The Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame at Bean Blossom has announced that their 2018 inductees will be bluegrass songwriters Tom T. Hall and Dixie Hall. An award ceremony will be held on September 22 during the 44th Annual Hall of Fame and Uncle Pen Bluegrass Festival at the Bill Monroe Music Park in Bean Blossom, IN.
Outside of the bluegrass world, people think of Tom T. Hall as a country singer. He found great success in that field, both as a vocalist and a songwriter, but he retained his love for bluegrass throughout it all. As a young man, he wrote songs for Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, while his future wife, Miss Dixie, was writing them with Maybelle Carter. Once they married in 1968, the two Halls wrote together until she passed in 2015.
They dedicated their energy to bluegrass for the past couple decades, even forming a publishing company and a record label which they ran from their home outside of Nashville. They actively promoted bluegrass artists who had recorded their songs, and it was rare to find any bluegrass chart that didn’t contain at least one of their compositions. In an act of particular generosity to the bluegrass world, the Halls have donated the royalties from their songs to the IBMA upon Tom’s ultimate passing.
Anyone who has met T. and Miss Dixie knows the depth of their love and appreciation for bluegrass. While Dixie was alive, there was usually a picker living in their guest house when they were between homes – or jobs – and they were always happy to help out any grassers who were down on their luck. It wasn’t just the music to which they opened their hearts, it was the people as well.
Of course Tom had released a number bluegrass songs and records during his singing career, which did a lot to popularize the music. On top of his albums, The Magnificent Music Machine, The Storyteller and the Banjo Man, and Tom T. Sings Miss Dixie, it was his release of Fox On The Run in 1976 that placed the song within the canon for most mainstream listeners.
There can be no doubt but that Tom T. and Dixie Hall are deserving of this recognition by The Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame. Their contributions to our music will long outlast their 50 years writing, recording, and promoting it.
Tickets for the Hall of Fame festival can be purchased online.