Dixie Hall, noted bluegrass songwriter and wife of Tom T. Hall, died Friday, Jan. 16, at her home in Nashville following a lengthy illness. She was 80.
Known as Miss Dixie to family and friends, she was born Iris Violet May Lawrence in England and moved to Nashville in 1961 for a job in the music industry. She befriended Mother Maybelle Carter of The Carter Family and was living with the country legend as well as spending time with her influential circle of musicians and songwriters.
She experienced hits like Dave Dudley’s “Truck Drivin’ Son of a Gun” in 1965 and had her songs like “Troublesome Waters” (as Dixie Deen) recorded by Johnny Cash and many others. In addition to her songwriting, Dixie was also a noted music journalist who wrote for publications like Music City News.
Dixie met her husband in 1964 and they were married in 1968. As his artistic and songwriting career began to peak, Dixie’s songwriting slowed but she busied herself with charity and philanthropic work.
Tom essentially retired from writing and performing in 1990, but resumed it in recent years with Dixie writing at his side. Over the course of Dixie’s life, numerous bluegrass artists recorded her compositions, so many that in 2004 the Halls were given a distinguished achievement award from the International Bluegrass Music Association. Recently, Miranda Lambert recorded the Halls’ song “All That’s Left” for her album Platinum.
A private funeral service will be held.