Born in Newport News and raised in Hayes, Virginia, Bill got his first guitar at seven years of age, a used
instrument he bought for $4. As a young boy, Bill performed on the OLD DOMINION BARN DANCE. In the early 60's, Bill played with the COTTINGHAM BROTHERS and briefly with the CAROLINA BUDDIES. Bill met Bernie
Wright, who was playing the mandolin for the STANLEY BROTHERS, and they later formed the renowned band,
THE VIRGINIA GENTLEMEN.
Bill has played music from Pennsylvania to Georgia at many festivals, schools, college hootenanies, and night
clubs. He has appeared at the National Press Club in Washington DC, a White House Lawn party, and the Cellar Door. He has played in the same shows as RED ALLEN and the KENTUCKIANS, the STANLEY BROTHERS, DON RENO, RED SMILEY and many of the other great names in folk and Bluegrass music, including MAC WISEMAN,
BILL EMERSON, and CHARLIE MOORE.
Bill’s unique lead guitar style, called “cross-picking”, was influenced by the great guitarist GEORGE SHUFFLER,
who was the lead guitarist for Ralph and Carter Stanley for many years. Bill has reached down deep into his
roots to perform the old traditional songs found in the mountains of Virginia, West Virginia, Eastern Kentucky, Western North Carolina, and Eastern Tennessee. This soulful and sometimes mournful sound is instantly recognizable with its haunting harmonies and traditional lyrics. It is the sound of the Louvin Brothers, Ralph
Stanley and Roy Acuff all thrown together. The result is pure and raw, and the very essence of his roots.