Bill Keith

Here is Bill with his Banjo Legends strap serial number 4.

The "Legends" in order from top to bottom are: Earl, Don Reno, Sonny Osborne, Bill, & JD Crowe


Bill Keith Was the first Renaissance man of the five string banjo. He is considered the father of the Melodic style of playing. While Bobby Thompson and Eric Weissberg were working independently on a similar style, their direction was more toward the chromatic style. Bill is also the father of the Keith Tuners, the first modern (and by far the best)  pegs which allow you to tune from one note to another and back accurately. The tuners are made by Bill's company, Beacon Banjo Co. in Woodstock, NY and are available at quality dealers everywhere.


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Bill with his Bill Keith model Rich & Taylor top tension banjo with the Art Deco cloud inlay pattern and his elk lined Dogwood Designs strap.


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Here's a shot of Bill on stage at the Big Apple Blue Grass Festival in Greenwich Village in November 1999. Notice his Dogwood Designs 'Bill Keith Model' cap, reminiscent of his old cap he wore in the 70's. I got tired of seeing Bill in a baseball cap (it just didn't look like Bill Keith), so I made a cap for him. The crown is made of black deerskin while the band & bill are made of an oak tanned tooling leather. The visor has a banjo tooled into it. Now, he looks like Bill Keith again.