John Hickman (musician)
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John Hickman (born October 7, 1942) is an American five-string banjo player known for his clean picking and occasional ragtime influenced style.
John Hickman was born in Hilliard, Ohio but grew up in Columbus. He began playing the guitar but switched to banjo in 1957. With some help from his friend Robbie Robinson he learned to play the banjo. After performing together with Allen and Wakefield on the WWVA Jamboree in 1960, Hickman and Robbie Robinson formed the "Dixie Gentlemen". Two years later, Hickman enlisted in the Marines. In 1964, he began performing with musicians like Pee Wee Lambert and Landon Rowe. Three years later he formed a group with Chuck Cordell, Sid Campbell and Robinson. Unfortunately, Cordell and Robinson were killed in a plane crash. Campbell and Hickman soon joined mandolinist Earl Taylor's "Stony Mountain Boys".
In 1969, Hickman moved to Los Angeles, California where he began to associate with fiddler Byron Berline. Later in 1975, Berline, Hickman, Allen Wald and Jack Skinner formed "Sundance". The formation lasted three years. Berline, Hickman and guitarist Dan Crary then started to perform together and after a successful tour in Japan, they formed "Berline, Crary and Hickman". In the '90s, BCH added Steve Spurgin's song writing, singing, and bass playing talents to the group and John Moore began playing mandolin with them soon after, forming California. California has been the recipient of the IBMA Instrumental Group of the Year.
Hickman currently teaches banjo and repairs instruments in Byron Berline's Double Stop Fiddle Shop in Guthrie, Oklahoma, and plays dates with California, BCH and the Byron Berline Band.
- Tony Trischka, Pete Wernick, Masters of the 5-String Banjo, Oak Publications, (1988)