The country music community lost an absolute legend today.
Hargus “Pig” Robbins passed away today at the age of 84.
A member of the country Music Hall of Fame, Pig Robbins has played keys for just about country music legend to ever cut an album. We’re talking Dolly Parton, George Jones, Bob Dylan, Patsy Cline, Charlie Rich, Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Roger Miller, Kenny Rogers, Tammy Wynette, Tanya Tucker… the list goes on and on.
And more recently, you can hear Robbins tickling the ivories on Sturgill Simpson’s Hightop Mountain and Miranda Lambert’s The Weight of These Wings.
According to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Robbins was born in Spring City, Tennessee, and he earned the nickname “Pig” because he would come home from school filthy from sneaking outside to play.
“I got the nickname ‘Pig’ at school. I had a supervisor who called me that because I used to sneak in through a fire escape and play when I wasn’t supposed to, and I’d get dirty as a pig.”
At the age of three he lost his vision after accidentally stabbing himself in the eye with his father’s knife, but by the age of seven, he was already beginning to study classical piano at the Tennessee School for the Blind.
Playing around clubs in Nashville, Robbins gained the attention of the music world playing on George Jones’ 1959 hit, “White Lightning.” And from then on, country albums couldn’t get enough of him,
According to studio guitarist and Country Music Hall of Fame member Harold Bradley:
“Pig has come up with more identifiable licks than anyone. And he’s also the best rhythm piano player in town.”
He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2012 alongside Connie Smith and Garth Brooks.
RIP Pig Robbins… a true country music legend.
“Like all successful session musicians, Pig Robbins was quick to adapt to any studio situation. He worked quickly, with perfection less a goal than a norm. The greatest musicians in Nashville turned to Pig for guidance and inspiration.”