The American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame was originally established in 1998 as the National Four-String Banjo Hall of Fame to honor jazz age four-string banjo pioneers as well as the contemporary artists, educators, manufacturers and promoters who carried on the traditions of their predecessors. In its infancy, the American Banjo Museum was an extension of that Four-String Hall of Fame. Between 1998 and 2013, the Hall of Fame honored 71 individuals and entities in the four-string banjo world whose career accomplishments might have otherwise gone unrecognized. As the museum grew and evolved to embrace all types of banjos and playing styles, it became clear that the Hall of Fame should evolve as well. In 2013 the American Banjo Museum Board of Directors voted to establish an annual performance category to honor all styles of five-string banjo playing as well as opening the non-performance categories to all types of banjos.
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American Banjo Music Hall of Fame 2009
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February 26, 2010 • STLtoday.com "John Becker dies; celebrated banjo player"