ROBERT Barbecue





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Robert 'Barbecue Bob' Hicks was born in Georgia in 1902 to a family of sharecroppers who lived in Walnut Grove. The family, with sons Robert and Charley, moved to Newton County and there the Hicks brothers met Savannah "Dip" Weaver and her son, Curley Weaver. Robert, Charley and Curly learned together to play guitar and sing and, teaming up with local harmonica player Eddie Mapp in the early 1920's, they formed a group to play at parties, picnics and dances around the Atlanta area. Robert Hicks left the group in 1926 and went to work in a barbecue joint in Atlanta where he would cook and also sing for customers. He quickly became established as something of a local celebrity and came to the attention of Columbia Records who gave him the name Barbecue Bob for his first release "Barbecue Blues". The song was a success and Hicks went to New York to make further recordings. During the late 1920's he went on to record over 60 sings for Columbia, sometimes being joined by brother Charley and occasionally Curly Weaver and Eddie Mapp.


Barbecue Bob Hicks

 In 1930 Hick's young wife died of pneumonia and by a tragic coincidence Hicks himself died of the same illness, complicated by tuberculosis, in 1931, only 29 years old. However, although his career was relatively short, he exerted a considerable influence over early Atlanta blues, in some ways equal to that of Blind Willie McTell.

Brother Charley Hicks, older by two years, also went by the names 'Laughing Charley' or 'Charley Lincoln'. Although moderately successful as a duo with Bob, Charley never emulated his brother's success or popularity as a solo artist. After his brothers premature death, Charley gave up performing and drifted into a life of alcoholism and petty crime. After a period in a mental institution, in 1956 he was convicted of murder and he died in prison in 1963.

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