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    Hicks, Bobby (21 July 1933 – Present)

    Multi-instrumentalist from Newton, North Carolina, who started out on the mandolin but switched to fiddle when his brother expelled him from his band.  He was all of nine.  By the time he was eleven, he already had the North Carolina State Championship under his belt. 


    In the early 1950s, he spent some time with Jim Eanes’ outfit, but he would gain acclaim as a member of Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys, whom he joined in 1953.  At first, he was the bassist, but when Uncle Sam called Gordon Terry into duty, Bobby became the band’s fiddler.  In time, Vassar Clements would take over the fiddle spot, and Bobby gravitated to the banjo.  He even played mandolin in Bill Monroe’s stead when the bandleader injured his collar bone. 


    In 1956, he was drafted into the U.S. army.  After his tour of duty ended in 1958, he re-united with his band-mates and recorded with them until the end of the decade.  He then spent three to four years as a member of Porter Wagoner’s group.  In 1963, he became a bandleader himself, embarking on a seven-year run with Judy Lynn in Las Vegas, Nevada. 


    Eventually, he moved back to his home state and became acquainted with Ricky Skaggs, which turned out to be a lucrative arrangement.  After releasing a solo album entitled Texas Crapshooter, Bobby proceeded to engage in a 24-year artistic collaboration with Skaggs, whose career was just taking off.  In 1979, he appeared on Skaggs’ Sweet Temptation album, although he continued to record with other artists, such as Kenny Baker and The Bluegrass Album Band. 


    It was with the Ricky Skaggs band, which evolved into Kentucky Thunder, that Bobby would enjoy most of his financial and musical success for the next two decades.  Highways & Heartaches was released in 1981 and spawned the #1 hits, “Heartbroke” and “Highway 40 Blues”.  In 1985, they performed Live in London. 


    Bobby moonlighted with David Grisman and Seldom Scene in 1988.  He also continued to perform and record with Bill Monroe, on albums such as Southern Flavor, which won a Grammy award.  In 2002, he was enshrined in the Fiddler’s Hall of Fame.  He and Tony Rice released The Bluegrass Guitar Collection in 2003, a year that saw Bobby band-hop to Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys, before winding up with Hazel Creek. 


    He continues to perform and record, in addition to teaching at workshops such as The Bobby Hicks Fiddle Camp, The Montana Fiddle Camp, and Steve Kaufmann’s Acoustic Music Camp.  If you would like to catch him in the act, he has a standing date on Thursday nights at Zuma Coffee in Marshall, North Carolina. 



    1. http://www.myspace.com/bobbyhicksfiddle
    2. http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/music/artist/bio/0,,443860,00.html
    3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Hicks
    4. http://doodah.net/bgb/BobbyHicks.html
    5. http://melbay.net/authors.asp?author=2152
    6. http://www.countysales.com/php-bin/ecomm4/products.php?category_id=13&product_id=1438
    7. http://www.deaddisc.com/jz/Home_Is_Where_The_Heart_Is.htm
    8. http://www.cduniverse.com
    9. http://www.fiddle.com/issues/sum05.htm
    10. http://zumacoffee.blogspot.com/











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