NASHVILLE, TN (CelebrityAccess) – Country Music Hall of Fame (HoF) instrumentalist Hargus “Pig” Robbins has passed at the age of 84. He was a featured instrumentalist with a career spanning over 30 years. His son confirmed his passing via Facebook, stating he had been hospitalized twice in the last two months, suffering from a bacterial infection in his blood, kidney and heart disease. He posted, “He had a strong mind til the end. He had a great life and was loved by many. His musical legacy will live on.”
Born Hargus Melvin Robbins in Tennessee, a knife accident at age three robbed him of his eyesight, and he went on to study piano at the Tennessee School for the Blind at age seven. The nickname “Pig” came from his time there. “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”, according to the CMA HoF website.
Eventually landing in Nashville, he spent the next several decades working on hundreds of sessions and lending his talent to hits by Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, The Statler Brothers, and Bob Dylan, among others. He is best known for creating the introductions to Crystal Gayle’s, “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”, and Charlie Rich’s “Behind Closed Doors.” He was the Country Music Association’s (CMA) Instrumentalist of the Year in 1976 and 2000. He was inducted into the Country Music HoF in 2012 alongside Connie Smith and the legendary Garth Brooks.
“Hargus “Pig” Robbins was a defining sound for so much of the historic music out of Nashville. His talent spoke for itself through his decades-spanning career and work as a session pianist with countless artists across genres. Our hearts go out to his friends and family during this difficult time.”— Sarah Trahern, Country Music Association CEO