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Bobbe Long 'Beegie' Adair, Jazz Pianist and Staple in Nashville Music Scene, Dead at 84

·2-min read
Bobbe Long Beegie Adair
Bobbe Long Beegie Adair

Jeff Coffin Beegie Adair

Bobbe Long "Beegie" Adair, a prolific jazz pianist and prominent figure in Nashville's music scene, died Sunday. She was 84.

The Associated Press reported Adair's manager Monica Ramey said she died in Franklin, Tennessee. The AP added the cause of death was not immediately disclosed.

Adair accumulated a number of accolades throughout her impressive career that spanned six decades.

Most notably, Adair played on over 100 records. She was a musician on both The Johnny Cash Show and The Ralph Emery Show and worked on albums with country stars Dolly Parton, Vince Gill and musician Chet Atkins among other notables.

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According to the AP, Adair put out 35 albums with her trio of bassist Roger Spencer and drummer Chris Brown. The news outlet added the trio often performed at famous venues Carnegie Hall and Birdland Jazz Club.

"She was such a joy to play with," said Spencer per NPR. "There were never any issues regarding song selection or pacing, and she was the ideal pianist to accompany."

In 2002 she was named a Steinway Artist, an honor only 1,600 pianists have ever earned, NPR reported, adding she was the first person to be presented the NJW's inaugural Heritage Award.

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Her work as a musician was important to Nashville's jazz community and helped it thrive over the decades.

Adair taught and held performances at the Nashville Jazz Workshop and was one of its founding members.

"She could play anything, in any key or at any tempo," said NJW co-founder and fellow pianist Lori Mechem per NPR.

"She was astonishing in terms of every tune that she knew, whether it was the American Songbook or a country song. There was literally nothing you could bring out that she couldn't play and play well."

The Cave City, Kentucky native got into music at the age of 5, the AP added, while also noting she went to college in Kentucky and then later moved to Nashville in the 1960s to become part of its music scene.

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