published Friday, March 30th, 2012

Courter: 'Pig' Robbins enters Country Music Hall of Fame

Hargus "Pig" Robbins, a native of Spring City, Tenn., was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame earlier this month along with Garth Brooks and Connie Smith.

Robbins was added into the hall in the Recording and/or Touring Musician Active Prior to 1980 category. After attending the Nashville School for the Blind, Robbins began his career as a session piano player in 1959. One of his earliest recordings was on George Jones' first No. 1 hit, "White Lightning."

He soon joined Harold Bradley, Charlie McCoy and Floyd Cramer as a member of the Nashville "A" Team, which was the backing band on hundreds of hit records. He played for people like Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Ray Price, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan and Connie Smith.

"He's part of the reason I'm here," Smith said at the induction announcement ceremony, according to a Nashville Tennessean article. "He just has a feel for what's needed, and he never misses. I don't ever remember hearing him put a lick in that shouldn't have been there."

• • •

WUTC-FM 88.1 has added a second channel to its digital programming. WUTC-HD 2 went on the air March 19, according to a news release.

The station can be heard on digital radio receivers as well as online at

Listeners will get two five-day-a-week National Public Radio news magazines -- "The Diane Rehm Show" at 10 a.m. and "Talk of the Nation" at 2 p.m. -- as well as music, according to station manager John McCormack.

"WUTC-HD 2 will also broadcast hours upon hours of music," said McCormack. "The musical mix of rock, blues, reggae, doo-wop and folk will fill the airwaves. This will include weekends of nonstop music."

• • •

"Untamed Legacy: America's Wild Mustang," a WTCI-TV 45 original documentary, won three Emmy Awards in the Documentary, Writing and Photography categories at the 26th annual Midsouth Regional Emmy Awards ceremony March 1 in Nashville.

The documentary was produced by WTCI's production team of executive producer Peter DeLynn, writer/producer Jen Noble, director of photography Alex Gazio and graphic designer/editor Sergio Plecas. It was narrated by Jack Perkins.

The documentary, which focuses on the mustang's struggles to survive with diminishing resources, was shot in parts of Tennessee, Alabama, Nevada and New Mexico. It follows a mustang named Charlie as he is relocated from the wild to a new home in Alabama.

"We are proud of this documentary, which showcases the efforts of passionate people reaching out to save the wild mustang and how these magnificent creatures can have a positive impact on the lives of the people they touch," said Paul Grove, president and chief executive officer of WTCI.

• • •

Radio personality Nick Bonsanto has left WALV-FM 105.1 and WDEF-TV 12 to take a new job in Las Vegas. Last Friday was his last day on the air.

"I would love to give a thank you to the great people of Chattanooga," he said. "They have been great to me, and I want them to know that."

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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