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

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

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.

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.

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.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.