Olive Hill's favorite son, singer-songwriter and storyteller Tom T. Hall, turned 83 on Saturday. But the Grammy winner and Grand Ole Opry member received an early present last week when residents of his hometown sent the entertainer a bundle of birthday cards wishing him a happy day and congratulating him on his pending induction into the Song Writers Hall of Fame.

Lisa Messer Conley, President of the Olive Hill Chamber of Commerce, organized collection of the cards and sent them out to Hall last week. Conley said that she heard back from Hall's representative, Melissa Buck, on Thursday last week. Buck told Conley that they had received the cards and that Hall was very touched by the sentiment. Buck sent Conley a photo of Hall with the cards and told her that he was 'very flattered' by the attention from his home town.

'He read each and every one,' Conley said Buck told her. She also told Conley that Hall recognized and knew many of the names on the cards and that he was very appreciative they had taken the time to wish him congratulations and a happy birthday.

Hall will be inducted in the Song Writers Hall of Fame next month, in a ceremony in upstate New York. Hall, who is best known for his story songs, has written a number of hits for himself and other artists, including 'Harper Valley PTA,' recorded by Jeannie C. Riley, 'Little Bitty,' recorded by Alan Jackson, and 'Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine,' which he recorded in 1972, and 'I Love,' recorded in 1973, among others.

Contact the writer at jwells@journal-times.com.

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