Tom T. Hall is one of the original master craftsmen of country music, a distinct voice who elevated the art form by staying true to himself and fostering a sincere respect for his listeners.
The Kentucky native’s approach earned him the nickname “The Storyteller.” As a recording artist, Hall had seven No. 1 singles, all self-penned: “A Week in a Country Jail” (1969–70), “The Year That Clayton Delaney Died” (1971),“(Old Dogs, Children and) Watermelon Wine” (1972–73),” “I Love” (1973–74), “Country Is” (1974), “I Care” (1974–75), and “Faster Horses (the Cowboy and the Poet)” (1976).
The Grammy winner also famously wrote smashes for others, including “Harper Valley P.T.A.,” which Jeannie C. Riley took to No. 1 on country and pop charts in 1968, as well as “The Pool Shark,” a chart-topper for Dave Dudley; “(Margie’s at) the Lincoln Park Inn” and “That’s How I Got to Memphis,” recorded by Bobby Bare; and “Little Bitty,” a mega-hit for Alan Jackson in the late 90s.
Hall has earned a total of 31 BMI Awards for songwriting spanning country and pop genres, and six of his songs have accumulated more than one million performances each. In 2008, he was welcomed into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2011, songwriters Eric Brace and Peter Cooper produced their own take on seminal 1974 children’s album Songs of Fox Hollow. The project, I Love: Tom T. Hall’s Songs of Fox Hollow, featuring top-tier roots artists delivering new versions of the classic songs, was nominated for a Grammy, reflecting the undiminished resonance of Hall’s music.
He has collaborated extensively with his wife Miss Dixie, and the Halls were named SPBGMA Songwriter of the Year for 10 consecutive years, garnering them the Master’s Gold and Grand Master’s Gold award. He met his wife, Miss Dixie, at the 1965 BMI Country Awards in Nashville. They were married from 1969 until her death on January 16, 2015.