Bill Deal was born in Portsmouth, Virginia, and performed at special events and parades as early as the age of six. Later, he played and practiced with his band at the Beasley Community Center. His band, Bill Deal & the Rhondels, began to perform at local dance clubs and events. The group had numerous top hits in the 60s  such as, “May I?,” “I’ve Been Hurt,” and “What Kind Of Fool Do You Think I Am?.”  Their sound became known as the beginning of Beach Music. Bill continued to entertain from the 80s until his sudden death in 2003. In 2005 the city of Portsmouth honored him by renaming Harbor Street to Bill Deal Street.

This is part of three murals done of local musicals  by Mandy Smith on the Colony Theater. The other two are; Ruth Brown and Tommy Newsom.

Mandy Smith Notes:Bill is the focal point in this composition with more detail than the other members in the background. There were so many members through the years that only the original seven members were portrayed here. The top panel is to acknowledge the great American talent that came out of Portsmouth with instruments painted inside silhouettes of the historic Olde Towne buildings. These instruments were part of this band's rich embodiment of musical harmony.


Bill Deal & the  Rhondels
Mandy Smith
Colony Theater  430 High St.


About the Artist:

Mandy is an artist/illustrator based out of Yorktown. She received her B.F.A. from VCU's School of the Arts with a concentration in Communication Arts and Design/Illustration. Her specialties include portraiture, murals, design, and book illustration. She considers being a part of this grand artistic endeavor an honor. Art has an inexplicable power to change an atmosphere. Thank you to Supporters of Portsmouth Public Art for this fantastic opportunity and the unfathomable support of my family.

You can view Mandy's work at


Outdoor Art