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    Robbins, Hargus "Pig" (18th January 1938 - Present)

    Born in Spring City, Tennessee, Hargus Melvin Robbins fashioned a career for himself that spanned four decades.  As a child, he accidentally poked one of his eyes out with his father's knife.  By the age of four, he was totally blind.  He attended Nashville's Tennessee school for the blind where he studied classical piano, although his early influences were Ray Charles, Floyd Cramer, and singing cowboy Tex Ritter.  For better or worse, this was where he earned the nickname "Pig".  Regarded as one of the greatest session musicians in country music history, and certainly one of the most exhaustively prolific, he has played piano and/or keyboards for such notables as Bobby Bare, Kathy Barnes, Mark Chesnutt, Patsy Cline, Crystal Gayle ("Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue"), Vince Gill, Merle Haggard, Tom T. Hall, Alan Jackson, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire, Roger Miller ("King of the Road") Ronnie Milsap, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Charlie Rich ("Behind Closed Doors"), Kenny Rogers, The Statler Brothers, Randy Travis, Travis Tritt, Ernest Tubb, Tanya Tucker, and Tammy Wynette.  His collaborations were not limited to country music, however.  In 1966, he appeared on the Bob Dylan album Blonde on Blonde, opening doors for himself into the folk and pop music scene, including stints with Joan Baez, Ray Charles, John Denver, The Everly Brothers, Mark Knopfler, Tom Jones, Roy Orbison, and Neil Young.  He's even teamed up with alternative-rock group Ween.  The bulk of Robbins' solo output was between 1977 and 1979, when he released three albums for Elektra:  the Grammy-winning Country Instrumentalist of the Year, Pig in a Poke, and Unbreakable Hearts.  Releases from these albums include the good-natured "Chunky People" and a remake of the rock and roll classic "Little Bitty Pretty One".  In 2000, he received the coveted ROPE (Reunion of Professional Entertainers) award, as well as the Country Music Association's Musician of the Year award, his second, and the first such accolade to be given to a pianist.  Unfortunately, nerve damage suffered from chemotherapy treatments forced him to retire the same year. 

     

    Kathy Barnes recordings

    Something's Burning (Mac Davis)

     

    Hargus "Pig" Robbins recordings

    Chunky People (David Chamberlain/Jim Vest)

    Forever (Buddy Killen)

    Little Bitty Pretty One (Robert Byrd)  

    Love, Love, Love (Terry Franks)

    Unbreakable Hearts (Dennis Morgan/Ann J. Morton)

    Whatever Happened to the Girls I Knew (Larry Cheshier/Murray Kellum)

     

    Kenny Rogers recordings
    The Gambler (Don Schlitz)
    United Artists UA-X1250-Y (UAST-20122)

     

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