ALL ABOUT JESCO
Jesco White was born in Bandytown, a very tiny community hidden deep in the Appalachian Mountains of Boone County, West Virginia and is an acclaimed mountain dancer. He is best known for three short films about him which detail his desire to follow in his famous father's footsteps, while trying to overcome depression, drug addiction, and the poverty that afflicts much of rural Appalachia.
His father was Donald Ray White (1927-1985), who was profiled in the PBS documentary Talking Feet, and his mother is Bertie Mae White. Before his murder, D. Ray White was known as one of the greatest mountain dancers in the United States. His style, along with Jesco's, is a subtle mix of tap and clog dancing that is native to Appalachia.
Jesco White was first profiled on the Public Broadcasting Service's "A Different Drummer" Series. Because of his popularity, PBS eventually released two documentaries about Jesco. The first was The Dancing Outlaw (1991), directed by Jacob Young, which featured him at home in West Virginia and gave audiences a glimpse into his troubled life.
As the popularity of The Dancing Outlaw grew, he was asked by comedian Tom Arnold to perform on the television show Roseanne. He traveled to Los Angeles for the performance, which was chronicled in the 1994 short film Dancing Outlaw 2: Jesco goes to Hollywood - directed by the original's Jacob Young.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What is Jescofest?
Jescofest was a Southern WV Music & Arts Festival benefiting Jesco White, The Boone County Dancing Outlaw. Jescofest 2006 was held in Hinton, West Virginia on August 26-27, 2006.
Q. When is the next Jescofest?
Unfortunately, there was no Jescofest held in 2007 do to a request from the man himself, Jesco White, the Dancing Outaw. Jesco felt that he was not in need of another benefit, he went on to say that the money from the last festival was able to be stretched all the way up to the current time, and Norma also has some of it put away for it's need in the future. Jescofest 2007 was planned to be even bigger and better than the first one; however due to Jesco's request it was canceled. Footage of the Festival can easily be found on Youtube and Myspace. Old information can be found at this link (http://Jescofest.Bandytown.com)
Q. Where is Jesco and his family at these days?
Jesco is very easy to find he lives in Madison, WV and his sister Mamie lives in Gordon, WV. Jesco and Mamie both make appearances every year at the annual West Virginia Coal Festival located in Madison, WV during the month of June. Jesco has most recently been featured in the Boone Standard, a newly debuted local newspaper. (www.boonestandard.com) Jesco has been working on several new movies including "It Came From Trafalgar" and "White Lightening - The Jesco White Murders" and also filmed for a new documentary in Bandytown. The new documentary "The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia" has been shown at film festivals and is expected to be released by MTV films very soon.
Q. What is this about a new documentary on MTV?
After a year of intense filming, the Dancing Outlaw and his family will be featured in a new documentary called "The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia." The film is part of MTV studios and is being executively produced by Johnny Knoxville and Jeff Tremaine both famous for the TV show "Jackass". The film has debut at film festivals and a backlash of controversy has followed even before being released to the general public. The film has been accused of reflecting negatively on Boone County and West Virginia as well as enforcing the typical stereotypes commonly found in West Virginia. All of the attention and controversy from the film caused Jesco's sister Mamie to release a statement to the press claiming that the they were just doing what they were told in the film and in fact the drug use and other sorts of illegal activity was in fact all fake. Jesco was recently arrested on drug charges and claimed it was all a mistake and that he was completely innocent. The charges were eventually dropped and Jesco was released after Boone County magistrate agreed that Jesco had done nothing wrong and there was no proof of any illegal activity. In a television interview, Mamie called the incident "another black eye to her family" claiming that Jesco has been "clean" for years and that this was just another instance of people picking on their family making them look bad. She claims there is nothing they can do because there isn't a lawyer out there that will help a "poor White." For more information about the new documentary, visit the official website at http://www.jackassworld.com/wildwhites . The official movie trailer can be found on the website as well as some bonus material. Not intended for anyone under the age of 18 due to inappropriate material.
Q. Are there DVD's available and how do I get them?
DVDs are also for sale through Bandytown.com directly from Jesco's sister Mamie. There are currently 3 DVDs for sale. If interested in any of them please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
1) Dancing Outlaw DVD collection featuring original Dancing Outlaw, Dancing Outlaw II (Jesco Goes to Hollywood), and never before seen outtakes from the original documentary.
2) Talking Feet DVD features Jesco's beloved father Donald Ray White in Southern dancing documentary. Talking Feet is the first documentary of flatfoot, buck, hoedown, and rural tap dancing, the styles of solo Southern dancing which are a companion to traditional old-time music and on which modern clog dancing is based. Excellent documentary for anyone interested in Southern lifestyles and dancing past times.
3) The final DVD is a documentary on Hasil Adkins. Imagine Elvis in Sid Vicious' body with a little Frank Sinatra thrown in and you have Hasil Adkins, the originator of psychobilly and star of the deranged, shot-on-video documentary. Chronicling 56-year-old Hasil's boozing, womanizing and law breaking, audiences are treated to some surreal jaw-dropping antics and raucous, homegrown rock'n roll. Mamie and "The Miracle Woman", Bertie Mae (Jesco's sister and mother) are featured in a bar fight at the "Corner Pocket" bar in the documentary.
Most of the DVDS are sold at $20-$30 a piece at shows and fan fairs, but we are currently offering a bundle of all 3 DVD’s for $35 and that is including fast USPS Priority Mail Shipping. For a limited time we are also including 2 stickers of Jesco and Mamie.
Otherwise DVD's are being offered at the reduce price of $15 a piece and shipping is $4.95 a DVD.
Q. How is Mamie doing these days?
Mamie is doing ok and she is still strong, despite all that she has been through lately. She has been in the hospital and has been through two major surgeries and is facing two more. She claims if any of her fans care about her she needs them now for support and encouragement. She enjoys getting cards and letters from her fans and would love to hear from them now. Mamie is raising four kids and is currently living in Gordon, West Virginia. Cards and letters can be sent directly to Mamie at PO BOX 285 Van, WV 25206.
Q. I heard there was a song out about Jesco. What is it called and where can I find it?
The song you are referring to is called "D Ray White" and it is sung by Hank Williams III. The song is often referred to as the "Boone County Song" because it mentions Boone County and other notable residents such as Hasil Adkins. For more information, to download the song or read the lyrics please visit this link or simply go to the "Just for Fun" section.