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Tommy Hill

October 24, 1995 OHC146 120 min.


Country musician, performer, songwriter, and producer. Born April 27, 1929. Died March 21, 2002. Full name: John Thomas Hill. Songwriting hits include “Slowly” (a hit for Webb Pierce in 1954), and “Teddy Bear” (recorded by Red Sovine, 1976). His musician credits include backing Hank Williams on the Louisiana Hayride and on tour in 1952. Joined Starday Records in 1959 as an engineer and producer. His production credits include Cowboy Copas, Dottie West, and Johnny Bond.

Interview Summary

1995 October 24
(2 hours)
Musician, songwriter, producer, and industry executive Tommy Hill recalls the development and early years of his career in country music. Discussion includes his childhood; his musical influences; his start in the music business; working for Smiley Burnette; his movie work; experiences working in different clubs in Texas during the early 1950s; going to work for Webb Pierce; helping his sister, Goldie Hill, get her start in music; his first recording sessions; working on the Louisiana Hayride; working with Hank Williams; his songwriting; meeting Fred Rose and signing with Hickory Records; the impact of Fred Rose’s death on his career; and comments on the working relationship between Hank Williams and Fred Rose.

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