Picture taken at the National Press Club 2014 

           Robert Cottingham[Guest] (Mandolin), Ken Worrell (Guitar/Vocalist), Clyde                          Bailey (Banjo/Vocalist), Bill Jenkins (Guitar/Vocalist),  Joe Gilley (Guitar), Bill Collier (Bass).                        [Bill Collier passed away in 2016 and Joe Gilley is now on Bass]

Keeping the Old Music Alive

Current Picture

Left to Right: Clyde Bailey, Banjo;  Steve Hunley, Mandolin;  Bill Jenkins, 
                      Guitar and Vocals; Ken Worrell, Guitar and Vocals; 
 Joe Gilley, Bass Fiddle.

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 I have uploaded several videos of our performances on 
You Tube.  Videos are from our shows at:
The National Press Club
The American Theatre
Williamsburg's First Night
Sunbeam Baptist Church 




March 2014

August 2014

April 2014

April 2015

October 2018


Bill' First Guitar

Bill Picking Cotton

Early Years

Bill at the
National Press Club

Bill at the 
National Press Club

The Coveted 
National Press Club
Coffee Cup

Inducted into the Virginia Music
Hall of Fame 2014

Bill and his Guitar
Virginia Musical
Hall of Fame

Bill Doing What he
Enjoys Most:
the Vets.

     Bill Jenkins and the Band were invited   
 to play a 50th Anniversary Show at the
 National Press Club in 2014. There was
 only one other person who has had a 50th
Show.....his name was Jack Benny 

Bill Jenkins was inducted into the
Virginia Music Hall of Fame 

The Governor of Virginia issued a 
proclamation naming Bill :
and the House and the Senate of Virginia passed a 
Joint Resolution in his honor for his efforts to preserve 
traditional Virginia music.

WAVY TV 10 honored Bill by making him the 
 His TV interview was aired on 
April 2, 2015.  Click the TV link to watch.

The Band was honored to be chosen as
 Musical Touring Performers by the
Virginia Commission of the Arts.  
 We were awarded a grant to 
 perform throughout the state for 
 non-profit organizations and schools,
 enabling these venues to
 hear our unique style of music.  

I have just uploaded our latest album The Guinea Man

Click BANDCAMP for albums and songs to listen to free and 
purchase.  BANDCAMP allows you to listen to entire songs before
 purchasing at a much lower price than other servers.
The albums are also available on iTunes, Amazon Music,
 Google  Play, Spotify, etc. but at a higher price.


After a musical career spanning over 60 years, Bill
Jenkins, a member of the Virginia Music Hall of Fame, 
is still going strong.  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, 2021 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. Half a 
century 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.

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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 60+ 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.  The world class five string 
banjo player, Clyde Bailey, contributes 'breakdowns" and sings

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 descendants 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  which 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 45 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 will always "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 great distances 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".


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


Listen Free and 



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