My name is Winston J. Bish, and for the past 40 years I have been building, repairing, refitting and manufacturing banjos. In 2012 I began building banjos under my own name, Bish Banjos.
In 1976 on my way to a job interview I happened to spot the Liberty Banjo Company. I turned in and ended up spending the entire day looking, asking questions of the craftsmen and touching those incredible instruments, as well as meeting my future bosses, Mr. Paul Morrissey and Mr. Bob Flesher. At the end of the day, I left with a job eager to start the next day.
I began building banjos from the ground up starting with resonators and necks and then learning the exacting art of cutting pearl and finishing the instruments. I learned all of those skills under the teaching of a very skilled guitar builder named Mr. Jim DeCava. You can find Jim’s website using DeCava.com. Upon Liberty’s closing, I continued building banjos and recently, within the past 5 years, I began building them using my own name.
Building banjos has been a passion of mine for the past 40 years. For the most part I am a builder and not a player. I got my love of banjos from watching a show called the Beverly HillBillies every Saturday morning on a ten inch black and white television. The theme song was played by a group called the Foggy Mountain Boys featuring Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. The Banjo player Earl Scruggs captured my attention with his banjo playing, and I was captivated by that sound. As a teenager I began buying records featuring country and bluegrass music and later attempted to build a banjo of my own.
My banjos are hand crafted to very exacting tolerances, using the very best materials available. I prefer building one at a time to maintain those exacting qualities throughout the building process. More importantly, I will build your banjo to your specifications.
“As a kid I spent Saturday mornings glued to a ten inch black and white television set waiting for one musical segment of a show called the Beverly Hillbillies, not because I enjoyed the show, but because I loved hearing the music. That bluegrass sound captured my imagination much to the dismay of my skeptical brothers and sisters.” – Mr.Bish