It was announced yesterday that The Storyteller, Tom T. Hall, had died at 85. A much-lauded songwriter, and Country Music Hall of Famer, he was known for timeless tunes like “Harper Valley P.T.A.,” “(Old Dogs, Children and) Watermelon Wine” and “That’s How I Got To Memphis.” Tom T. Hall is proceeded in death by his beloved wife, songwriter Dixie Hall.
As word of the sad news hit the Internet, country music stars took to social to share tributes to, and memories of, the industry icon.
The Oak Ridge Boys, in a tweet, recalled a time in 1978 when they sang at Mama Maybelle Carter’s funeral, and “a saddened Johnny Cash walked up to the podium and asked Tom T. Hall to stand with him. "Johnny said “I draw strength from you Tom!”" The social media post continued, “Thank you Tom T Hall for the song’s and the strength you provided to so many. #RIPTomTHall”
Travis Tritt called Tom T. Hall “One of the greatest story telling songwriters ever!” And shared that he used to “pick and sing” with Hall “at Earl Scrugg’s Home.”
Of her "dear friend," Stella Parton paid her respects in a series of tweets, remembering that the "gifted storyteller" was also a veteran who "believed in equality for all races, women, etc."
Rissi Palmer, aware that not all country music fans are familiar with the now late Hall, shared a link to the Cocaine & Rhinestones podcast that dives into the stories of “one of country music’s greatest songwriters ever.”
When it comes to influence a first, or in this case second, concert can leave a lasting impression on a youth. So when Keith Urban thanks Tom T. Hall, who Urban shares was the second concert he attended at the ripe age of 5, we can only assume what a lasting gift that experience bestowed on the budding icon.
Chely Wright, expressed what Tom T.’s songs were; “elegant, poignant, tender, funny, thought-provoking and cool.”
And the tributes from the artist community continue to come in for a legendary man, gone at 85 but still too soon.