My name is Jimmy Bilbrey. I am a singer/songwriter/instrumentalist from Cookeville, TN. I have been playing, singing, and writing music most of my life. I grew up in a musical home; my dad, Ron, played banjo and guitar professionally for many years,and mom sings. Growing up, music was a part of everyday life.
I started singing and playing violin/fiddle at the age of 13. I picked up the guitar, bass, mandolin, and piano, banjo, and yodeling along the way. With my dad, Ron, I played fiddle and sang with Bobby Smith and the Boys From Shiloh, a nationally known bluegrass band, on a CD that is in the Smithsonian Institute. I played in the band and orchestra in both junior and senior high. I was concertmaster in the TTU Chamber Orchestra and played in the Bryan Symphony Orchestra at TTU, where I earned a B.S. degree in Music Education with an emphasis in Classical Violin in 1990. I sang and played country music in the Country Scene Band for 20 years in and around the Cookeville area.I’m currently a member of The Bilbreys, our family bluegrass/bluegrass gospel/western group.
Since the age of 18, songwriting has been a significant part of my life. I’ve been blessed to have songs recorded by artists such as Jack Greene, who recorded a song called, “Red, White, and Blue Christmas” which he included on a CD entitled, “Greene Christmas”, and performed on the Grand Ole Opry many times.
Carrie Hassler recorded “Hard Rain” and “Seven Miles From Wichita” on her debut release. “Seven Miles” went to number six on the Bluegrass Unlimited chart. Soon after that, “Back to Her Roots”, was played on a “CSI Vegas” episode. Most recently, a mandolin instrumental “Holly Springs”, was used in an independent movie entitled, “Jack Phoenix”. Other songs have been recorded by artists in Canada, Australia, and Germany. The Christian songs are the dearest to my heart and are played regularly by several radio stations. A song written from the viewpoint of an unborn baby entitled, “Chance of a Lifetime” has touched many people as we have given out around 500 copies to people all over the country.
I recorded a CD called, “Brand New Wagon”, with The Bilbreys and also a solo CD entitled, “Back to my Roots”around 2008. I am currently working on a Bluegrass Gospel CD with The Bilbreys in my home recording studio.
I accepted Jesus as my Savior in 1980 and have been the minister of music at University Heights Baptist Church for many years. I teach private lessons in violin/fiddle, guitar, mandolin, piano, bass, ukelele, dulcimer, banjo and songwriting, at the School of Performing Arts at Stevens Street Church as well as at my home studio. I am President and CEO of Hickory Chicken Music, a publishing company affiliated with BMI.
My wife,Lisa, and I have four children: Aaron, Josh, Adam & Leigh Anne. Our family also includes a rescue dog named Buddy.