Robins, Butch


  • From Lebanon, Virginia. Lives in Pulaski, Virginia.
  • Real name: Joseph Calvin Robins.
  • 1967, won banjo contest at Union Grove Festival. Shortly thereafter, worked briefly with Bill Monroe as a teenager.
  • 1969-1971, served in the U.S. Army’s entertainment division, stationed in South Carolina.
  • 1971, played banjo with Charlie Moore and his Dixie Partners.
  • 1972, recorded and toured with Leon Russell.
  • 1973-1974, played bass with the New Grass Revival.
  • 1975-1977, played banjo with Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper.
  • 1977, worked briefly with Jim and Jesse.
  • 1977-1981, played banjo with Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys.
  • 1978, released solo project “Fragments of My Imagicnation” (Rounder).
  • 1982-1983, formed The Blue Grass Band with Alan O’Bryant, Blaine Sprouse and Ed Dye.
  • 1983, quit performing and pursued a business career (real estate).
  • 1989, returned to music on a part-time basis with a new version of The Blue Grass Band (including Dudley Connell, Larry Stephenson, Ronnie and Rickie Simpkins, others) to record several albums of bluegrass standards marketed primarily through info-mercials on TV. These recordings were the first for Hay Holler Records.
  • 2003, wrote and published a book (What I Know About What I Know) chronicling his life in bluegrass music.
  • 2007, performed with the World International Bluegrass Band in Japan, Australia and Europe.
  • 2015, recorded a five-part video series called Butch Robins Presents: Blue Grass Music, its Origin and Development as a Unique and Creative Art Form.
  • 2016, was inducted into the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame in Bean Blossom, Indiana.