b. 1938, Olive Hill, Kentucky, USA, d. 1989. Hillman was the younger brother of Tom T. Hall and, like his brother, a songwriter of some considerable ability. Some consider that although of similar style, he was a better vocalist than Tom T., even though he failed to register any chart hits. In 1975 he recorded an album of his own songs for Warner Brother Records that was produced by Marijohn Wilkin. It included a very witty look at the B-movie western hero in ‘Celluloid Cowboy’, who was ‘meek as a lamb and afraid of his horse’, and was so short that the leading lady stood in a hole for the love scenes. His ‘You Can’t Fool A Country Music Fan’ was his personal tribute to country music. He shared his brother’s affinity for strange titles, as witnessed by ‘Fair To Middlin’, Lower Middle Class Plain Hard Working Man’, and his ‘One Pitcher Is Worth A Thousand Words’ was undoubtedly semi-autobiographical. Wilma Burgess charted his ‘Parting (Is Such Sweet Sorrow)’ in 1969. Hall’s album includes his own recording of ‘Pass Me By’, his biggest success as a songwriter, which, following hit recordings in 1973 by Johnny Rodriguez and in 1980 by Janie Frickie, has become a country standard.
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