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Tom T. Corridor, nation singer and ‘Harper Valley P.T.A.’ composer, {dead} at 85

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Tom T. Hall, the singer-songwriter who composed “Harper Valley P.T.A.” and sang about life’s easy joys as country music’s consummate blue collar bard, has died. He was 85.

His son, Dean Corridor, confirmed the musician’s death on Friday at his house in Franklin, Tennessee

Generally known as “The Storyteller” for his unadorned but incisive lyrics, Corridor composed tons of of songs.

Together with such contemporaries as Kris Kristofferson, John Hartford and Mickey Newbury, Corridor helped usher in a literary period of country music within the early ’70s, with songs that had been political, like “Watergate Blues” and “The Monkey That Turned President,” deeply private like “The Yr Clayton Delaney Died,” and philosophical like “({Old} Canines, Kids and) Watermelon Wine.”

“In all my writing, I’ve by no means made judgments,” he mentioned in 1986. “I believe that’s my secret. I’m a witness. I simply watch all the things and don’t resolve if it’s good or unhealthy.”

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Singer-songwriter Jason Isbell carried out Corridor’s music “Mama Bake A Pie (Daddy Kill A Hen)” when Corridor was inducted into the Songwriters Corridor of Fame in 2019.

Nation singer Tom T. Corridor has died at age 85. (Related Press)

“The only phrases that advised essentially the most sophisticated tales. Felt like Tom T. simply caught the songs as they floated by, however I do know he carved them out of rock,” Isbell tweeted on Friday.

Corridor, the fourth son of an ordained minister, was born close to Olive Hill, Kentucky, in a log cabin constructed by his grandfather. He began taking part in guitar at age 4 and wrote his first music by the point he was 9.

Military service

Corridor started taking part in in a bluegrass band, however when that didn’t work out he began working as a disc jockey in Morehead, Kentucky. He joined the U.S. Military in 1957 for 4 years together with an project in Germany. He turned to writing when he acquired again stateside and was found by Nashville writer Jimmy Key.

Corridor settled in Nashville in 1964 and first established himself as a songwriter making $50 per week. He wrote songs for Jimmy C. Newman, Dave Dudley and Johnny Wright, however he had so many songs that he started recording them himself. The center preliminary “T” was added when he acquired his recording contract to make the identify catchier.

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His breakthrough was writing “Harper Valley P.T.A.,” a 1968 worldwide hit about small-town hypocrisy recorded by Jeannie C. Riley. The music a couple of mom telling a bunch of busybodies to thoughts their very own enterprise was witty and feisty and have become a No. 1 nation and pop hit. It bought tens of millions of copies and Riley gained a Grammy for finest feminine nation vocal efficiency and an award for single of the 12 months from the Nation Music Affiliation. The story was so fashionable it even spawned a film of the identical identify and a tv sequence.

“Abruptly, it was the speak of the nation,” Corridor advised The Related Press in 1986. “It turned a catch phrase. You’d flip the radio dial and listen to it 4 or 5 instances in 10 minutes. It was essentially the most superior time of my life; I brought about all this stir.”

Tom T. Hall leans to the edge of the stage at the 1977 Jamboree in the Hills to meet the people near St. Clairsville, Ohio. (Associated Press)

Tom T. Corridor leans to the sting of the stage on the 1977 Jamboree within the Hills to fulfill the individuals close to St. Clairsville, Ohio. (Related Press)

His personal profession took off after that music and he had a string of hits with “Ballad of Forty {Dollars}” (which additionally was recorded by Johnny Money and Waylon Jennings); his first profession No. 1 hit “A Week in a Nation Jail,” and “Homecoming,” within the late Nineteen Sixties.

All through the ’70s, Corridor turned one among Nashville’s greatest singer-songwriters, with a number of hit songs together with, “I Love,” “Nation Is,” “I Care,” “I Like Beer,” and “Quicker Horses (The Cowboy and The Poet.)” He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Corridor of Fame in 1978.

“Tom T. Corridor’s masterworks differ in plot, tone and tempo, however they’re sure by his ceaseless and unyielding empathy for the triumphs and losses of others,” mentioned Kyle Younger, CEO, Nation Music Corridor of Fame and Museum, in a press release. “He wrote with out judgment or anger, providing a rhyming journalism of the guts that units his compositions aside from another author.

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He additionally penned songs for youngsters on his data “Songs of Fox Hole (for Kids of All Ages)” in 1974 and “Nation Songs for Youngsters,” in 1988. He additionally turned an writer, writing a guide about songwriting, “The Songwriter’s Handbook,” and an autobiography, “The Storyteller’s Nashville,” in addition to fiction novels.

Dabbled in politics

He was host of the syndicated TV present “Pop Goes the Nation” from 1980 to 1983 and even dabbled in politics. Corridor was near former President Jimmy Carter and Carter’s brother, Billy, when Carter was within the White Home. Tennessee Democrats urged Corridor to run for governor in 1982, however he declined.

For his 1985 album “Songs in a Seashell,” he spent six months strolling up and down Southern seashores to get inspiration for the summer time temper of the LP.

He was inducted within the Nation Music Corridor of Fame in 2008 and in 2012, he was honored because the BMI Icon of the 12 months, with artists such because the Avett Brothers, bluegrass stars Every day & Vincent, Toby Keith and Justin Townes Earle paying tribute to the songwriting legend.

Tom T. Hall accepts the Icon Award at the 60th Annual BMI Country Awards in Nashville, Tenn. in 2012. (Associated Press)

Tom T. Corridor accepts the Icon Award on the sixtieth Annual BMI Nation Awards in Nashville, Tenn. in 2012. (Related Press)

“I believe a music is only a music,” Corridor mentioned on the ceremony in 2012. “They will do it with all types of various bands. It’s only a lyric and a melody. I used to be speaking to Kris Kristofferson one time. They requested him what was nation, and he mentioned, ‘If it sounds nation, it’s nation.’ In order that’s my philosophy.”

He married English-born songwriter Dixie Deen in 1968, and the 2 would go on to write down tons of of bluegrass songs after Corridor retired from performing within the Nineties, together with “All That’s Left” which Miranda Lambert coated on her 2014 album, “Platinum.” Dixie Corridor died in 2015.

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In 2015, music legend Bob Dylan singled out Corridor for some harsh criticism in a rambling speech at a MusiCares occasion. He referred to as Corridor’s music, “I Love,” “slightly overcooked,” and mentioned that the arrival of Kristofferson in Nashville “blew ol’ Tom T. Corridor’s world aside.”

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The criticism apparently confused Corridor, as he thought of Kristofferson a pal and a peer, and when requested about Dylan’s feedback in a 2016 article for “American Songwriter” journal, he responded, “What the hell was all that about?”





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