Country Music Hall of Fame singer/songwriter Tom T. Hall dies at 85

Country music Hall of Famer Tom T. Hall has died at age 85.
Country music Hall of Famer Tom T. Hall has died at age 85.(Credit: Grand Ole Opry)
Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 8:38 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Sources are reporting Friday evening that legendary country singer and songwriter Tom T. Hall has passed away at the age of 85.

SiriusXM reported his death Friday evening, with the Grand Ole Opry tweeting a photo in honor of the artist.

Born in Olive Hill, Kentucky, in 1936, Hall worked as a DJ and played with his first band, the Kentucky Travelers, before joining the army in 1957.

Hall worked again as a DJ in the early 60s, moving to Nashville in 1964 to write music, producing his first #1 hit.

Called “The Storyteller,” Tom T. Hall composed chart-topping music throughout the 70s, being elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1978.

Hall wrote the book on songwriting with his “Songwriter’s Handbook,” producing hundreds of hits throughout his career like “Ballad of Forty Dollars,” later recorded by Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. Music he wrote for others often brought their careers forward, including Jeannie C. Riley’s “Harper Valley P.T.A.” in 1968 and Alan Jackson’s “Little Bitty,” in 1996.

In 1979, Hall brought a film crew from Nashville to Levelland and brought national eyes and ears to an early commercial music program at South Plains College with a mini-documentary on the country and bluegrass music being made there.

A concert hall and production center on SPC campus named in his honor hosted a benefit concert in 1987, featuring Hall and SPC faculty, , with proceeds resulting in the Tom T. and Dixie Hall Scholarship.

Even after retiring from performing, Hall with his wife and fellow songwriter, Miss Dixie, continued their methods of musical storytelling, advancing and inspiring the careers of bluegrass musicians for decades.

Hall was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008, the International Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 2018, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2019.

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