Michael Hall graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1979 with a degree in government. He wrote for various publications, including Trouser Press, Third Coast Magazine, the Austin American-Statesman, and the Austin Chronicle. In 1997 he joined Texas Monthly, where he has won two Texas Gavel Awards from
the State Bar of Texas and three Stephen Philbin Awards from the Dallas Bar Association. He was named the CRMA’s Writer of the Year in 2015. Hall’s stories have appeared in The Best American Magazine Writing, The Best American Sports Writing, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Da Capo Best Music Writing, the
New York Times, and Men’s
Journal
. Hall is also a musician and has played in Austin bands such as
Wild Seeds, the Setters, the Lollygaggers, and the Savage Trip.

Articles by Michael Hall

Willie Nelson Statue, Austin

Jul 31, 2012 By Michael Hall

Washington, D.C., has Abraham Lincoln, Salt Lake City has Brigham Young, Philadelphia has Rocky Balboa. And now Austin has Willie. The massive bronze sculpture, which was commissioned by a local group called Capital Area Statues, rests downtown at the corner of Willie Nelson Boulevard (formerly Second Street) and Lavaca outside the new studios of Austin City…

Feature
Falling Comet

May 31, 2011 By Michael Hall

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?

Psychedelic Summit

Apr 30, 2011 By Michael Hall

Fifty-eight bands from around the world play Austin Psych Fest 4 April 29–May 1. Michael Hall sits down with the Black Angels, founders of the festival (and the “Reverberation Appreciation Society”) and rejuvenated psychedelic godfather Roky Erickson.

Memo to Kay

Sep 30, 2009 By Michael Hall

Even someone who supports the death penalty, as you do, can and should be up in arms over the Cameron Willingham case.

Kevin McCarthy, Jacob Schulze, and the author.
G-L-O-R-I-A

Jul 31, 2009 By Michael Hall

When the legendary Liberty Lunch club closed in July 1999, senior editor and musician Michael Hall came up with a way to say goodbye to an era—play “Gloria” for 24 hours straight.

Searching for Truth

Jun 30, 2009 By Michael Hall

Investigators and social workers in the Mineola Swingers Club cases have admitted that there was plenty of evidence that never made it into the first three trials that resulted in three life sentences. Will it make a difference?

The Weird, Weird West

May 31, 2009 By Michael Hall

Location: Fort Davis What You’ll Need: Cowboy hat, canteen The pleasures of Fort Davis aren’t as arty or oddball as the ones in nearby Marfa or Alpine, but that’s not to say that things aren’t strange. For example, which is weirder: that Fort Davis and Jeff Davis…

The Night the Music Died

Feb 1, 2009 By Michael Hall

Fifty years ago, a plane carrying Buddy Holly crashed in a remote Iowa cornfield. This month, hundreds of fans will gather at the ballroom where he played his final show to sing, dance, and mourn the greatest rock star ever to come out of Texas.

The Science of Murder

Jan 1, 2009 By Michael Hall

Someone killed Melissa Trotter and dumped her body in the Sam Houston National Forest. But according to six forensic experts, that someone was not Larry Swearingen.

American Dreamers

Sep 30, 2007 By Michael Hall

These six entrepreneurs are members of a unique Dallas program that is bringing the promise of microcredit to the Untied States: one small business at a time.

The Unbankables

Sep 30, 2007 By Michael Hall

All over Dallas are working-class dreamers with more will than wallet, would-be entrepreneurs who’d start their own businesses if only they had savings, good credit, home equity. That’s what brings them to the PLAN Fund.

Craig’s List

Aug 31, 2007 By Michael Hall

Of the many things the first black district attorney of Dallas County is doing, none is more important than rethinking the concept of guilt and innocence.

The Songs Remain the Same

Mar 1, 2007 By Michael Hall

And for these 8 one-hit wonders, including Balde Silva, of Toby Beau, that’s a good thing: Thanks to wildly successful singles they released many years ago, what might have otherwise been forgettable careers are anything but.

Running With The Ball

Aug 31, 2006 By Michael Hall

The number one thing you need to be a good running back is a good mind-set—you have to think that you can do whatever you need to. You can’t doubt yourself for a minute. If a guy’s fixing to come knock your head off, and you know he’s fixing to…

Feature
Body of Work

Jun 30, 2006 By Michael Hall

For twenty years, the Southwestern Writers Collection, on the campus of Texas State University, in San Marcos, has gathered up manuscripts, personal papers, photos, and other mementos from various icons and at least one outlaw. Want to have a look-see?

Feature
The Truth Is Out There

May 31, 2006 By Michael Hall

Spoiler alert: The mythic Marfa lights may not be real. But there’s no way to know for sure, and that’s why they’re cool.

Army Brat

Dec 1, 2005 By Michael Hall

More than anything, we hated the moves, the long drives in a hot car with squabbling siblings, then getting to the new post and having to be the new kid all over again.

Happiness Is a Warm Gun

May 31, 2005 By Michael Hall

In the state with the nation’s most celebrated concealed carry law, is it any wonder that the annual convention of pistol packers, peddlers, and promoters was number one with a bullet?

The Survivors

Mar 1, 2005 By Michael Hall

Whether burned, shot, or blown up, the brave soldiers who leave Iraq on a stretcher and start to rebuild their lives at Brooke Army Medical Center, in San Antonio, have a lot of fight left in them.

“The Buzz About Marfa Is Just Crazy”

Aug 31, 2004 By Michael Hall

A century after the cowboys and ranchers moved in on the local Apaches, Comanches, and Tejanos, the West Texas town is adjusting to a new breed of excitable invaders: Hollywood fashion arbiters, New York art- world youngsters, Houston superlawyers, and the like. Cappuccino, anyone?

Class Warfare

May 31, 2004 By Michael Hall

When Sul Ross State University professor Larry Sechrest called his neighbors and students idiots and inbreds, the entire town of Alpine rose up against him. Not that he's changed his mind.

City Girl

Apr 1, 2004 By Michael Hall

"I moved to Austin in 1974, and it was this kind of magical place. The whole alternative culture controlled the town."

Duke of Dunbar

Jan 1, 2004 By Michael Hall

That would be 75-year-old Robert Hughes, who has amassed more victories while coaching in Fort Worth than anyone in high school basketball history. For most people, that would be enough.

God and Man at Baylor

Sep 30, 2003 By Michael Hall

Can one man change the world's largest Baptist university? He can if he's controversial preacher-president Robert Sloan, Jr. And, just maybe, one man can destroy it too.