1974 Tom T. Hall – I Love
Tom T. Hall grew up in Kentucky. I’ve never heard of travelling theaters before, but apparently when he was a teenager, Tom formed a band called the Kentucky Travelers that played music at those shows. When he was in the military, he worked at the Armed Forces Radio Network and sometimes wrote (humorous) songs about military life.
In the late fifties and early sixties, Tom worked at a series of radio stations as an announcer while he worked at writing songs. One song he wrote was DJ For A Day, which Jimmy C. Newman recorded. Jimmy and Jimmy Key owned a music publishing company, and they hired Tom in 1964 as a songwriter and he moved to Nashville. He wrote multiple songs a day and eventually hit gold when he penned Harper Valley PTA. Jeannie C. Riley’s recording of the song hit the top of both the Country chart and the Pop Hot 100 in 1968 and sold over six million copies. After that, a lot of Country singers recorded Tom’s songs and Tom could finally record his songs himself.
Tom’s fourth solo single reached the Country top ten, and in 1969 he topped the Country chart for the first time with his single A Week In A Country Jail. He put out an endless series of singles, and in 1973 single I Love took him to the top of the Country chart for the fourth time. That single also peaked at #12 on the Hot 100 and reached #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
Tom’s next single was That Song Is Driving Me Crazy, which peaked at #2 on the Country chart. Unfortunately, it stopped at #63 on the Hot 100 and he never entered the Hot 100 again. His career was hardly over since he had ten more top ten singles on the Country chart, including three more number one singles. While he kept recording new songs, his last top forty single on the Country chart came in 1985 and he all but abandoned writing Country music the next year and mostly stopped performing live in 1994.
He and his wife Dixie Hall found new success writing bluegrass music; they won the Bluegrass Song Writer of the Year award twelve times beginning in 2002.
A hard rock version of I Love was recorded with completely new lyrics and used in a Coors Light beer commercial in 2003.
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