Country Music Hall of Fame 2012 Inductees
It’s been announced that Connie Smith, Hargus ‘Pig’ Robbins and Garth Brooks will be joining country music legends in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Operated by the non-profit Country Music Foundation (CMF), the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum identifies and documents trends in the ever-evolving history and traditions of what is arguably the most popular music genre in North America. Established in 1967 and located in Nashville, Tennessee, the museum is housed in a state-of-the art building which serves as a venue for live performances and public programs, as well as displaying all manner of memorabilia connected to country music.
Connie Smith started her country music career in 1963 when she won a local talent contest and caught the attention of Bill Anderson – American singer, songwriter and television personality. After pitching a number of demos, Smith signed a contract with RCA Victor Records in 1964, launching what was to become a long and successful country music career. Her debut single Once a Day, released in August that same year, went to #1 on the Billboard Magazine Hot Country Singles chart, remaining there for eight weeks. After taking time off from her music career, Connie Smith made a successful comeback in 1998 with the release of her first studio album in twenty years, titled simply Connie Smith.
Hargus ‘Pig’ Robbins learned to play piano at the age of seven. He was attending the Nashville School for the Blind at the time, having lost his sight at the age of four due to an accident. He performed his first stint as a session musician in 1957, and has since played on recordings for Bob Dylan, George Jones, Alan Jackson, Merle Haggard, Ween, Loretta Lyn and Conway Twitty. He has also released a number of albums of his own, starting with A Bit of Country Piano in 1963.
Garth Brooks is credited with helping to open up country music to the world. Blending elements of rock music into his country music recordings, along with his powerful stage presence in live performances, has made him very popular with a wide fan base. His career is considered to have been one of the most successful in popular music history. Nielsen Soundscan has rated Garth Brooks as the best-selling albums artist in the United States since Soundscan began operating in 1991. One step behind ‘The King’ Elvis Presley, Brooks is considered to be the second-best solo albums artist of all time in the United States.
The choice of new inductees to the Country Music Hall of Fame has met with widespread approval. Garth Brooks, Connie Smith and Hargus ‘Pig’ Robbins will join other greats, including Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson, Porter Wagoner, Hank Snow, Kris Kristofferson, Everly Brothers and Dolly Parton.