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Charlie Pike

2019 RIBA Hall of Fame inductee

Charlie Pike grew up in Barrington, Rhode Island, where he learned to play and sing with friends. After graduating from high school, Charlie enlisted in the U.S. Army and was soon deployed to Korea. He took his mandolin overseas with him to so that he could pick with fellow soldiers during his spare time.


Charlie returned home from Korea in 1954 as a sergeant, married in 1958 and then moved to Massachusetts. He settled down in Rehoboth and raised a family of five while learning to play the banjo. In the early 1980’s, a friend of Charlie’s, Peter Gilbert, wanted to learn how to play banjo. Peter would come over on Friday nights for banjo lessons, and the tradition of Friday night jams began.


Over the next 15 years, Charlie’s Friday night jams were well attended. The jammers played through hurricanes, blizzards, and power outages. On a typical Friday night, one could meet musicians and people from all over New England who were there to play or just listen to bluegrass. Some musicians were just learning to play bluegrass while others were accomplished bluegrass musicians. Charlie welcomed everyone regardless of their playing ability or acoustic instrument. 
Charlie