Bill Jenkins and the Virginia Mountain Boys
Traditional Bluegrass, Old-Time Mountain Music, and Camp
Meeting Songs as 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)


WHAT AN OUTSTANDING YEAR IT HAS BEEN:

March 2014, Bill Jenkins and the Band were invited 
to play a 50th Anniversary Show at the 
National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

August 2014, Bill Jenkins was inducted into the 
Virginia Musical Museum
Hall of Fame

February 2015, Bill was honored by the State of 
  Virginia.  The Governor issued a Proclamation 
 and the House of Delegates and the Senate 
passed a Joint Resolution
in his honor.


If you click on the FACEBOOK link at the 
bottom of this page,you can see pictures 
                of all these events.             

              Sorry everyone could not attend the National Press Club show. 
              DVDs and CDs are now available on the DVD/CD Sales Page, 
            at the National Press Club, Amazon, and at our shows.
           
              I have uploaded sample videos of 
        the National Press Club Show
        and some other shows.  

Click the box to watch:
 
       You Tube Videos            

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
        Bill With His First Guitar
 
 
 
 
 
 
    
   Bill With the Russell and                RobertCottingham,
              Early 60's
 
 
 
 
 
 
       
      Bill Jenkins, 1964 at the
      National Press Club
 
 
 
 
 
   

  Bill at the Virginia Musical 
         Museum in front 
            of his Guitar
   
 

   

     
          Bill's Guitar




   
     Bill with Senator Tommy 
     Norment Receiving Joint 
             Resolution

     
 




 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




































































The Virginia Mountain Boys is a
registered name solely owned by Bill Jenkins since 1971.
Videos are from the performances at:                                                              
         National Press Club 2014, 
             American Theatre 2013,
                 Williamsburg's First Night 2012



Still performing after 56 years, Bill Jenkins has become 
the newest member of the Virginia Musical Museum Hall 
of Fame.  His old guitar is in a glass 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 committment 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.


Last year (2014) Bill also 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.  They 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 back and performed a 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.  Jenkins has performed on the White House lawn and was featured on a nationally syndicated Smithsonian Institute program promoting traditional music.  Jenkins founded this group,
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 this 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 a 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 the 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 Jenkin's "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 baratone.


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 eaked 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 early Country music of which many songs are also included in the shows.  The Boys perform universally loved, but seldom heard songs that bring 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 intruments 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 explanation about each song is an important part of each show.


Audience reactions during the shows are almost always the same regardless of the venue.  After two hours of hand clapping, toe tapping, singing along, and wiping 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 great distances to hear them play. As one long time fan commented....."Their performance is not just another show, but it is an experience that I would never miss."



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

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 2015 Future
Performances: 
  

   Williamsburg  RegionalLibrary
    Auditorium
 Williamsburg, VA
 7:30PM April 11
 
 
 Rythym By the            River
 Bethany United Methodist Church     Auditorium
 Gloucester Point
   September 20
 

 AmericaTheatre
   Hampton, VA
   September 26


 Newport News    Fall Festival
  Newport News            Park
   October 3 & 4