Kiddie Musicians Billy and Johnny Kincaid Play for Donations on Lincoln Road

Categories: Local Music
Photo by Camille Lamb
Johnny and Billy Kincaid, five and nine years old, perform classic country songs on Lincoln Road.
Myrna Kincaid anxiously shifts her weight from foot to foot, hands clasped under her chin as she monitors Johnny and Billy, her five- and nine-year-old sons, playing together.

These two boys aren't into touch football or in-line skating, but strumming acoustic guitars, playing harmonica, and singing classic country and rock song in public for donations.

Right now, the tune is Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman," and the crowd gathered to listen and marvel at the spectacle is three-deep and fully engaged. A guitar case near the boys' feet quickly fills up with one dollar bills.

This is a near-daily activity for the family. Myrna, a trim, four-foot-something Filipino woman, along with her husband, Jay, a Michigan native, have made the boys' young music career a full-time job. They've played at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino, retirement homes, fairgrounds, and churches.The boys are now home-schooled, their parents having found a private instructor for music and academic subjects.

billy and johnny kincaid3edited.jpg
Camille Lamb
The Kincaid brothers gather up the crowd's donations after a set.

Myrna says a Las Vegas Casino recently invited the boys to come on as regular performers, but that they have to review the contract before deciding whether to go.

"Okay, we're gonna take a 15-minute break," Billy tells the crowd after a set including Elvis' "Blue Suede Shoes" and Gene Vincent's "Be-Bop-A-Lula."

"Fifteen minutes!" cries younger brother Johnny. "That's like an hour, man!"

The boys dive into the guitar case and start gathering up the bills.

When I ask, the parents and children say almost in unison that the donations are put toward the young musicians' college funds. 

Father Jay waits inauspiciously by some plants at the center of Lincoln Road with 2-year-old Richie, Johnny and Billy's baby brother. "He likes the piano better than guitar," Myrna says of Richie. The rest of the family agrees.

billy and johnny kincaid2edited.jpg
Camille Lamb
The Kincaid brothers

As the story goes, the brothers got into the music game as a result of a kids' television program that features grown men dancing and singing like children. "When I was two years old, I watched a show called The Wiggles, and there was a guy with a guitar," says Billy. "I asked my dad to buy me one, and he did."

When little Johnny came of age, if you can call two years old "of age," the two started playing together. Their father taught them a few chords, along with their first song, "I Saw the Light," which the boys still enjoy, though they've noticed that the SoBe crowd isn't so enthused by the gospel. "They like Johnny Cash and Hank Williams more," says the five year old, who also plays harmonica using a rack around his neck.

"Sometimes I do fancy stuff," Johnny continues, rocking his tiny body back and forth and moving his little hips. "Elvis Presley does this," he says. 

Perhaps the weirdest thing about the kids is that they seem happy. Unlike the downtrodden products of stage parents you might expect, they talk about the music with enthusiasm. They describe their dreams of becoming famous musicians without timidly looking over their shoulders at their dad for approval. 

While I crouch with the talented duo, trying to figure out how to feel about the whole situation, mother Myrna doles out snacks and beams at her boys. "I'm so proud of them," she says.

-- Camille Lamb

Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.

Location Info


Lincoln Road Mall

Between Alton and the Ocean, Miami Beach, FL

Category: General

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help


Sir;              WE  SALUTE YOU  !!!!!!Just dropping a line to let you know that thank you very much for Lincoln Mall performers permit for Johnny & Billy. We really appreciate it !!!Hope your job has been great so far and very soon Johnny and Billy can go back to your office and take you out for lunch or dinner. I will let you know where is Johnny & Billy  next month.Thank you once again ! 

Very Truly,Johnny & Billy Kincaid MK. ( Mother )


Oh... yah... it's changed the related content above, because I asked what drugs and Roach Motel they are talking about ?I always protect  my kids and we want  to walked to the right line. Please  NO DRUGS , Cigaretts and  Alcoholic for me and my kids !  Thank you  very much ....


Stupid ! I don't even like  the smell of cigargetts ... What drugs are you talking about ? and what Roach Motel !


Such fun experiential journalism!

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault