Michael Hall

Michael Hall graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1979. Before joining Texas Monthly in 1997, he was an associate editor of Third Coast magazine and the managing editor of the Austin Chronicle. Hall won two 2001 Katy Awards: one for Best Reporter Writing Portfolio and one for Personality Profile/Interview for his July 2001 story “Lance Armstrong Has Something to Get Off His Chest.” He won a Texas Gavel Award in 2003 for his story about capital punishment, “Death Isn’t Fair,” which was also nominated for a National Magazine Award. Hall’s stories have appeared in the Best American Magazine Writing, the Best American Sportswriting, the Best American Nonrequired Reading, and Da Capo Best Music Writing. He has also written for Trouser Press, the New York Times, Men’s Journal, and the Austin American-Statesman.

Stories

The Strings of the Father

How Johnny Gimble became one of the greatest fiddlers of all time—and showed me and my son a thing or two about playing music.

A Summer Weekend in Houston

A tour of the city’s rich musical legacy (and some two-stepping).

The Murders at the Lake

In 1982 three teenagers were killed near the shores of Lake Waco in a seemingly inexplicable crime. More than three decades later, the tragic and disturbing case still casts a long, dark shadow.

The Man Who Fell to Earth

After decades as one of the most admired athletes on the planet and one of the toughest competitors ever to ride a bike, Lance Armstrong is facing a new challenge: how to come back from a very public disgrace.

An Ode to Mount Bonnell

Taking Austin in from the city's most iconic summit.

The Mystery of Lightning Medicine Cloud

When a rare white buffalo was born in North Texas, thousands came to celebrate the new age he heralded. A year later the animal was dead.

Trigger

The life of Willie Nelson's guitar.

The Red Hooded Stranger

Is Willie Nelson Santa Claus? We asked him that, and a few other things—like what it's like to get busted and get along with Pat Robertson and Snoop Dogg.

How Billy Gibbons Got His Groove Back

After two decades of sluggish albums, ZZ Top has returned to raunchy, bluesy form. And the little ol' band from Texas owes it all to a hip-hop anthem from the streets of Houston.

Trials and Errors

Over the past two decades Texas has exonerated more than eighty wrongfully convicted prisoners. How does this happen? Can anything be done to stop it? We assembled a group of experts (a police chief, a state senator, a judge, a prosecutor, a district attorney, and an exoneree) to find out.

The Paper Chase

Houston attorney Bill Kroger and state Supreme Court chief justice Wallace Jefferson are on a mission to rescue thousands of crumbling, fading, and fascinating legal documents from district and county clerks’ offices all over the state. Can they save Texas history before it’s too late?

Who Killed Mary Eula Sears?

In 1982 a man named Wayne East was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of one of Abilene’s most prominent citizens. To this day, he maintains his innocence. And one member of the victim’s family believes him.

Falling Comet

In 1955 Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock” transformed the sound of popular music and made him an international star. Twenty-five years later he was forgotten, desperate, and dying in Harlingen. How did one of the fathers of rock and roll land so far outside the spotlight?

The Soul of a Man

For nearly sixty years, a succession of obsessed blues and gospel fans have trekked across Texas, trying to unearth the story of one of the greatest, and most mysterious, musicians of the twentieth century. But the more they find, the less they seem to know.

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