Bill Jenkins and the
 Virginia Mountain Boys
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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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.

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.

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 download. Links are on the same page.)
I am sending you to BANDCAMP because you can listen to all the songs for free and they charge less for the downloads.  

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

        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.
                        Click the YouTube 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 
The Virginia Mountain Boys is a registered name solely owned by Bill Jenkins since 1971

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 D38 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.

Last year (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 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 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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