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"Tommy Hill And Me"

(For those who may not know, 
Tommy Hill was a Nashville institution... 
a producer, writer, musician, a friend to many,
and an influence to me.) 

Sometimes things catch me off guard. 
Today's report of Tommy Hill's death is one of them. 

He was my old friend, 
and even though we'd fallen out of touch these past few years, 
it never occurred to me that something like this would happen. 
Humans are funny that way. 
Of course, If I'd known I'd have been on the phone to him. 

Hermann Lammers Meyer was close to Tommy. 
I just read Hermann's comments, 
and he said he loved the "old man". 

That surprised me because I met Tommy when he was young, 
and even though I saw him in the nineties with his white hair and mustache, 
I still see the young man in my mind. 

Tommy and I co-produced a lot of sessions at a number of studios 
starting with Starday. 
He was my very first contact in Nashville, 
and he put me in contact with all the right people to see... 
Ray Stevens, Pete Drake, Curly Putman, Jack Stapp, and others 
and they each added their piece of help to us. 

Whenever I had a question about the music business, I'd call him. 
He was smart, talented, and helpful to new guys like me. 

We had our little disagreements about production. 
One night in the control room we got into it about the EQ on the fiddles. 
We were both pretty teed off, 
but with Tommy, people couldn't tell because he was so cool and laid back. 
From the studio it looked like I was arguing with myself. 

Later, when Misty and I did well and were recording at Columbia, 
Tommy dropped in at a session. 
I said, "Hey, Tom! What brings you out in the daylight?' 
He said. "I just came to look at you." 
Odd...the little things we remember. 

Even though we had no communication for the past few years, 
I liked knowing he was there. 

There's a lot more, but for once I'm at a loss for words, so that's it. 
I'll be browsing through my Tommy Hill memories now. 

Copyright  March 22, 2002 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.

 

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