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Earl and Fred Pike

2020 RIBA Hall of Fame inductees

Earl Pike, the youngest of a family of twelve, six sisters and five brothers, was born May 30, 1934. Earl’s early childhood was spent on the family farm in Sterling, Connecticut. It was during this time that he, along with his brother Fred, began his musical career. They appeared first on radio in early 1944 in Westerly, Rhode Island, and Putnam, Connecticut.

The brothers also worked numerous television and stage shows, appearing with such notables as “Hackshaw Hawkins,” “Big Slim the lone cowboy,” Jerry and Sky” and many others.

Earl’s music career was interrupted by a tragic injury in an accident on the farm. Through grim determination and several operations, Earl was finally able to resume a normal life and the work he enjoyed.

Fred Pike was born on October 27, 1932. He started playing the guitar at the age of eight and by the time he was 12 years old he could also play the dobro, tenor banjo, fiddle and mandolin. It was not until 1958, soon after Earl’s accident, that Fred decided to take up the five string banjo.

During this period, Fred formed a group of his own and they performed on all the major bluegrass shows in the country and with most of the top acts in the business, ranging from Bill Monroe, Reno and Harrell and The Osborne Brothers to Webb Pierce, Lefty Frizell and Bill Anderson.

In January 1968, Fred rejoined Earl for an enduring musical partnership.