Stanley Hicks was born on October 20, 1911 on Beech Mountain in the North Carolina mountains. His parents, Roby Monroe and Buna Presnell Hicks, were well-known singers and musicians. Stanley learned how to make banjos from his father, and eventually gained international fame for his hand-made instruments, dancing, playing, and his endless supply of stories.
Not only did Stanley make instruments, he taught others the craft. One of his students, Charlie Glenn, built his first banjo and dulcimer with Stanley's help. Charlie continues to refine his style and carries on the tradition passed on by Stanley.
In 1980, the North Carolina Folklore Society present its highest honor, the Brown-Hudson Award, to Stanley Hicks. In 1983, Stanley was presented with the National Heritage Fellowship of the Folk Arts Program of the National Endowment of the Arts.
Stanley passed away in 1989.