Country Music Hall of Famer Tom T. Hall, 85, Dies

The songwriter behind Harper Valley P.T.A. had a string of hits
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2021 11:30 AM CDT
Country Music Hall of Famer Tom T. Hall, 85, Dies
File photo of the Grand Ole Opry.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Country music legend Tom T. Hall has died. He was 85. Hall, a fixture in Nashville since the ‘60s and a Grand Ole Opry cast member since 1971, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008. Hall, who was born Thomas Hall and added the T when he started performing, was best known for songs that were conversational or story-like. He was dubbed “the storyteller,” by Tex Ritter, and wrote novels and stories as well as songs, the Tennessean reports. He hit No. 1 on both the country and pop charts with Harper Valley P.T.A., sung by Jeannie C. Riley.

He had several other sizable hits, and quite a few charmers, like I Like Beer. He wasn’t above a novelty song, either, like May the Force Be With You Always, released in 1977—the same year as Star Wars. He wrote a record for kids, Songs of Fox Hollow, released in 1974. Later in his career, Hall returned to his Kentucky roots—he was born in Olive Hill, KY, in 1936—and started writing and playing bluegrass music with his wife, Iris “Miss Dixie” Lawrence Hall. He and Miss Dixie, who died in 2015, were inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 2018. The couple had no children. (More obituary stories.)

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