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Tom T. Hall to Be Named BMI Icon

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Legendary songwriter Tom T. Hall is the latest artist to be named a BMI Icon. The Kentucky native, whose songs have been recorded by from everyone from Alan Jackson and Bobby Bare to Tom T. himself, will receive the honor at the company’s 60th annual Country Awards. The invitation-only ceremony, which will feature an all-star salute to “the Storyteller,” takes place Oct. 30 at the Nashville offices of BMI, one of the world’s most prestigious performing-rights organizations.

Past recipients of the BMI Icon honor include Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson, in addition to Isaac Hayes, Brian Wilson, the Bee Gees, James Brown and more.

As a recording artist, Tom T. earned seven No. 1 singles, all of which were self-penned: “A Week in a Country Jail,” “The Year That Clayton Delaney Died,” “(Old Dogs, Children and) Watermelon Wine,” “I Love,” “Country Is,” “I Care” (1974–75), and “Faster Horses (the Cowboy and the Poet).” Among the songs he wrote for others is the smash country-pop crossover hit, “Harper Valley P.T.A.,” recorded by Jeannie C. Riley in 1968.

Tom T. has earned a total of 31 BMI Awards for songwriting in both the country and pop genres, with six of his songs accumulating more than one million performances each. In 2008, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2011, songwriters Eric Brace and Peter Cooper produced their own version of Tom T.’s 1974 children’s album Songs of Fox Hollow. I Love: Tom T. Hall’s Songs of Fox Hollow, which featured a host of Americana acts delivering new versions of the classic songs, earned a Grammy nomination.

Although retired from touring, the 76-year-old has continued songwriting, experiencing success in both traditional and modern bluegrass music and old-time country, as well as classic and progressive country. He and his wife of 45 years, Miss Dixie, were named SPBGMA Songwriter of the Year for 10 consecutive years, garnering them the Master’s Gold and Grand Master’s Gold award.

The couple’s personal story has a unique connection to BMI. They first met at the 1965 BMI Country Awards in Nashville.

Also during this year’s BMI Country Awards, BMI will crown the Country Songwriter, Song and Publisher of the Year and salute the writers and publishers of the past year’s 50 most-performed songs from BMI’s country catalog.

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