Robert Hicks, better known as Barbecue Bob, was an early American Piedmont blues musician. His nickname was derived from his working as a cook in a barbecue restaurant. One of the three extant photographs of him show him playing a guitar and wearing a full-length white apron and cook's hat.
Hicks was born in Walnut Grove, Georgia. His parents, Charlie and Mary Hicks, were farmers. He and his brother, Charlie Hicks, together with Curley Weaver, were taught how to play the guitar by Curley's mother, Savannah "Dip" Weaver. Bob began playing the 6-string guitar but picked up the 12-string guitar after moving to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1924. He became one of the prominent performers of the newly developing Atlanta blues style.
In Atlanta, Hicks worked at various jobs, playing music on the side. While working at Tidwells' Barbecue in a north Atlanta suburb, he came to the attention of Columbia Records talent scout Dan Hornsby. Hornsby recorded him and used Hicks's job to publicize his records, having Hicks pose in chef's whites and hat for publicity photos and dubbing him "Barbecue Bob". Before his death in 1931, he married a woman named Claudine and lived off Hillard Street in Atlanta.