Tom T. Hall’s Death Has Been Ruled a Suicide
Tom T. Hall — the legendary singer-songwriter who wrote hits like "Harper Valley PTA" and "That's How I Got to Memphis" — died by suicide, according to new reports from the Tennesseean and Rolling Stone.
The Country Music Hall of Famer died at the age of 85 in his Franklin, Tenn., home in August 2021. No cause of death was revealed at the time. However, on Wednesday (Jan. 5), the blog Saving Country Music revealed that Hall sustained an "apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head," based on a medical report obtained from the Williamson County, Tennessee Medical Examiner.
Rolling Stone has since confirmed this as Hall's cause of death, stating that a spokesperson for the Medical Examiner's office says that the "manner of death was ruled a suicide."
An Olive Hill, Ky., native, Hall was born on May 25, 1936 and entered the music industry as a deejay on West Virginia and Kentucky radio stations after a stint in the Army. He had his big break as a songwriter when Cajun and country singer and Grand Ole Opry star Jimmy C. Newman cut his "DJ for a Day," and he went on to write songs for the likes of Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.
Arguably the best-known song of Hall's lengthy catalog is Jeannie C. Riley's "Harper Valley PTA," which was a chart-topping hit and crossover success in 1968. Alan Jackson also had a hit with a Hall cut, "Little Bitty," in 1996, and Hall was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008.
Hall's death was first confirmed by his son, Dean Hall, in August 2021.