Tom T. Hall, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the singer-songwriter behind songs such as Jeannie C. Riley’s “Harper Valley P.T.A.” and his own “I Love,” died by suicide, according to a Williamson County Medical Examiner’s report obtained by Billboard.
Hall died Aug. 20, 2021 in Franklin, Tenn., at age 85. According to the medical examiner’s report, Hall “sustained an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.” Stacy Harris’s Stacy’s Music Row Report first reported the cause of death.
After serving in the Army, Kentucky native Hall moved to Nashville in 1964. In 1968, the Hall-penned “Harper Valley PTA,” recorded by Riley, topped the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Country Songs charts. Nicknamed “The Storyteller,” Hall also penned hits for Johnnie Wright (“Hello Vietnam”), Alan Jackson (“Little Bitty”), George Jones (“I’m Not Ready Yet”) and more during his career.
By the early 1970s, Hall was earning several of his own hits as an artist, with “A Week in a Country Jail,” “I Love,” “Country Is” and “(Old Dogs, Children and) Watermelon Wine.”
During his career, Hall earned seven CMA Awards nominations, including an entertainer of the year nomination in 1973. He earned three song of the year nominations, for his work on “Harper Valley PTA,” “The Year Clayton Delaney Died” and “(Old Dogs, Children and) Watermelon Wine.”
Hall was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1978 and into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008.