Born in Converse, SC, Bobby Thompson started out as a bluegrass player in the 1950s, and his route to Nashville came by way of his banjo playing for Jim & Jesse. After settling in Nashville in 1966, he established himself as a guitarist but kept up with his banjo playing, and among his many gigs, he was a member of the Hee Haw house band for 17 years. Thompson, who retired in 1986, is credited as an enormously influential figure on the banjo for his melodic style of playing, which he popularized in the '60s and '70s. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi