Johnny Hiland grew up in the small town of Baileyville, Maine. He was born legally blind with an eye disease known as Nystagmus, which did not allow him to grow up like most children. he started playing guitar at age 2, and went on to perform his first tv show at age 7. His career took off when Johnny won the “Talent America Contest,” at age 10, in new york city. his father had taken him to see Ricky Skaggs perform, and Johnny immediately went from pickin’ bluegrass to wanting a telecaster.