Bill Hinkley: Personal Stories

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May 26, 2010

In addition to stringed instruments, Bill is well known as a jug player par excellence....with and without jug by the way. When asked how one goes about playing the jug, his famous line was, "As Lauren Bacall says, It's simple. Just put your lips together and blow."

I watched him at the Duluth Battle of the Jugbands a few years back play John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" in a jug duet with Soupy Milton. Now I know that is not a traditional jugband tune, but, holey moley, nobody but Bill and Soupy could do that!


May 19, 2010

I met Bill around '70 when he came to Minneapolis to sub for me in the Sorry Muthas. Cal Hand, another Mutha, and Bill had grown up together in the burbs of St. Louis, so he got a strong recommendation. After my school stint was over, he stayed with us and greatly enriched our music. At times a bit fractious, Bill's heart was always in the right place and some of his episodes became legendary, even to him. He has a wickedly subtle sense of humor which ofted references somewhat obscure facts. Luckily, I was always able to 'get it'. He continually amazed me with his musicianship and his musical concepts.
Even though I live many hundred miles away and don't get to see him very often, I am always greeted warmly by him and welcomed. I count this man as a soul friend and musical giant. As I write this, Bill is in hospice, surrounded by hordes of his friends, playing tunes with him as long as he has strength. No one is more worthy for induction into the Hall of Fame.