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    Tom T. Hall

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    Most Popular Songs (more)

    1Intro to Song Three lyrics
    2I Still Care What Happens to You lyrics
    3Way We Were lyrics
    4You Show Me Your Heart and I'll Show You Mine lyrics
    5Fox on the Run lyrics
    6It's All in the Game lyrics
    7Another Town lyrics
    8Songwriter lyrics
    9Saturday Morning Song lyrics
    10Greed Kills More People Than Whiskey lyrics

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    1Homecoming [Mercury] [1969]
    2Ballad of Forty Dollars [Mercury] [1969]
    3One Hundred Children [Mercury] [1970]
    4Rhymer and Other Five and Dimers [Mercury] [1973]
    5Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 [Mercury] [1972]
    6I Witness Life [Mercury] [1970]
    7The Storyteller [Mercury] [1972]
    8For the People in the Last Hard Town [Mercury] [1973]
    9In Search of a Song [Mercury] [1971]
    10We All Got Together and... [Mercury] [1972]


    Tom T. Hall is known as a storyteller, a songwriter with a keen eye
    for detail and a knack for narrative. Many musicians have covered
    his songs — most notably Jeannie C. Riley's 1968 hit "Harper Valley
    P.T.A." — and he also has racked up a number of solo hits, including
    seven number one singles.

    Hall is the son of a bricklaying minister, who gave his child a guitar
    at the age of eight. He had already begun to write poetry, so it was
    a natural progression for him to begin writing songs. Hall began
    learning music and performing techniques from a local musician
    called Clayton Delaney. At the age of 11, his mother died. Four
    years later, his father was shot in a hunting accident, which
    prevented him from working. In order to support himself and his
    father, Hall quit school and took a job in a local garment factory.
    While he was working in the factory, he formed his first band, the
    Kentucky Travelers. The group played bluegrass and gigged at
    local schools as well as a radio station in Morehead, KY. The station
    was sponsored by the Polar Bear Flour Company; Hall wrote a jingle
    for the company. After the Kentucky Travelers broke up, Hall became
    a DJ at the radio station.

    In 1957, Hall enlisted in the Army and was stationed in Germany.
    While in Germany, he performed at local NCO clubs on the Armed
    Forces Radio Network, where he sang mostly original material, which
    usually had a comic bent to it. After four years of service, he was
    discharged in 1961. Once he returned to the States, he enrolled in
    Roanoke College as a journalism student; he supported himself by
    DJing at a radio station in Salem, VA.

    One day a Nashville songwriter was visiting the Salem radio station
    and he heard Hall's songs. Impressed, the songwriter sent the
    songs to a publisher named Jimmy Key, who ran New Key
    Publishing. Key signed Hall as a songwriter, bringing the songs to
    a variety of recording artists. The first singer to have a hit with one
    of Hall's songs was Jimmy Newman, who brought "DJ for a Day" to
    number one on the country charts in 1963. In early 1964, Dave
    Dudley took "Mad" to the Top Ten. The back-to-back success
    convinced Hall to move to Nashville, where he was going to continue
    his career as a professional songwriter.

    After Johnnie Wright had a number one hit with Hall's "Hello
    Vietnam," the music industry was pressuring Tom to become a
    performer. He decided to take the plunge in 1967, signing a
    contract with Mercury Records. His first single, "I Washed My
    Face in the Morning Dew," was released in the summer of 1967
    and became a minor hit. Hall followed the single with two other
    singles in 1968 that failed to crack the Top 40. Then, in the late
    summer of 1968, Jeannie C. Riley had a major hit with Hall's
    "Harper Valley P.T.A.," which spent three weeks at the top of the
    charts and was voted the Single of the Year by the Country Music
    Association. Its success brought attention to Hall's own recording
    career, which was evident from the performance of "Ballad of Forty
    Dollars." The song became his first Top Ten hit, climbing all the way
    to number four.

    Throughout 1969, he had a string of hit singles, culminated by the
    release of the number one single "A Week in a Country Jail" at the
    end of the year. The following year was just as successful, as
    "Shoeshine Man" and "Salute to a Switchblade" both hit the Top Ten.
    In 1971, he had his second number one single and his biggest hit,
    "The Year That Clayton Delaney Died," which was based on his
    childhood hero.

    For most of the early '70s, Hall was a consistent hitmaker as well
    as a popular concert attraction. Between 1971 and 1976, he had
    five number one hits besides "The Year That Clayton Delaney
    Died": "(Old Dogs-Children And) Watermelon Wine," "I Love,"
    "Country Is," "I Care," and "Faster Horses (The Cowboy and the
    Poet)." Hall was appearing on television shows with regularity
    during this time, particularly Hee Haw. He also wrote a book on
    songwriting, which led to his authorship of a pair of books in the
    late '70s and early '80s — the semiautobiography The Storyteller's
    Nashville (1979) and the novel The Laughing Man of Woodmont

    Although he continued to have the occasional Top Ten hit in the late
    '70s — most notably the number four "You Man Loves You, Honey"
    (1977) — Hall didn't deliver hit singles as consistently as he did the
    first half of the decade. That pattern continued in the early '80s,
    when he began having trouble cracking the Top 40; only 1984's
    "P.S. I Love You," a cover of a 1934 Rudy Vallée hit, made it into
    the Top Ten. After 1986, Hall retired from recording, although
    artists continued to record his songs. In 1996, he delivered Songs
    From Sopchoppy, his first album in ten years.

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