Last night dad and I enjoyed one of the coolest concerts either of us will ever attend. Tom T. Hall (who most of you who are reading this have never even heard of), is a favorite of Dad's, and has become a favorite of mine over the years. This was a rare appearance for Tom T. who has long since been retired, but he still had the audience in stitches with his stories, and his clear, recognizable voice kept me holding my breath until each song was over. We were fortunate enough to have front row seats, so I got some great pictures and even some (Sssh!) video of some of the stories he told. Dad looked around the audience and saw several industry people he knew who were all sitting behind us, and he just grinned as he stated proudly that we got to sit on the front row with Miss Dixie. (Miss Dixie of course, is Tom T.'s wife.)
I was raised listening to the story songs of Tom T. Hall. If you want to study some clever songwriting, take a look at The Storyteller's lyrics. He puts stories in words the way you would hear them spoken, and paints word pictures so strongly that even on a first hearing you can follow every image in your head. He told the story behind my all-time favorite Tom T. song last night, which he told us ahead of time, would be his encore! ("I don't believe in planned encores," he said. "If you plan on doing it, it's just another song.") He had a friend who was a psychiatrist- "I couldn't afford to be a patient, so I was just a friend," Tom said. His psychiatrist friend suggested he make a list every day of all his problems in life, that way when Tom read through them he would see that there were fewer problems in his life than he originally thought, and would discover how trivial some of these problems were in reality. Well this activity depressed Tom T., so he decided instead to make a list of all the things he loved, came up with the song "I Love."
I love, little baby ducks, old pickup trucks, slow moving trains, and rain.
I love little country streams, sleep without dreams, sunday school in may, And hay
And I love you too
I love leaves in the wind, pictures of my friends, birds in the world, and squirrels
I love coffee in a cup, little fuzzy pups, bourbon in a glass, and grass
and I love you too
I love honest open smiles, kisses from a child, tomatoes on the vine, and onions
I love winners when they cry, losers when they try, music when it’s good, and life
And I love you too