In Memoriam|

Tom T Hall story teller

Photo: Tom T. Hall (Country Music Hall of Fame) | Wikipedia: Thomas T. Hall (May 25, 1936 – August 20, 2021), nicknamed “the Storyteller”, was an American country music singer-songwriter and short-story author. He wrote 12 No. 1 hit songs, with 26 more that reached the Top 10, including the No. 1 international pop crossover hit “Harper Valley PTA” and “I Love”, which reached No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. He is included in Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Songwriters.

Hall was born in Olive Hill, Kentucky, United States on May 25, 1936. As a teenager, he organized a band called the Kentucky Travelers that performed before movies for a traveling theater. Hall enlisted in the U. S. Army in 1957, serving in Germany. While in the service, he performed over the Armed Forces Radio Network and wrote comic songs about army experiences. Following his discharge in 1961, he used the G.I. Bill program to enroll at Roanoke College, where he worked as a disc jockey.
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Hall’s big songwriting break came in 1963, when country singer Jimmy C. Newman recorded his song “DJ For a Day”. In 1964, he moved to Nashville and started to work as a $50-a-week songwriter for Newkeys Music, the publishing company belonging to Newman and his business partner Jimmy Key, writing up to half a dozen country songs per day. Key suggested that he add the middle initial “T” to his name. Hall was nicknamed “The Storyteller”, and he composed songs for dozens of country music stars, including Johnny Cash, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Waylon Jennings, Alan Jackson, and Bobby Bare. He also penned “Hello Vietnam”, a song that openly supported the Vietnam War at a time when war protest songs were beginning to dominate the pop music charts. The song proved to be a hit for country singer Johnnie Wright and was later used in the 1987 Vietnam War movie Full Metal Jacket.

One of his earliest successful songwriting ventures, “Harper Valley PTA”, recorded in 1968 by Jeannie C. Riley, hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Country Singles charts a week apart. It sold over six million copies and won both a Grammy Award and CMA Award.
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Some of his biggest hits include “A Week in a Country Jail”, “(Old Dogs, Children and) Watermelon Wine”, “I Love”, “Country Is”, “The Year Clayton Delaney Died”, “I Like Beer”, “Faster Horses (the Cowboy and the Poet)”, and “That Song Is Driving Me Crazy”.
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His song “I Love”, in which the narrator lists the things in life that he loves, was recorded by Heathen Dan, with completely altered lyrics, as “I Like” and appeared many times on the Dr. Demento show in the early 1980s.
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Tom Hall was married to bluegrass songwriter and producer Dixie Hall from 1968 until her death on January 16, 2015. . . . They lived in Franklin, Tennessee. Tom and Dixie met at a 1965 music industry award dinner she was invited to for having written (as Dixie Deen) the song “Truck Drivin’ Son-of-a-Gun” which became a hit for Dave Dudley.

Hall had a son, Dean Hall, from his 1961 marriage to Opal “Hootie” McKinney from Grayson, Kentucky. In the early 1980s Dean Hall, who is a singer, musician, and songwriter, worked for his father, first as a roadie and then as a guitar player, before joining Bobby Bare’s band.

Hall died at his home in Franklin, Tennessee, on August 20, 2021 at the age of 85.
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