Tom T. Hall, Country Music’s ‘Storyteller,’ Is Dead at 85

Tom T. Hall, Country Music’s ‘Storyteller,’ Is Dead at 85

He moved to Nashville in 1964 and signed a recording contract with Mercury shortly after the Cajun singer Jimmy C. Newman had a Top 10 country hit with his song “D.J. for a Day.”

In Mr. Hall’s career as a recording artist, which spanned more than two decades, he placed a total of 54 singles on the country charts. He also released more than three dozen albums, including two bluegrass projects: “The Magnificent Music Machine,” a 1976 collaboration with Bill Monroe, and “The Storyteller and the Banjoman” (1982), with Earl Scruggs.

Mr. Hall joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry in 1971 and won a Grammy Award for best album notes for the 1972 compilation “Tom T. Hall’s Greatest Hits.” He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1978 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008. In the early 1980s, he hosted the syndicated television series “Pop! Goes the Country.”

His songs continued to be recorded by mainstream country artists well into the 1990s, most notably “Little Bitty,” which reached the top of the country chart for Alan Jackson in 1996.

Information on survivors was not immediately available. Mr. Hall’s wife of 46 years, Iris Lawrence Hall, known to most as Miss Dixie, died in 2015. The couple did not have children of their own, but Fox Hollow, their 67-acre farm and recording studio south of Nashville, was a haven for aspiring young singers and songwriters.

Bluegrass was the couple’s passion during their final years together; for their many contributions to the idiom, including the numerous songs they wrote in that style, they were honored with a Distinguished Achievement Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2004.

“He didn’t like taking 35 dogs to a show, and he wouldn’t play golf with me because I was good,” Ms. Hall, a dog lover and animal rights activist, told The New York Times in 2008, explaining why the couple spent much of their retirement writing songs. “But songwriting was something we could do together.”

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