Virginia Legislature recognizes Bill Jenkins

Bill Jenkins is presented with a copy of the joint resolution in his honor by Virginia Senator Tommy Norment (February  19, 2015)Last week, the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Virginia bestowed a signal honor on native son and long time traditional bluegrass performer Bill Jenkins. A joint resolution was passed acknowledging his contributions over more than 50 years as an entertainer, and Bill was presented with a copy last Thursday (February 19) in Richmond.

With his Virginia Mountain Boys, Jenkins has consistently played the old time bluegrass style since he worked on the Old Dominion Barn Dance as a young man. Before starting his own band, Bill had sang and played with Red Allen and with the Virginia Gentlemen.

This past August, he was inducted into the Musical Museum of Virginia’s Hall of Fame, alongside artists like Wayne Newton, Bruce Hornsby, Pearl Bailey, Mac Wiseman, the Carter Family, Ralph Stanley, the Statler Brothers, Jim & Jesse, Ernest Stoneman, and Patsy Cline.

The text of the joint resolution follows:

Commending Bill Jenkins.

WHEREAS, Bill Jenkins of Gloucester County, a talented musician who preserves the history

and heritage of the Commonwealth by playing traditional Virginia music, will be inducted into the Virginia Musical Museum Hall of Fame Room in Williamsburg on August 9, 2014; and

WHEREAS, a native of Newport News, Bill Jenkins was raised in Gloucester County and discovered his passion for music at a young age; he played and sang with several groups before forming Bill Jenkins and the Virginia Mountain Boys; and

WHEREAS, Bill Jenkins and the Virginia Mountain Boys reflect the lives of early immigrants in the Appalachian Mountains in a variety of authentic songs, many of which have been handed down through generations; and

WHEREAS, known as much for their skill on acoustic instruments as their complex harmonies, Bill Jenkins and the Virginia Mountain Boys have delighted audiences with folk tunes and camp meeting songs and evoked strong emotions through timeless ballads; and

WHEREAS, throughout his 56-year career, Bill Jenkins has researched and collected countless examples of traditional Virginia music; he and the Virginia Mountain Boys have learned more than 500 songs and can play every one from memory, ensuring that each show is a unique experience; and

WHEREAS, Bill Jenkins has earned national recognition, playing at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in 1964 and 2014; he has also performed on the White House lawn, at the historic American Theater in Hampton, and at many other venues; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the Senate, the House of Delegates concurring, That the General Assembly hereby commend Bill Jenkins on being inducted into the Virginia Musical Museum Hall of Fame Room; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the Senate prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to Bill Jenkins as an expression of the General Assembly’s admiration for his numerous contributions to the cultural landscape of the Commonwealth and the United States.

Congratulations, and well done, to Bill Jenkins and all his Virginia Mountain Boys!

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.