I guess the first country music line I heard that really rang true to me, somewhere in my mind and heart, was a line from an old Kris Kristofferson song "The Pilgrim (Chapter 33)" back in the early 1970's. The line was simply:

"See him wasted on the sidewalk in his jacket and his jeans
Wearing yesterday's misfortune like a smile"

I don't know, there was just something in that line and the one's that followed that struck me as genius. I started listening...I mean listening...to songs then and my love for the great songwriters began.

One of the great "stringer of words" is "The Storyteller" Tom. T. Hall. 76 years old now, Tom was honored Tuesday night at the BMI Country Awards. He said he was most proud of the fact that he could still fit into his Tuxedo!

Country Music fans, the true ones, need no introduction to Tom T. The string of country hits he's written is legendary, both the ones he wrote for others and the ones he wrote and performed himself.

From "Harper Valley PTA" through his great "short stories" in the 1970's and 1980's, Tom created a world of his own and invited us all in to see, and hear. Would could forget the old philosopher in "Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine". The plaintive plea of the dying farmer who asks "Who's Gonna Feed Them Hogs". The smile he brought to your face with his flat-out fun "I Like Beer". And the simplicity of the heart felt "I Love". After all, we all love "little baby ducks, old pickup trucks, slow movin' trains...and rain".

Congratulations Tom T. Hall, and thank you so much for writing your world and welcoming us to it.