Kix Brooks calls Hargus 'Pig' Robbins the Elvis of session players in Nashville. "Elvis had entered the building when Pig came in," Kix recalls, talking to The Boot about the recent Country Music Hall of Fame inductee. "When Pig walked in the room, all the musicians stopped and waited to see how he was gonna take the song."

Pig's first recording session in Nashville was with George Jones on his single, 'White Lightning.' He also played piano on Bob Dylan's 'Blonde on Blonde' album and on a multitude of country sessions with the likes of Merle Haggard, Chris Young, Loretta Lynn, Kenny Rogers, Tanya Tucker, Ronnie Milsap, Tom T. Hall, Alan Jackson, Mark Chesnutt and Travis Tritt.

Kix says Pig didn't play on any of the Brooks & Dunn sessions, but he did play on some of his early demos as a solo artist. "That tells you a lot about him," Kix emphasizes. "He was playing with all these huge rock stars and on every hit country record out of Nashville and then he would show up to play on my demos when no one had ever heard of me. He would bring that amazing great stuff with him and do a great job for me."

As for Connie Smith, Pig's fellow inductee, Kix says he can't remember when he first heard of her ... and that's actually a compliment. "I can't tell you the first time I heard her, or (Merle) Haggard or (George) Jones either. They've always been there. When I think of country music, Connie Smith is in the psyche. When you talk about girl singers, her name always comes up.

"Connie set the standard a long time ago along with Patsy Cline and other great girl singers," Kix continues. "She did 53 albums! I think Ronnie and I did nine. How many songs are on 53 albums? It's just amazing to think about it. There's a reason she recorded 53 albums; she's that good."

Kix also has high praise for Garth Brooks, the third inductee in Pig and Connie's class. "Garth hasn't changed since the first day I met him," Kix remembers. "He really is that good of a guy. It's hard for people to believe that he can be that humble and be Garth. That kind of talent and greatness tend to come with humility. People who carry a lot of ego on their sleeve generally aren't that great."

Kix also credits Garth with changing the face of country music with his showmanship and the way he captures an audience. "He blew the doors open for how big we became, the way we did business, and how big the tours were. Ronnie and I could never have toured at the level we did without Garth doing it first. He brought that many fans to the table, and those fans of his came to see us. It allowed us to go into arenas and really big buildings and draw those kind of crowds because of country music being very popular.

"He's not solely to blame and he certainly wouldn't take credit for it, but I think he's to blame for the level country music went to," Kix continues, praising Garth. "It's his ability to communicate. There are a lot of great singers and players out there, but they don't look a crowd in the eye like Garth does or throw that kind of party. It's a God-given talent he has, and he's used it in a really cool way."

Garth Brooks, Connie Smith and Pig Robbins will all be officially inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame at the Medallion Ceremony later this year.



Watch a Report on the New Hall of Fame Inductees


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Garth Brooks to Join Country Music Hall of Fame