In 2007, they begin feeling a mutual sense that they were ready to leave New York and embark on new adventures. Bob invited Kim to travel down the Blue Ridge Parkway to the mountains of western North Carolina where he was born. The natural scenic beauty was matched by the beauty of the people they met upon their arrival in these ancient mountains and it didn't take long for them to realize they'd found their new home.
Both had been in the music business for many years, but they had no idea whether they would remain in those careers here in North Carolina. They came with open hearts and open minds seeking to use their skills in new ways.
Bob and Kim launched White Horse Black Mountain in November of 2008. Soon afterwards Don Talley began attending concerts at the White Horse and quickly struck up a friendship with Bob and Kim. He began volunteering in various capacities and quickly became part of the "White Horse Family". His volunteer work in areas of publicity and promotion soon grew into a paid position. His duties expanded over time and in January of 2012 he was appointed Co-Manager of White Horse Black Mountain.
Bob has worn many hats in his career; singer ,songwriter, poet, recording artist, composer/lyricist, corporate executive, consultant, music writer, artist manager, executive producer, record label founder and president. These roles brought Bob Hinkle in contact with a virtual who's who of the music industry as he moved from concert stage to recording studio to corporate office and negotiated recording and publishing contracts, managed major recording artists, optioned literary works for film and stage, managed worldwide concert tours, negotiated licenses for feature films, television and merchandising, and administered relationships with major talent agencies.
Bob began his career as a performer while in college at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He was a member of a trio called The Good Earth and when he and his bandmates graduated they headed straight to New York where a recording contract awaited them with the DynoVoice label. DynoVoice released several recordings of The Good Earth including How Deep Is The Ocean, I Can See A Light, A Funny Thing Happened (Anytime), Must I Really Go Thru This Again, There's More Than One Road To Philadelphia and others.
After a couple years of touring and recording with The Good Earth including serving as the backup band for Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Bob released a solo recording of his own entitled Ollie Mogus.
The early 70’s found Hinkle moving more directly into the business industry of the music industry, serving as co-director of Ampex Records where his duties included making recommendations about up-and-coming young musicians like James Taylor and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Key artists on the Ampex label during Hinkle’s tenure included Todd Rundgren, Jesse Winchester Mason Profitt, Speckled Bird, and Jesse Winchester. Bluesman Furry Lewis also released a live album on Ampex.
From 1972 to 1974, Bob consulted for Capitol Records, Albert Grossman (manager of Peter, Paul & Mary, Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin) and Audio Fidelity Records. During this time he also served as a consultant to The Band on their first live recording.
Harry Chapin who released six albums under the leadership of Hinkle.
For the next fifteen plus years, Bob Hinkle and Jeb Hart successfully managed the careers of leading pop music starts including: The J. Geils Band, Tom Chapin, Manfred Mann, Naked Eyes, Patti Lupone, Etta James and others.
Hart & Hinkle’s success with these performers led to a partnership with one of the top artist management firms in the country, Kragen & Company. As partners in Kragen & Co, Hart and Hinkle managed a variety of performers including: Kenny Rogers, Dottie West, Kim Carnes, Gallagher, and others.
In 1990, Bob Hinkle became a founding partner of The Children's Group and launched the award winning Classical Kids audio and video series including releases such as Beethoven Lives Upstairs and Mozart’s Magic Fantasy. Beethoven Lives Upstairs won the Juno prize for Best Children's recording, and led to BMG distribution throughout the United States.
In 1992, Bob founded Zoom Express, a New York-based company which developed, produced and marketed musical artists, events and products directed toward children and families. Zoom Express became a leader in the children's music and video industry with products such as the Early Ears series targeted at specific age groups from birth to kindergarten.
Zoom Express grossed over $5 million in the first 20 months and the success led to a partnership with BMG (Bertelsmann Music Group), the world's largest privately held corporation. During his time with the firm, Hinkle shepherded the release of "Carmen Sandiego Out Of This World," and "Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?" based on the PBS TV series. Zoom also was responsible for production and marketing for Jim Henson Records. BMG eventually acquired Zoom Express and Hinkle served as Vice-president for the new BMG Kidz/BMG Video Division.
Following his stint with BMG, Bob formed his own consulting firm in NY, advising a variety of clients including Hallmark Entertainment, The Smithsonian Institution, All Music Guide, The National Interfaith Cable Coalition, and Infidel Records.
Kim Hughes is a multi-talented, multi-career, life-coach, counselor, business woman, professional singer with a passion for the healing arts. Kim enjoyed a successful opera career in New York for 15 years. In addition to her work on stage Kim and Bob owned and operated a multi-use venue in Brooklyn, New York - the Healing Rain Space. She maintains a private counseling practice called Sacred Self Living and serves as North American Operations Manager for an international non-profit called The Heart of the Healer Foundation.
Kim has a master of science in Counseling from Illinois State University. Since 1980 Kim has been a helper of individuals, couples, and groups in various settings. Earlier in her career she worked at two colleges, an NYC government agency, a hospital-based mental health center, an international Employee Assistance Program firm on Wall Street. Kim has done training at Pfizer pharmaceutical company and contractual work for Russ, a major toy/gift company.
As she expanded her healing and counseling skills she studied with Tom Kenyon and Sri Shyamji Bhatnagar among others. She has four years of training the Shamanic work and is a member of the Society of Shamanic practitioners. She's also a member of the International Coaches Federation.
The Heart of the Healer Foundation is a non-profit educational and charitable service venture created to preserve and revitalize time proven indigenous wisdom and healing practices. Dedicated to the empowerment and sustenance of eco-spiritual awareness in all people, we strive to find human solutions for many social and environmental ills associated with modern living. Understanding that global change must begin with personal growth and healing, we offer programs of study and involvement in sacred community designed to inspire such transformation.
Kim continues to sing professionally and offers private voice coaching. But her busy schedule in other professions has cut back on her professional singing career which flourished during her years in New York.
As a professional musician, Kim sang "leading lady" roles in New York City, including Puccini's "Madame Butterfly", "Tosca", "La Boheme", and "Gianni Schicchi". Her other heroines include Countess in "The Marriage of Figaro", and Donna Elvira in "Don Giovanni", (both Mozart), Leonora in "Il Trovatore" (Verdi) and Santuzza in "Cavalleria Rusticana" (Mascagni). She got one crack at Wagner, singing Sieglinde in "Die Walkure", sang one Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, "Iolanthe", and portrayed the title role in Lehar's "The Merry Widow". She also starred as Fanny Brice in Jule Styne's "Funny Girl."
She co-founded Dorchester Opera Theatre in Brooklyn in 1992, and released her first CD "True Voice" in 2002. Kimberly has also co-produced and performed in a series of benefit concerts in New York and North Carolina, for groups such as Doctors Without Borders, Bailey House, Greenpeace, the Brooklyn Environmental Task Force, NC radio station WNCW, and Haitian organization SOIL.
Don Talley is dedicated supporter of local and regional music whose passions for music and spirit along with his business and technical background made him ideally suited to be part of the White Horse Black Mountain team. Born and raised in Greer, South Carolina, Don has a degree in Business and Computer Science from Furman University. Following graduation, Don worked as a computer programmer and systems analyst for 13 years. While computers were his living, music was his passion.
Don became interested in the music and culture of Appalachia during his college years. Extensive travel, research and personal visits with regional artists fueled both his knowledge and his passion for the music of the mountains. His interests in the 1980's expanded to include a variety of "roots" music including blues, celtic music, and the ballads and ballads and fiddle tunes which crossed the Atlantic with immigrants from the British Isles.
In 1994, Don left his career in the computer field and relocated to the Blue Ridge Mountains, specifically to the town of Black Mountain. He served on the Folk Heritage Committee which organized the long running Mountain Dance and Folks Festival and Shindig on Green. He volunteered with numerous festivals and music events including the Lake Eden Arts Festival where he continues to serve on staff.
In 1995, Don opened a retail craft store in downtown Black Mountain and his other jobs in the subsequent years included hotel desk clerk, carpet cleaning, data analyst for a corporate firm in Asheville, and assisting a tree surgeon. In 2000 he began an eleven year stint as a library assistant at Montreat College.
His knowledge of appalachian music led to a position as consultant on a documentary film about regional music entitled Rank Strangers. His work to honor and preserve a local African-American Jukejoint called Roseland Gardens led to a friendship with blues master Mac Arnold who was the bassist for Muddy Waters in the 1960s. That friendship led to Don accompanying Mac and his band on a tour of the Mississipi Delta with stops in Mississippi, Helena Ark, and Beale Street in Memphis Tenn.
Don serves multiple roles at White Horse including publicity, promotion, web design and managment, newsletter creation. He also assists behind the bar, in the sound booth, and with booking.