Maxine Brown

The pioneering Country Music star with "The Browns" – Jim Ed, Maxine and Bonnie

Maxine Brown on The Great Tom T. Hall

TOM T. HALL is known in the music industry as “The Great Story Teller”. In my mind, no one has ever come close to taking that title away from him.  He has a perfect way of saying precisely what he feels, not only as an author, a song writer, a stage performer, but his ability to keep you spell bound while telling one of his stories.

Tom T. had his own recording studio which he called “The Toy Box”.  One day out of the blue, he asked if Bonnie and I would mind recording an album with him.  Would we mind…we were ecstatic!!!  It was 1978 and we were dying to get back into a recording studio doing what we loved and missed the most, making records. He wrote all of the songs, two of them on the same day as the session.  In keeping with his style, they were all great songs.  Prior to the session, he had his wife, Miss Dixie, order yellow T-shirts for the production staff and everyone connected with the session.  In big black letters, the shirts read:  “THE BROWN’S IN TOWN AND TOM T’S GOT ‘EM”.  I mean he was treating us like royalty. I don’t think I’ve ever been around a more thoughtful person in the business.  Some years before, he and his brother had dinner at my home.  Afterwards, he sent me a dozen yellow roses. Lord only knows how many pickers and singers I’ve fed over the years but only Tom T. ever sent me flowers.

After the session, he and Miss Dixie hosted a huge surprise party for us at their home in Fox Hollow. They invited many of our Nashville friends.  It was the bash of the year in Music City, USA. Everyone had on their party clothes and here Bonnie and I showed up in those yellow T-shirts.  I think this was a surprise to everyone, Bonnie and I coming to a champagne and caviar party in T-shirts.  We were so embarrassed and tried to explain that it was a surprise and we knew nothing about it. Our friend, Ralph Emery who was one of the guest said, “hey, these are all your friends, so don’t worry about it”. After a few drinks, we didn’t.

I was in the process of writing my book. On one of my many trips to Nashville, going through all the archives, I took a copy of the manuscript to Tom T. at his home in Fox Hollow.  The book was only half-way finished but I had to know if it had merit, should I finish or should I forget it? I knew I could depend on Tom T. for his expert opinion.

We rode around the farm in his red pickup truck, talking about my book.  Being a country girl, he knew I would enjoy seeing his farm, especially the gazebo he built as a get-away while concentrating on writing. We wound up at a hardware store where he bought some tools and a weather radio.  I left my manuscript with him and returned to my home in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Within a few days he sent it back with a note which said:  “FINISH THIS, ITS GREAT, AND IF I CAN EVER BE OF ANY HELP TO YOU, LET ME KNOW”.  I mailed the manuscript to every contact he had, and he had a bunch!

When the University of Arkansas Press decided to publish, I called and asked, “what shall I do”?  His answer was, “sign that contract, now”.  I said, OK, but only if you will write the FORWARD. There is no doubt in my mind that the FORWARD written by Tom T. has been a major factor in the sales of my book, “Looking Back To See”.  It has been on the best seller list for seven years and now an E-Book. Negotiations are also under way for a movie to be made from my book. Perhaps the most exciting of all since publicaton of Looking Back to See is being the honoree of the 2012 Literary Award, in Marshfield, Missouri. This award will be presented to me at the annual “Cherry Blossom Festival” on April 26. The Literacy Medal presentation is an annual event honoring the city’s first librarian, Ella Dickey.”

The words, “thank you” seem so insignificant when it comes to my gratitude for the help and support of my friend all those ten years when I felt like giving up. I learned the true meaning of the word “determination” from the best Story Teller I have ever known, THE GREAT, TOM T. HALL.

Tom T. produced this videos about his time with Maxine and Bonnie:

Great Pies for a New Year!

Everyone deserves a great desert from time to time. These recipes from my mother’s old southern Cookbook may find a happy place in your home. Let me know how you like them.

3        Cups chopped Rhubarb
1        Cup Sugar
1/2     Teaspoon grated Orange Peel
3        Tablespoons Flour
2        Tablespoons melted Butter
1/2     Teaspoon Salt
2        9 inch Pie Shells, (one for cutting into strips)
Combine chopped Rhubarb, sugar, orange peel, flour & salt.  Mix well.  Pour into a 9 inch pie crust.  Dot with Butter.  Put stips of Pie Crust on top.  Cook for 10 minutes at 450 degrees.  Reduce heat to 350 & continue baking for another 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top is nice and brown.

1        Box Raisins (15 oz. size)
1/2     Cup Sugar
3        Tablespoons Cornstarch (mixed with small amount of water)
1        Tablespoon Vanilla
1        Tablespoon Butter
1        Tablespoon Sugar
2        Pie Shells
Put Raisins & Sugar in a saucepan, cover with WATER.  Cover pan & cook for about 5 or 6 minutes, or until the Raisins have swollen.  Mix Cornstarch with a small amount of water until dissolved.  Add to mixture.  Cook until Raisin mixture thickens.  Remove from heat, add Butter and Vanilla.  Pour into unbaked pie shell and top with another pie shell.  Make several holes in top of pastry so steam will escape.  Dot with Butter, then sprinkle some Sugar on top.  Bake approximately 35 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees, or until nice and brown.

3        Eggs, beaten
1 2/3  Cup Sugar
1/4     Cup Flour
1/2     Teaspoon Salt
1        Cup Buttermilk
1        Tablespoon Vanilla
1/2     Cup melted Butter
Mix all ingredients together, adding melted Butter last. Pour into an unbaked pie shell.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 and continue baking for one hour.  (Note: a puddle of butter may form in the center, but don’t worry, it will absorb into the filling. this pie is delicious).

(This makes two pies)
3        Average size Sweet Potatoes
2 1/2  Cups Sugar
4        Eggs, beaten
1        Large can Pet Milk
1        Stick Butter, melted
1        Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2     Teaspoon Allspice
1/2     Teaspoon Salt
Wash & boil potatoes.  Cool & peel.  Mash with a potato masher.  Add sugar & mix well.  Add beaten eggs, milk, salt, flavorings & butter.  Mix all together.  Pour into two pie shells.  Bake at 375 degrees until brown & knife inserted in center comes out clean. Prior to baking, sprinkle sugar on top, this helps make them nice & brown.  (Note:  You may cut this recipe in one-half, but my family loves Potato Pie so much, there is never enough, therefore, I make two pies.)

Related Posts

» The Browns at the Country Music Hall of Fame Ceremony
» MAXINE BROWN - A DREAM COME TRUE! The Country Music Hall of Fame
» Maxine Brown Christmas Season Newsletter & Recipes
» Maxine Brown - Spring 2014
» November 2013 Recipes and News

About Tom


3 Responses to “Maxine Brown on The Great Tom T. Hall”
  1. Colleen says:

    Hi Maxine,
    What a fun story. Enjoyed it thoroughly. Thanks for posting the Rhubarb Pie recipe. I didn’t know you had a Buttermilk Pie recipe. It’s one of my favorites. I first had it at Strawberry Lodge, in Strawberry Arizona. Have to try this one.

  2. Brian K. Lane says:

    I leave comments, and something goes haywire.. I sure hope this works.. I want to tell the world what a sweet person, and great friend Maxine Brown is. She is such a sweet, sincere and lovely person.. There are lots of superstars that have facebook accounts.. From television superstars, to Singers.. BUT only ONE that actually takes the time to tallk with her fans.. Maxine Brown. The person, who is so much appreciates her fans, takes the time to talk to them, send them cards and so forth.. And Maxine, we appreciate you for that. You bring back the faith in me.. I did get a chance to meet another “star” one time in Reno Nv. at a card table. All I said to him was thank you for the wonderful time I had at his wonderful concert, and then I continued to walk away, when he asked security to have me removed.. All I can say is he is in no way, any longer a “superstar” to me.. Thank you Maxine for the wonderful talks, cards, and prayers we have shared… Your fans love you…

  3. Steven Spolar says:

    What a great storyteller you are as well, Maxine! Back in 1982 when I was 17 years old, I had the chance to meet Tom T. Hall in Reno after a concert at John Ascuaga’s Nugget. My late Aunt, Ann Blaskovich, was able to obtain front row dinner seats for us by giving the usher five dollars that she folded in a way to seem like it was a lot more than just five dollars. When Tom T. came on stage he shook our hands in the front row and then tapped a button that I was wearing that read “Olive Hill, KY, Hometown of Tom . Hall. Then, he said, “Where did you get that!” The show was great and it was the first live Tom T. Hall show that I had ever seen, although I had been trying for years to see one. After the show, my Aunt asked one of the ushers if I could go back stage to see Tom T. and get an autograph. He said that it would not be possible because it is against their policy at The Nugget. My Aunt gave the usher another five dollars folded to seem like more money and the usher said he would go back and ask Tom T. if it were alright. A few minutes later, the usher came back and motioned me to follow him back stage. When I turned the corner int Tom T. Hall’s dressing room, the moment was surreal. For years I had seen this man on tv shows, commercials and the like, and now I’m seeing him in person. Well, Tom T. Hall couldn’t have been more kind to me. I brought a copy of his recent book, “The Laughing Man of Woodmont Coves”, to sign. He signed it and said, “this is a rather grown-up book for you.” Then he asked who I was there with. I mentioned that I was there with my Aunt and he said, Well, bring her back and let’s take some pictures.” I didn’t want to impose because I was such a shy kid at the time. I told him that it was alright and that I didn’t have my camera on me because the usher took it away since they have a “no photograph” policy at The Nugget. I also told Tom T. that I was backstage talking to him against The Nugget’s policy as well. Tom T. replied, “damn them, I was wondering why I was so lonely back here. I was beginning to think nobody liked me.” I’m sure he knew about the policy, but just wanted to make me feel like I wasn’t imposing. Well, I shook his hand and he patted me on the back, saying it was great to meet me. Then, I left and thought what an idiot I was not to get my camera and take some pictures as he had asked. In any case, that’s my Tom T. Hall story. I’m 46 years old now, but I would still jump at the chance to meet Tom T. Hall in person once again. This time, maybe I wouldn’t be so damn shy. Thanks again Maxine for a great story and I cannot wait to get a copy of your book – I’m sure it will be one great ride.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!