Hargus "Pig" Robbins

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Hargus "Pig" Robbins
Birth nameHargus Melvin Robbins
Also known asMel Robbins
Born(1938-01-18)January 18, 1938
Spring City, Tennessee, U.S.
DiedJanuary 30, 2022(2022-01-30) (aged 84)
Occupation(s)Session musician
Years active1957–2022
LabelsTime, Chart, Elektra

Hargus Melvin Robbins (January 18, 1938 – January 30, 2022), known by his nickname "Pig", was an American session keyboard player, having played on records for many artists, including Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Connie Smith, Patti Page, Loretta Lynn, Kenny Rogers, George Jones, Charlie Rich, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, J.J. Cale, John Hartford, John Stewart, Mark Knopfler, Alan Jackson, Merle Haggard, Roger Miller, David Allan Coe, Moe Bandy, George Hamilton IV, Sturgill Simpson, Conway Twitty, Ween,and Al Hirt.[1] He was blind, having lost his sight at age four due to an accident involving his father's knife.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Robbins was born on January 18, 1938, in Spring City, Tennessee.[2] He learned to play piano at age seven, while attending the Nashville School for the Blind. He played his first session in 1957, with his first major recording being George Jones's "White Lightning".[3] Thereafter he played keyboards for scores of country music artists.

Between 1963 and 1979, Robbins also recorded eight studio albums: one on Time Records, three on Chart Records, and four on Elektra Records, as well as an independent live album.[3] He was awarded Musician of the Year by the Country Music Association in 1976 and 2000.[4]

His 1959 single "Save It", recorded under the name Mel Robbins, was covered by The Cramps on their 1983 album Off the Bone.

Robbins joined producers Alan Autry and Randall Franks on In the Heat of the Night's 1991 Christmas Time's A Comin' CD, appearing on several cuts and receiving feature credit on David Hart's recording of "Let it Snow".

On October 21, 2012, Robbins was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.[5]

In Robert Altman's classic, Nashville, a hippie piano player nicknamed "Frog" is fired by Henry Gibson's character (an egotistical country singer), who yells at the studio engineer: "When I ask for Pig, I want Pig!"

Robbins died on January 30, 2022, at the age of 84.[6]



Year Album US Country
1962 Hully Gully to The Hits as Mel "Pigue" Robbins
1963 A Bit of Country Piano
1968 Play It Again, Hargus
1969 Hargus Robbins
One More Time
1977 Country Instrumentalist of the Year 46
1978 A Pig in a Poke
1979 Alive from Austin City Limits
Unbreakable Hearts


Year Song US Country[4]
1979 "Chunky People" 83
"Unbreakable Hearts" 92


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Profile". Australian Broadcasting Corporation The Backyard Saturday Night Country. Retrieved March 2, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Huey, Steve. "Hargus "Pig" Robbins biography". Allmusic. Retrieved May 21, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Hargus "Pig" Robbins Highlights Country Music Hall of Fame Programs". Cybergrass. April 19, 2007. Archived from the original on January 16, 2011. Retrieved May 21, 2008.
  4. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 354. ISBN 978-0-89820-177-2.
  5. ^ "Garth Brooks, Connie Smith, Hargus "Pig" Robbins join Country Music Hall of Fame", The Tennessean, March 6, 2012. Accessed March 6, 2012.
  6. ^ Willman, Chris (January 30, 2022). "Hargus 'Pig' Robbins, Country Hall of Famer Who Played Piano on Bob Dylan, Patsy Cline and George Jones Classics, Dies at 84". Variety. Retrieved January 30, 2022.

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