Tom T. Hall grew up in the eastern Kentucky town of Olive Hill. Early in his life, he was listening to bluegrass and country music. After serving in the U.S. Army, while living in Connersville, Indiana, he formed a band and played music in the eastern Indiana-western Ohio area. Some of the bars he played were the Buckeye Gardens, near New Paris, and the Winter Gardens, just west of Cincinnati. Back in Olive Hill, he played bass with the Kentucky Travelers, but had moved on before they made their Starday recordings. Later on, when he became a songwriter, he lived in Nashville, Tennessee, and performed country music, but many of his songs were written about his experiences and the people and places in the eastern Kentucky of his youth, so they struck a chord with both bluegrass and country fans. One of his songs had a direct connection to southwestern Ohio: “The Rolling Mills of Middletown.” He did a bluegrass album on which J.D. Crowe, Jimmy Martin, and Bill Monroe appeared, and he did an album with Earl Scruggs. After his retirement from the road and major label recording, he and his wife, Dixie, were heavily involved in bluegrass songwriting, promotion of newer bluegrass artists, and operating a recording studio for bluegrass artists. In 2004, he and Dixie won a Distinguished Achievement Award from the IBMA. In 2016, they are being honored with an exhibit at the International Bluegrass Music Museum. Along with many other awards, Tom was elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1978, the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008, and was honored as a BMI Icon in 2012

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