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HARGUS ‘PIG’ ROBBINS


After graduating from school, Robbins began performing as part of the Nashville club scene and making connections with fellow musicians. He got his first session gig helping a friend record his demo. Subsequently he joined the musicians’ union and got his first major exposure playing on George Jones hit White Lightnin’. Robbins soon became part of what was known as the Nashville ‘A’ Team, a group of A-list studio musicians who performed on hundreds of hits recorded during the Nashville Sound era. Among his fellow ‘A’ Team members were future Country Music Hall of Fame members Harold Bradley, Charlie McCoy, and his hero, Floyd Cramer. Through the late 1950s and 1960s, Robbins recorded with


a number of legendary artists, including Roy Orbison, the Everly Brothers, Ray Price, Charley Pride, Connie Smith, Hank Snow, Porter Wagoner, Jerry Jeff Walker, and more. In 1963, he recorded a solo album, A BIT OF COUNTRY PIANO. He also played on non-country albums with such names as Rosemary Clooney, Engelbert Humperdinck, Gordon Lightfoot, Country Joe McDonald, Tracy Nelson and Mother Earth. In 1969 he released ONE MORE TIME on the Chart label. By


this time he was already the preferred piano player on most of the Chart sessions. In the 1970s he appeared on many, many albums both in country and rock. In 1976, 77, 79-82, and 1984 he was voted the Academy of Country Music’s Keyboardist of the year. Also in 1976 he was voted the CMA’s Musician of the Year. In 1977 he received a Grammy for Best Country Instrumental Performance for his first Elektra album COUNTRY


INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR. In 1978, Robbins released PIG IN A POKE, his second album for Elektra. He closed out the 1970s with his third and final Elektra album, UNBREAKABLE HEARTS. Even though younger keyboardists appeared continually in


Nashville, Robbins remained the first choice of many artists, and played with Merle Haggard, Tanya Tucker, Ronnie Milsap, Keith Whitley, Tom T. Hall, Mark Chesnutt, George Jones, John Anderson and Travis Tritt. He also backed alt-rock pranksters Ween on their 12 GOLDEN COUNTRY GREATS album of 1996. He won the CMA Musician of the Year Award in 2000 and


he and his fellow members of the Nashville ‘A’ Team were inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2007. The following year he performed on the sessions for Christmas Duets, a project featuring Sara Evans, Amy Grant, Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman, Martina McBride, Anne Murray, Olivia Newton-John, LeAnn Rimes, Carrie Underwood, Gretchen Wilson, and Wynonna performing alongside vocals from Elvis Presley. Like most great musicians, Robbins’ tastes are broad. He cites


Little Richard, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis as rockers he loves alongside his country favourites Tex Ritter, Carl Smith, Roy Acuff, Hank Thompson and Kitty Wells. He also mentions fellow session players like Grady Martin, Pete Drake, Lloyd Green and several others as people he’s especially fond of as both musicians and people, and current favourites include Josh Turner, Joe Nichols, Alan Jackson and Travis Tritt. Alan Cackett


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