This bio is courtesy of Jimmy Henley Entertainment.
Jimmy became interested in the banjo while watching his father, James, give banjo lessons in the home. It all began one evening when he came to his father in tears and asked him how to play an old banjo tune called "Cripple Creek." Rather than to spurn his request, his father decided to sit him down and let him discover that he was too little to play banjo. To his amazement, Jimmy was playing the song in less than thirty minutes.
Jimmy started playing banjo at the age of seven with his earliest "performance" in his first grade classroom in Hobbs, NM, followed by his first professional show for which he was paid twenty-five dollars. Jimmy's uncanny ability brought him a great deal of publicity very quickly, and this seven-year-old was in vast demand for private parties and community functions. All of this led to state-wide interest and many appearances on KBIM-TV in Roswell, NM.
At the age of ten, Jimmy won the World Bluegrass Banjo Championship in Memphis, TN, after competing against sixty contestants age fifty-seven and under. After this, Jimmy got the attention of Roy Clark. Roy met the Henley family at the New Mexico State Fair, where Jimmy performed for the "Hee Haw" star. Roy immediately realized that this was no ordinary cute little boy who could play banjo a bit. This was truly a phenomenon! Shortly afterward, Jimmy and his dad performed on "Hee Haw" for the first time. He also performed as a guest on the Grand Ole Opry. Roy Clark hired Jimmy and his dad, and they worked as a feature act on the Roy Clark tour for twenty-seven years.
Jimmy has played with many other artists such as Marty Stuart, Bill Monroe, Vince Gill, Lester Flatt, Glen Campbell and more.
Here is a list of Jimmy's awards and highlights of his career:
Click on the photo to see a larger version of this 2005 shot.
Here is Jimmy's bio in his own words:
My name is Jimmy Henley. For 27 years I have been on stage with Roy Clark and have recently launched my career as a solo artist.
In addition to appearing on stage with Roy Clark, my other accomplishments are:
- National Banjo Champion three years in a row
- World Champion in the fourth year
I have had the pleasure of performing throughout Europe, Russia, and the United States. I have also appeared on the following TV shows:
- Merv Griffin
- Mike Douglas
- Johnny Carson
- Tonight Show
I had the great fortune and pleasure of appearing on the well-known TV show "Hee Haw" for fourteen years after Roy heard me playing in 1976. Some of my most rewarding times were when band member, Bobby Thompson, and I would play together on the show.
I have four albums and am versatile in several instruments. Nashville gave me an opportunity that many people just dream of. With the twenty-seven years of knowledge and experience I have gained from working with Roy and fourteen years with the "Hee Haw" show, it is now time for my solo career to begin.
Thank you for the opportunity of being able to tell you about myself.
A BIG "Hee Haw" SAA-LUTE! to Charlotte Rush, Jimmy's PR agent, for sending this letter from Jimmy as well as the other biographical information.
In mid-2006, Tom Mailey of KNCI will be interviewing Jimmy to promote other concerts to be held in 2006-2007. He's also looking at playing for the Sacramento Jazz Society sometime in 2007 or 2008 (depending on the Jazz Society reviews). The concert previously scheduled for May in Bakersfield, CA has been cancelled.
Jimmy will soon have a website - once it's up, we'll have a link here. It will be at www.jimmyhenley.com...but it's not there yet. To book Jimmy for a performance, you can contact Charlotte Rush at (916) 771-4076 or Jimmy's manager, Art Horne, at (916) 220-1004.
Please e-mail me if you have more info on Jimmy Henley.
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