“Of the iconic music, plays and songs that the gifted Carol Hall has bequeathed us mere mortals whom she has left behind; it is “My Circle Of Friends” that will best help us cope with this incredible loss. Her talent was monumental. Her legacy is euphoric. Her work is eternal.”
Publicist for Carol Hall
Carol Hall, won a Drama Desk Award as the composer and lyricist of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Ms. Hall was one of the first women to write both music and lyrics for a Broadway musical, with the 1978 hit The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Nominated for nine Tony Awards. The show ran for almost five years on Broadway, received a Grammy nomination for its cast album, and became a film in 1982 starring Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton. Parton’s recording of Hall’s song “Hard Candy Christmas” earned an ASCAP Award. A revival and national tour of the show played across the country starring film icon Ann-Margret. On the cast album of that production, Hall recorded a bonus track, performing a new song, “A Friend to Me,” written for Ann-Margret.
Ms. Hall first came to prominace writing individual songs for A… My Name Is Alice. She also wrote the sequel The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public, Paper Moon (Paper Mill Playhouse), Good Sports (Goodspeed Musicals), Are We There Yet? (Williamstown Theatre Festival), the Off-Broadway musical To Whom It May Concern and the musical, Hats!, based on the Red Hats Society. She also penned The Days Are As Grass, an evening of one-act plays, which received a premiere at the Woodstock Fringe Festival. Ms. Hall was also a major contributor to Marlo Thomas’ Peabody and Emmy Award-winning TV special and gold album Free to Be… You and Me; her contributions included the songs “It’s All Right to Cry,” “Parents Are People,” and “Glad to Have a Friend Like You.” She also acted as contributing editor and songwriter to its sequel, Free To Be… a Family. Her songs have been performed by Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Cyndi Lauper, Reba McEntire, LeAnn Rimes, Lisa Loeb, Mabel Mercer, Harry Belafonte, Lena Horne, Chita Rivera, Barbara Cook, Michael Feinstein, Olivia Newton-John, Amanda McBroom, Ann Hampton Callaway, Liz Callaway, Phyllis Newman, David Campbell, Maureen McGovern, Margaret Whiting, Miriam Makeba, RuPaul, Frederica von Stade, Big Bird, and Kermit the Frog, among others. A CD of her most recent songs, Hallways: The Songs of Carol Hall, was released in 2007.
Carol was born in Abilene, Texas, April 3, 1936, the daughter of Elbert E. Hall and Josephine Grisham. She was one of the first students of the BMI Workshop, under the tutelage of Broadway musical director Lehman Engel.
Ms. Hall was a teacher at The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, The Sundance Theatre Institute, and the Cabaret Conference at Yale University, as well as a guest panelist in the ASCAP Musical Theater Workshop. She served on the Board of Directors of the Dramatists Guild Foundation, Young Playwrights, Inc., and The American Place Theater. She was a lifetime member of the Dramatists Guild Council, was a Tony voter, and a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women who, in 2017, bestowed upon her a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ms Hall passed away October 11 from a rare form of dementia, logopenic Primary Progressive Aphasia, and died of complications from the disease in New York City. She passed away at home, surrounded by her husband, media producer Leonard Majzlin; her two children with first husband Richard Blinkoff, Susannah and Daniel; her grandson Wally Corngold; and her sister Jane Hall.