KDHX Mourns The Loss of Local Musician Tom Hall
KDHX joins the St. Louis community in mourning the loss of local musician and friend Tom Hall.
Tom Hall was a KDHX Radio DJ, hosting two shows, “Buck Naked” on Mondays in the early 1990s and “Color Radio” on Thursday mornings from 10:00 am-noon from 1996-1997.
He also was a local blues legend and a staple of the St. Louis music scene for decades. With his finger-picking guitar style, Hall influenced generations of musicians.
KDHX had the pleasure of featuring Tom Hall and Friends as part of the Listen Live at KDHX series in 2020. The performance was hosted by Fred Gumaer for "Midday Jamboree."
Tom's family has established a gofundme account to help offset the cost of his tragic loss.
Please check back on this article as we will be sharing comments and tributes from KDHX volunteers who knew Tom.
When I was working in at the Magnolia Avenue studios on day, Tom Hall dropped by to put some of his new albums in DJ mailboxes. He began to explain to me who he was and why he was there, but I interrupted to exclaim, "You're Tom Hall!," as I was a fan. He seemed a little embarrassed at my fan girl moment, but he persevered and delivered the new albums.
Tom used to host a radio show on KDHX, Color Radio. I loved his show!! Back in the day, announcements were recorded and played on what looked like 8 track tapes in a "cart" machine. One day, Tom was struggling with getting the cart machine to work and play the scheduled announcement. I remember him yelling on-air across the airwaves: "Help! Help! Somebody! I can't get the cart machine to work!!! He-e--e-lp!" It was absolutely hilarious in the moment!!! My retelling of it, probably doesn't do the moment justice. But, one of many fond memories I have of Tom!!!
- Stacy Bernard
The first regular duty I had at KDHX was the Saturday events calendar, and I inherited the segment with Tom Hall's "920 State Street" as the background bed music. The tune very much became attached to the memories of my earliest days with KDHX. I remember it meant a lot when the community bound together to help Tom after he was the victim of a violent mugging. Then, I later got to work with Tom and record that very song during the early days of Songday Afternoon, while many of the video challenges were still being mastered, haha. That session can be seen at: https://youtu.be/EigWfz8Hi4E.
- Wil Wander
Memories of Tom Hall
How much he loved his horse-kicked truck – and most anything old with a motor, for that matter.
Walking in to Venice Café for a gig when he didn’t actually have a gig that evening.
His intimate gigs at Venice Café happy hours. Tom performed many ‘wallpaper’ gigs over the years. Shows where he played solo among mostly disinterested, if not downright dismissive, restaurant and lounge crowd. The Venice gigs were a different animal. Tom knew and appreciated that there was always a core group of people there specifically to hear and see him play and tell stories. Tom used those Venice gigs to plays songs he didn’t perform at other places, as well as work out new material he hadn’t mastered yet or bring back songs he hadn’t played in years. Those moments were magical – seeing the creative process in action from 10 feet away.
Tom used to be a KDHX DJ, as noted in a recent KDHX webpage article. Well….one of the shows he programmed was called ‘Buck Naked’. Now, that wasn’t the only thing naked in that story. Once Tom found out I had my own show, he told me about his experiences back in the very early days of KDHX, when it was the free-est of free form radio. Air shifts could be very long, and sometimes boredom would set it. What does one do when one gets bored but can’t go anywhere just yet? Well, Tom decided he would live up to his show name and broadcast in his birthday suit, giving the name of his show several more grains of truth. Ha!
So many amazing memories of Tom…. His Focal Point shows, sitting with him at the bar of BBs or Hammerstone’s after his sets, listening to his stories, reading his stories…
Unknown to many, Tom was actually in the early stages of putting a book together consisting of his life stories. I had put him in touch with a publisher to feel out the process… sadly, many of those stories will now have to live on in the memories of the people who heard them first-hand.
Rest easy, Tom. You deserve that.
- Lee Howland
Many many years ago, Tom was performing solo and told a story about a song he was about to play for us. Tom had been learning the song by ear (from the 1972 Allman Brothers Band's album "Eat A Peach"), listening repeatedly to the record and working out how to play it. He told us it was a bit difficult to work out but he finally was ready to play it in front of an audience. I don't remember all the fine details of the story, but Tom mentioned that he was informed, after he succeeded in learning it, that the reason he may have found it difficult was that there were two guitarists playing "Little Martha" on the Allman Brothers recording. Tom had figured out how to play both parts simultaneously, without realizing until later that both Duane Allman and bandmate Dickie Betts played on the record Tom had learned from.
- Marjie Kennedy
At noon, I took the air for Earthworms interviews after Tom's Color Radio show, in way early days of KDHX. Being a musician, he was not an early bird, but by the end of those shows he - and all of us listening - would be flying. What a platform for me to launch enviro-conversations! Thank you, Tom, for so much music, so well made, from a great heart in a tough, tawny hide.
- Jean Ponzi