Carol Hall, ‘Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’ Composer, Dies at 82

Texas-based songwriter also wrote hit songs for Marlo Thomas’ award-winning “Free to Be … You and Me”

Last Updated: October 12, 2018 @ 1:24 PM

Carol Hall, the Texas-born songwriter who earned Drama Desk Awards for the music and lyrics of the 1978 hit Broadway musical “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” died Thursday at age 82.

According to TheaterMania, she had been suffering from a rare form of dementia for the last few years.

Hall also gained fame for her work with Marlo Thomas, composing multiple songs for Thomas’ Emmy- and Peabody-winning 1974 ABC special “Free to Be…You and Me” and its follow-ups.

Her songs included such favorites as “It’s All Right to Cry” and “Glad to Have a Friend Like You.”

“Carol is gone but her music and words will live in our hearts forever,” Thomas wrote in tribute on her Twitter account.

After running for four years and 1,584 performances on Broadway, “Best Little Whorehouse” became a 1982 film starring Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton — whose recording of Hall’s “Hard Candy Christmas” earned an ASCAP Award as “Most Performed Country Song” of the year.

A native of Abilene, Texas, Hall also wrote the lyrics for “A Christmas Memory,” a musical based on a Truman Capote story, as well as “Good Sports” and “Paper Moon.”

Online tributes quickly poured in for Hall.