The Cockman Family has developed a distinct bluegrass gospel style that has gained audiences throughout the Southeast. Their arrangements of old gospel songs have been very popular. Their tight harmonies and original songs have been applauded for their unique sounds.
Band members include John Cockman Sr. on guitar, Caroline Cockman Fisher on lead vocals, John Cockman Jr. on fiddle and bass vocals, Billy Cockman on banjo and tenor vocals, David Cockman on bass, and Ben Cockman on guiar and mandolin and baritone vocals.
In 2023, the Cockman Family was inducted in the Blue Ridge Hall of Fame They have also been nominated for Bluegrass Artists of the Year, Instrumentalist of the Year, and Bluegrass Band of the Year by the Country Gospel Music Association (CGMA) and for Gold Cross Bluegrass Group of the Year by the International Country Gospel Music Association, and were named one of the “12 Most Creative Families in America” by American Greeting Cards and USA Today Weekend. They were selected as the recipient of the Community Traditions Award by the North Carolina Folklore Society. They were awarded Bluegrass Gospel Group of the Year by Southern Branch Bluegrass. They were also featured in a PBS special program entitled Maker of the Stars: A Cockman Family Christmas, and are known in North Carolina as cast members on a series of seven, one-hour PBS specials, The Arthur Smith Show, Now & Then.
The Cockman Family grandkids have started a new band called Terrapin Creek. The band consists of Arwen Cockman on vocals and fiddle and banjo; Lorien Cockman on vocals, bass and dobro; Samuel Fisher on vocals, guitar and mandolin; and Joseph Cockman on vocals, guitar and bass.
John Cockman Sr is the patriarch of the family and a retired schoolteacher. He is married to Jane. He continues to build furniture in his home shop, and loves to visit a half dozen local jams each week to play guitar. However, his favorite passtime is talking about his seventeen grandchildren!
Caroline Cockman Fisher is the oldest of the siblings. She is married to Kelly Fisher and has two children, Samuel and Lydia. Sam has created his own album on which he plays every instrument! It is for sale on the home page. Sam is also a member of Terrapin Creek. Caroline is a gifted singer and songwriter, and has won “Female Vocalist of the Year” and “Songwriter of the Year” by Powergrass Internet Radio.
John Cockman Jr. is married to Jennifer, and retired from Appalachian State University after 22 years of teaching Physics. John continues to teach at Appstate in Building Sciences. He is also a local Realtor. John teaches fiddle online at BluegrassDaddy.com. John is married to Jennifer and they have six children: Arwen, Lorien, Morgen and Daniel, Rowan, and Elowen. Arwen and Lorien were awarded the 2011 WMA Harmony Yodeling Duo of the Year and the 2011 WMA Youth Harmony award at the Western Music Association Showcase and Awards Show in Albuquerque, NM.
Billy Cockman is an engineer and works in furniture when he isn’t teaching banjo and guitar. Billy is married to Jamie, and has two children, Jeremiah and Emma. Billy sings lead and tenor, and writes many beautiful songs. Billy won the 2013 National Banjo Championship in Winfield, KS. He has also won many regional championships, including the South Carolina Banjo Championship at Renofest in Hartsville, SC. and the North Carolina Banjo Championship at The Carolina in the Fall Festival in Wilkesboro, and also the Merlefest Banjo Championship.
David Cockman is an amazing bassist, and also teaches bass and guitar. David is married to Jessie. They have three children, Joseph, Noah, and Sophie. David writes songs for the group and is known for his contagious smile and joyful demeanor. His son Joe is a member of Terrapin Creek.
Ben Cockman teaches music full time from home in Sherrills Ford, with more than 70 full-time students. Ben is married to Melissa. They have four daughters, Maddie, Lily, Callie, and Ruby. Ben won the 2014 National Guitar Championship in Winfield, KS. He also won multiple regional championships including the South Carolina State and West Virginia State Flat-pick Guitar championships, the Merlefest Flat-pick guitar championship, and the Ossipee Music Festival’s New England Guitar Championship. He is a two-time winner of the Wayne Henderson Bluegrass Festival Guitar championship.