The country music community lost one of its most celebrated songwriters, Tom T. Hall, on Friday, August 20, 2021. Hall, a renowned songwriter, singer and entertainer, was 85 years old.
Hall was a seven-time CMA Awards nominee, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, a GRAMMY winner and a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was elected to the Nashville Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1978 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2019.
Known as “The Storyteller,” Hall was born on May 25, 1936 in Olive Hill, Kentucky. He began writing songs before the age of 10 and joined a bluegrass band as a teenager.
He later joined the military and became a disc jockey for the Army in 1957. He often performed on the Armed Forces Radio Network while stationed in Germany and even sang original songs on air.
When he returned to the states, he was a DJ in Virginia and caught the attention of a music published in Nashville. He began to pursue a singing career while also writing hit songs for other artists.
He went on to write 12 No.1 songs and more than 26 Top 10 singles throughout his career. His songs have been recorded by artists such as Johnny Cash, George Jones, Alan Jackson, Loretta Lynn and Waylon Jennings.
“Few could tell a story like Tom T. Hall. As a singer, songwriter and instrumentalist, he was one of those triple threat artists who continued to make an impact on the next generation. I’ll always remember growing up listening to Tom T.’s music with my father, who was a huge bluegrass and Country fan,” shared Sarah Trahern, CEO of the Country Music Association.
“Tom T. Hall’s masterworks vary in plot, tone and tempo, but they are bound by his ceaseless and unyielding empathy for the triumphs and losses of others,” said Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. “He wrote without judgment or anger, offering a rhyming journalism of the heart that sets his compositions apart from any other writer. His songs meant the world to Bobby Bare, Johnny Cash, George Jones and other greats, and those songs will continue to speak to generations. He was a storyteller, a philosopher, a whiskey maker, a novelist, a poet, a painter, a benefactor, a letter writer, a gift giver, a gentleman farmer and many more things. My bet is that we won’t see the likes of him again, but if we do I’ll be first in line for tickets to the show.”
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The Grand Ole Opry paid tribute to the late singer/songwriter on Friday, writing, “Thank you for all of the music, Tom T. Hall. We’ll miss you ❤️.”
A photo shared on the official Opry Twitter shows a white ribbon on Tom T. Hall’s Opry plaque, in honor of the country music legend.
Details surrounding his passing, including cause of death, are unknown at this time.