Robert David Hall’s Summer of Song, McCartney Encounter

Robert David Hall CBS photo

“CSI” coroner Robert David Hall is having a high-flying time of it this summer — in his other career, as a music man.   His “Things They Don’t Teach You in School” album, a folksy, rootsy, Americana-style collection of songs he wrote himself and recorded in Austin, TX, is getting a reception Hall admits exceeds his hopes.  He slipped Craig Ferguson a copy, then Ferguson invited Hall to perform on his “Late Late Show.”  Come June 19, he’ll be at Nasvhille’s legendary Ryman Auditiorium as part of the lineup for the Grand Ole Opry 85th Anniversary celebration’s “I’m With the Band” series.

“This is sort of a Warp 10 for me.  I’m not scared.  I am thrilled.  I know it’s going to go well, but I don’t want to think about it too much because it’s almost overwhelming.  I lived in Virginia for awhile, growing up, and I listened to the Opry.  So many wonderful musicians have played there you can’t name them all.  Anyone who is anyone in country music.  It’s the highest honor,” he gushes.

Hall got to see some of his favorites, like Emmylou Harris, at the recent Gershwin Awards presentation to Paul McCartney at the White House (airing on PBS July 28).  “Being in the room with the President was amazing enough, but there were also Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello, the Jonas Bros. – they’re not my cup of tea, but I know the first daughters like them – Jerry Seinfeld, who was hilarious…and Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters.  He was the surprise, playing ‘Band on the Run’ and adding a lot of energy.  It was such a spectacular thing.”  Hall, a double amputee whose work on behalf of the disability community has taken him to the White House before, says he and his wife Judy just happened to have McCartney to themselves for a minute as they rode a White House elevator together.

“I introduced my wife, and he sang to her — ‘Hey, Judy’” Hall imitates.  “She was doing cartwheels.”

Hey, Judy?

THE SPICE OF LIFE:  Paul Dano, the “There Will Be Blood” and “Little Miss Sunshine” actor who continually turns out performances in unusual indie fare between major feature roles, has the Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz “Knight and Day” actioner, plus “The Extra Man” comedy – with Kevin Kline, John C. Reilly and Mrs. Cruise, Katie Holmes — coming out this summer.  And he says he also has high hopes for “For Ellen,” in which “I get to play a hard rock ‘n’ roller who is a little bit at the edge.”  The latter drama, completed this spring, is from filmmaker So Yong Kim, who did “Treeless Mountain” a couple years back.

As for what’s next, how about Paul uniting with girlfriend Zoe Kazan?  They’ve worked together before, after all.  “Sure,” he says.  “I don’t see a lot of reasons not to.  We both tend to like the same things, so you never know.”

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This entry was posted in The Hollywood Exclusive by Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and tagged , , on by .

About Stacy Jenel Smith

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley when it was a kids' Shangri La in the 60s and we had Fabulous Eddie's miniature golf and trampolines on Ventura Boulevard. My big brother frequented The Third Eye psychedelic shop back in the day, but he wound up turning out anyway. Dad was an NBC video man who worked on "Laugh-In," Dean Martin's show, and specials by everyone from Sinatra to Fred Astaire. Mom was a first class home maker and PTA and GCA volunteer. They're still doing great. Anxious to get going in life, I quit college and jumped into journalism when I was still a teenager, and was writing for the New York Times syndicate and People magazine before turning 20. But that was a long time, many adventures, lots of traveling around the world and thousands of interviews ago. I go back to the very last days of hot type and getting to talk to Henry Fonda and Bette Davis, and Sammy Davis at the old Brown Derby...What a ride. That's in no small part thanks to my amazing writing partner, Marilyn Beck, one of the grand old-school Hollywood columnist stars -- a true star -- who knows how to do it right. I'm lucky, for sure. Now is fun, too. I love going out to events with my 17-year-old daughter (Jonas Brothers!). Seeing everything fresh through her eyes renews my excitement about the game. In-between I went back and finished school -- University of Redlands -- married, divorced, and at long last found my true love. My favorite things outside of the show business realm are being with my family, my faith and spiritual growth, learning new things (from doing Qigong to uploading stuff on Facebook), and running. See you on the trail.

2 thoughts on “Robert David Hall’s Summer of Song, McCartney Encounter

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