(CelebrityAccess) — Tom T. Hall, the legendary country music singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who scored pop crossover hits with songs such as “Harper Valley PTA” and “I Love,” died at his home on Friday. He was 85.
“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,” said Sarah Trahern, Country Music Association, CEO.
A native of Kentucky, Hall organized his first band, the Kentucky Travelers, while he was still a teenager.
He enlisted in the army in 1957 and while stationed in Germany, performed on armed services radio, playing comedic music about his experiences with army life.
After his military service, he landed a gig as a DJ at several radio stations before breaking through as a songwriter in 1963, when country singer Jimmy C. Newman recorded his song “DJ For a Day.”
A year later, he relocated to Nashville where he secured a job as a songwriter for the publishing company Newkeys Music, where he penned hits for artists such as Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Johnny Cash, and Loretta Lynn, among others.
He was also a recording artist in his own right, releasing a string of hits such as Rhymer and Other Five and Dimers, For the People in the Last Hard Town, Songs of Fox Hollow, and Faster Horses.
Hall was a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, along with his wife Dixie, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, and the Grand Ole Opry.
His accolades also include a Grammy win in 1973 and seven CMA nominations, as well as multiple Bluegrass Song Writer of the Year awards with his wife Dixie.
“Tom T. was one funny human being. He gave me a bull 35 years ago. He wrote me a note explaining his gift of the bull. ‘Larry my young friend, I’m mighty fond of this old bull because he’s got a bad knee, and that’s what kept me out of the Army.’ Kinda funny considering the fact that he joined the Army and later he performed for our military personnel all over the world. Yes, my friend Tom T. was one funny human being. One genuine, good human being and one of the very best wordsmiths on the planet. REST IN PEACE, my friend. Steve and Rudy didn’t get a bull but they loved old Tom T. too,” said Larry Gatlin after news of Hall’s passing broke.