The White family is a family living in rural Boone County, West Virginia. They were introduced in the documentary film The Dancing Outlaw, which starred family member Jesco White as the son of famous mountain dancer D. Ray White. The film The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia characterizes the family as anti-social, particularly focusing on the local perception of Jesco.[1]

The family

Mountain dancer Donald Ray White (1927–1985), known as D. Ray White, was the family patriarch and grew up Boone County. He was profiled as a famous mountain dancer on a PBS special titled Talking Feet.[2] He married Bertie Mae White circa 1950 and had thirteen children in under 20 years. Before his murder, D. Ray White was known as one of the greatest mountain dancers in the United States.[2] His style, along with Jesco's, is a subtle mix of tap and clog dancing that is native to Appalachia.


The family was featured in the 1991 PBS Special film The Dancing Outlaw. This chronicled son Jesco's abilities as a mountain dancer. The film was directed by Jacob Young. Bertie Mae White, also known as "The Miracle Woman", was captured in a song of the same title along with Jesco as it outlines the PBS Special.

Young created a second film The Dancing Outlaw 2: Jesco Goes Hollywood in 1994. This featured Jesco White as he was cast in a Roseanne episode as Dan's mountain clogger cousin. These scenes were later deleted from the show.

Jesco was featured in the 2009 film It Came from Trafalgar, also starring Jesco's favorite musician Hank Williams III.

In 2008-2009, Johnny Knoxville and the Jackass production team, Dickhouse Productions, made a film The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia. The crew stayed with the family during this year, filming over 500 hours of footage. The film was screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2009.[3] The 2009 docudrama White Lightnin' was inspired by the life of Jesco White.

Other work

Jesco has been linked to many popular artists through song. Big and Rich mention his name in their single "Comin' to Your City," although Jesco is not a fan and feels as if they are capitalizing on his name. Hank Williams III wrote the song "Legend of D. Ray White," which honors the cultural significance of Bertie Mae's husband. It also mentions Jesco, as well as another legendary Boone County artist, Hasil Adkins, and Jesco's sister Mamie White. Jesco also dances on the Hank Williams III song "Louisiana Stripes."

In January 2011, Jesco teamed up with singer/songwriter Tanner Flowers to write his very own biography song "The Dancing Outlaw". The song speaks of Jesco's birth in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, his rise to fame, his historic encounters with country music legend Hank Williams Jr, Hank Williams III, Roger Alan Wade, and his famous skit on The Roseanne Arnold Show. The Dancing Outlaw also affirms Jesco's infatuations with Elvis Presley and the notorious Charles Manson. The song is currently available to be heard on YouTube.


  1. The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, a documentary film directed by Julien Nitzberg, 2009
  2. 2.0 2.1 Talking Feet: Solo Shern Dance - Flatfoot, Buck and Tap documentary film by Mike Seeger and others, 1 hour and 27 minutes, color, Smithsonian Folkways, Smithsonian Institution 3/4 tape (1987); DVD region 1 (U.S. and Canada only) (April 24, 2007)
  3. Brad McElhinny. "Buzz is big for new Jesco White movie", Charleston Daily Mail, 2009-4-27. Retrieved on 2009-4-29.

External links and further reading

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article The White family, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Author(s): CompliantDrone Search for "The White family" on Google
View Wikipedia's deletion log of "The White family"

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