Country singer, songwriter, and author.
Best known for writing and singing observant songs reﬂective of rural and small-town Appalachian life, Tom T. Hall (he gave himself the middle initial to make his name more distinctive) was born May 25, 1936, in a log cabin at Tick Ridge, near Olive Hill in eastern Kentucky. Forced to drop out of school at age ﬁfteen to support his family after his mother died and his father, a brick plant worker and Baptist minister, became disabled, Hall furthered his education while serving several years in the U.S. Army. Later, he took classes at Roanoke College in Virginia, becoming an admirer of Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, and Sinclair Lewis.
Hall is best known for a series of songs composed in the late 1960s and early 1970s that combine realism, journalistic succinctness, and, often, dark or subtle humor. These include “Harper Valley P.T.A.,” “Old Dogs, Children, and Water- melon Wine,” “Homecoming,” “The Year that Clayton Delaney Died,” “A Week in a County Jail,” “Me and Jesus,” and many others. Hall’s hundreds of songs earned him the sobriquet “The Storyteller.” He has also written several books, including an autobiography, The Storyteller’s Nashville (1979), two novels, a short-story collection, a book on song- writing, and a children’s Christmas book.
Hall has won a Grammy, ﬁfty songwriting awards from the Broadcast Music, Inc., licensing organization, and a Nashville Music Award.
Cite this Entry
"Tom T. Hall," Encyclopedia of Appalachia, 2013, Encyclopedia of Appalachia. 25 May 2013 <http://www.www.encyclopediaofappalachia.com/entry.php?rec=106>
"Tom T. Hall." (2013) In Encyclopedia of Appalachia, Retrieved May 25, 2013, from Encyclopedia of Appalachia: http://www.www.encyclopediaofappalachia.com/entry.php?rec=106
Tom T. Hall