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

Running for His Life

Jul 31, 2003 By Michael Hall

Ten years ago, on a mountaintop in Africa, about to be burned alive by tribal warriors, a teenager saved himself the only way he knew how. Even today, he wonders why he survived.

Get Out

May 31, 2003 By Michael Hall

PASSED BALL The national pastime is as much about the past as the present—and that’s a good thing for Texas baseball fans this season. The Rangers were sent to the cellar almost immediately, and the Astros, even with their fast start and the addition of slugger Jeff Kent, are doomed…

Top Fifty

Apr 30, 2003 By Patricia Sharpe, Eileen Schwartz, Joe Nick Patoski, Katy Vine, John Morthland, Paul Burka, John Spong, Michael Hall, Jane Dure and Christopher Keyes

Unless otherwise noted, all places take credit cards. ABILENE: Harold’s Pit Bar-B-Q We didn’t catch pitmaster Harold Christian singing gospel songs to his customers, but we’re told that isn’t an unusual occurrence. This cozy little room, packed with nine picnic tables, seven booths, and a congregation of athletic trophies, is…

The Best of the Best

Apr 30, 2003 By Joe Nick Patoski, Paul Burka and Michael Hall

Cooper’s Pit Bar-B-Q Mason The name “Cooper’s” has long been synonymous with Llano, but now the Mason operation of the same name has overtaken its distant cousin. Cooper’s Pit Bar-B-Q was opened in Mason in 1953 by the late George Cooper, whose son Tommy (also deceased) cloned it a…

The Skinny on Slim

Apr 30, 2003 By Michael Hall

Thomas Austin Preston, Jr.—a.k.a. Amarillo Slim—has cut cards with LBJ and hustled all manner of sharpies at pool and Ping-Pong. But at 74, his greatest success continues to be at the poker table, as my $100 and I found out.

The Ghosts of Mount Carmel

Apr 1, 2003 By Michael Hall

Ten years after eighty Davidians died in a government-led siege, a few surviving members of the sect have returned to the plains east of Waco, looking for something. And, in some cases, waiting for David Koresh to return.

Straight Talk

Mar 1, 2003 By Michael Hall

HIGH FIDELITY Daniel Lanois was born in Hull, Quebec, Canada, in 1951 to French-speaking and musical parents. In addition to being an acclaimed solo artist, he is one of the top record producers in the business, working on albums with U2, Peter Gabriel, Bob Dylan, and Willie Nelson, among others.

Two Wings and a Prayer

Jan 1, 2003 By Michael Hall

Legend has it that an East Texas preacher's homemade flying machine took off in late 1902, nearly a year before Kitty Hawk. Are the history books wrong about who was first in flight—or are they right, brothers?

Sports

Jul 31, 2002 By Michael Hall

‘TIS THE SEASON As the World Cup reminded us, soccer, where you kick the ball up and down the field, is really football. But when Americans talk about football, we mean more than feet. We mean hands, arms, heads; we mean hard-hitting blocks, bubbly cheerleaders, marching bands. We mean spectacle.

A Long, Strange Trip

Dec 1, 2001 By Michael Hall

The life of Roky Erickson——one of the most influential Texas rock and rollers of all time——has been one calamity after another. His family and friends have taken care of him with the best of intentions, but you know what they say about the road to hell.

The Shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald

Aug 31, 2001 By Michael Hall

Can you see the “Play Movie” button below? Yes: Click the button to play the movie. No: Click here to download the Flash plugin that will allow you to view the movie. Got Flash 5 (or higher)? Click here to see…

Field Work

Apr 30, 2001 By Michael Hall

Andrew Lichtenstein spent six years taking pictures inside Texas' vast prison system. The result is an anthropological study of a brutal culture.

Under the Gun

Jan 1, 2001 By Michael Hall

Nine years after the brutal murder of four teenage girls in a yogurt shop rocked the city of Austin, the police say they have finally caught the killers. But they have no evidence and no witnesses—only two confessions that the defendants say were coerced. Which is why, when the case goes to trial in February, the cops will be on trial too.

Gotta Lubbock

Apr 30, 2000 By Michael Hall

Buddy Holly. Waylon Jennings. Carolyn Hester. The Hancocks. The Flatlanders. An oral history of the state's most storied music scene.

The Art Guy

Feb 1, 2000 By Michael Hall

He looks like a cross between Ed Asner and Uncle Charley from My Three Sons, but don’t get Dave Hickey started on the subject of beauty— his own or anyone else’s.

Evil

Jul 31, 1999 By Michael Hall

How serial killer Rafael Resendez-Ramirez struck fear in the hearts of the men and women of Weimar, a tiny Texas town that will never be the same.

Kids in the Hall?

Apr 1, 1999 By Michael Hall

Don’t hang their plaques at Cooperstown just yet, but do applaud the accomplishments of Kerry Wood and Ben Grieve. After all, not everyone is Rookie of the Year.

Feature
You Can’t Go Home Again

Jan 1, 1999 By Michael Hall

Folk singer Nanci Griffith thinks the Texas media have been mistreating her. The way she’s fighting back guarantees her trouble with the press isn’t going away.

Web Exclusive
Best of Austin: Nightlife

Dec 31, 1969 By John Spong and Michael Hall

Who says it ain’t the good life? These sixteen clubs, lounges, and dives (including one Hole in the Wall) are the reason Austin is called the Live Music Capital of the World.