This month's featured artist is one of country music's most recognizable names and one of the most deserving people. He has won numerous industry awards and is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Now, Tom T. Hall has been selected to be inducted into the prestigious Country Music Hall Of Fame.
His achievements go far beyond anything that could be listed in one segment. Born on May 25, 1936 in Olive Hill, Kentucky, Tom T. Hall knew at an early age he wanted to be an entertainer. By the time he was a teenager, he was performing with a band called the Kentucky Travelers. They performed as an opening act for a traveling movie theater. Like most young men from that time period, Tom enlisted in the military. He started writing songs about military experiences and eventually performed on the Armed Forces Radio Network.
Once he was out of the Army, he still had the urge to be involved in the music industry. He ended up going to work in West Virginia at a local radio station as an announcer. During this time, he also focused on his songwriting. His hard work finally paid off in 1963 when Jimmy C. Newman recorded his tune "D.J. For A Day."
At this point, Tom decided to pack up and head to Nashville. It wasn't long before he had songs going up the charts. The first monster hit that Tom T. wrote was "Harper Valley P.T.A." It was recorded by Jeannie C. Riley and ended up winning a Grammy. This was only the beginning of an amazing career that has now spanned for more that forty years.
Although by the late 1960's, Tom T. Hall was already having some radio hits of his own, it wasn't until 1970 that he would earn his first No. 1 hit as a singer. "A Week In A County Jail" may have been his first hit as a singer but he was also the songwriter as well. It's funny how most of his songs are simple and truthful. How can you sucessfully write a song about speeding through town and spending a week in jail just for doing it? No one may ever know where Tom got his inspiration for this catchy tune, but history proved it to be a classic.
By writing all of these great songs, Tom landed the nickname "The Story Teller." "The Year That Clayton Delaney Died" is a perfect example of how Tom T. Hall could sit down, write a song, and eventually take it all the way to No. 1. This song was about a boy in the country and looking up to the man down the street as a role model. Although he may not have been the best person to follow, Tom still saw the good in him. The song recalls all the things that Clayton Delaney taught him and how much his death impacted his life.
He continued to have songs on the charts until the mid-1980's. Since the late 1990's, Tom has retired from touring, but still remains active in the Nashville songwriting community. He started his own bluegrass label named Blue Circle. At the young age of 71, Tom T. and his wife Dixie are still as influential today as they have ever been. Congratulations on being inducted in the Country Music Hall Of Fame. You deserve it!
- I Washed My Face in the Morning Dew
- Ballad of Forty Dollars
- Strawberry Farms
- A Week in a County Jail
- Ode to Half a Pound of Ground Round
- One Hundred Children
- The Year That Clayton Delaney Died
- Me and Jesus
- More About John Henry
- Old Dogs, Children, And Watermelon Wine
- Ravishing Ruby
- Country Is
- I Love
- That Song Is Driving Me Crazy
- I Like Beer
- Your Man Loves You, Honey
- Son of Clayton Delaney
- Back When Gas Was Thirty Cents a Gallon
- Everything From Jesus To Jack Daniels