A native of Newton, NC, Bobby started on the fiddle as a young boy, and won his first fiddle competition when he was just 11 years old. In his twenties he was touring with popular bluegrass artist Jim Eanes, and by age 30, he was working with Bill Monroe.
Hicks was initially hired as a Blue Grass Boy to play bass, but by the end of 1954 he had moved to fiddle. He cut several songs with Bill during the boss man’s double and triple fiddle fascination, but left two years later to join the army. Upon returning to civilian life, Bobby took a job with Porter Wagoner, and a few years later moved to Las Vegas to work with the Judy Lynn Show.
In more recent years, Hicks has made waves playing fiddle with The Bluegrass Album Band, and with Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder.
Other 2014 recipients include weaver Susan Morgan Leveille, potter Sid Luck, R&B artist Bill Myers of The Monitors, and Haliwa-Saponi Indian artist artist Arnold Richardson.
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory issued this statement in announcing the recipients.
“I want to congratulate this year’s winners and thank them for helping preserve our cultural heritage. Our artistic history is the foundation of the quality of life that attracts so many people to North Carolina. I’m grateful to the North Carolina Arts Council, not only for their work in this program, but for ensuring the arts will continue to be a vibrant part of North Carolina’s future.”
All five honorees will be officially recognized on May 20, 2014 in a celebration put on by the North Carolina Arts Council and PineCone, the Piedmont Council on the Traditional Music at the Duke Energy Center in Raleigh, NC.