorrow' and others I use in my shows today."  He also noted that he  was strongly influenced by the old time blues singers and the black workers he labored alongside on the family farm. "While working they would sing the old slave songs and hymns.  Some of the songs like  'Climbing Jacob's Ladder', 'Old Daniel Prayed', 'Sister Mary', and others,I also use in today's shows. That 'lonesome' sound has always been a large part of my musical influence."


Jenkins has collected countless numbers of these old songs over his 56 years. His band can sing over 500 songs from memory. With such an extensive repertoire, every show can be different depending on the location, audience, occasion, and Jenkins' "frame of mind".  As one of the best cross picking guitarist in the country, Bill is backed up by Ken Worrell, singer and guitarist; Joe Gilley on the bass; and Robert Cottingham on the mandolin.  The world class five string banjo player, Clyde Bailey, contributes 'breakdowns" and sings baritone.


Jenkins and the Virginia Mountain Boys bring to life this authentic music of the Southern Appalachians.  This old time music is a reflection of the lives of the early immigrants and their descendents who eked out a meager living in the hills and hollows of these majestic mountains. Entertainment options were few and thus self made music became the norm. This mountain music, heavily influenced by Scots-Irish and African rhythms, later gave birth to early Bluegrass and to many early country songs of which some are also included in the shows. The group performs universally loved, but seldom heard music that brings forth a gamut of emotions.  Each song is performed as originally written or as handed down through the ages.  Thus, these ballads are undiluted and raw like the emotions they bring forth.


The sound of the group differs from most contemporary Bluegrass bands in that it has an older, starker, and rawer sound.  Jenkins and Worrell use their voices as instruments as much as their guitars. The ability to swap back and forth from lead to harmony several times during the same song is part of their genius, which has been honed in over 40 years of practice and performance. Moreover, a short history lesson and an explanation about each song is an important part of each show.


Audience reactions during their shows are almost always the same regardless of the venue. Following two hours of hand clapping, toe tapping, singing along, and wiping away tears, the audience always gives a standing ovation and is rewarded with an encore, sometimes two. Afterwards, Bill and the band "hang around", shake hands, sign autographs,  and accept the well deserved kudos for a truly special event. The rapport is genuine both ways and they have developed a large group of loyal followers, including some who travel a great distance to hear them play.  As one longtime fan recently commented....."Their performance is not just another show, it is an experience that I would never miss.


 
So come and hear Bill and his "Boys" at their next concert and help them keep this traditional music aliveWe guarantee that you will want to clap your hands, tap your feet, sing along, and occasionally wipe a tear.
 
 

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The Virginia Mountain Boys is a registered name solely owned by Bill Jenkins since 1971