Lefty Frizzell, singer
birth name: William Orville Frizzell

Lefty Frizzell

March 31, 1928, Corsicana, TX ~ July 19, 1975, Nashville, TN

“When I sing, to me every word has a feeling about it. I had to linger, had to hold it, I didn't want to let go of it. I want to hold one word through a whole line of melody, to linger with it all the way down. I didn't want to let go of that no more than I wanted to let go of the woman I loved. I didn't want to lose it.” ~ Lefty Frizzell

Revered Nashville songwriter Harlan Howard, who has expressed amazement - as have many in the music industry - at Frizzells lack of recognition: […] “He was a wonderful guy, someone who was just about as loose and free as any rock star you ever saw - on stage and off. He was really flamboyant, a good-looking guy with curly hair, always chasing after women and drinking a lot, like Hank.” ~ Musicianguide: Lefty Frizzell ~ retrieved March 30, 2014 © Musicianguide

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March 31, 2001 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (6) Janet Jackson, All For You ~ #2 (1) Crazy Town, Butterfly ~ #1 (2) Shaggy featuring Rayvon, Angel


Lefty Frizzell was the definitive honky tonk singer, the vocalist that set the style for generations of vocalists that followed him. Frizzell smoothed out the rough edges of honky tonk by singing longer, flowing phrases - essentially, he made honky tonk more acceptable for the mainstream without losing its gritty, bar-room roots. In the process, he changed the way country vocalists sang forever. From George Jones, Merle Haggard, and Willie Nelson to George Strait, John Anderson, Randy Travis, and Keith Whitley, hundreds of artists have emulated and expanded Lefty's innovations. Frizzell's singing became the foundation of how hard country should be sung. ~ Allmusic: Lefty Frizzell ~ retrieved March 30, 2014 © Allmusic

Lefty Frizzell ~ Inducted in the 2003 Texas Country Music Hall of Fame ~ By this time the teenager, attracted to country music by the Jimmie Rodgers records of his parents, was singing professionally. Lefty landed a radio job at KELD in El Dorado, and when the family moved back to Texas, he took a similar gig on KPLT in Paris. Lefty regularly played dances and nightclubs, and he began appearing on KGFL in Roswell, New Mexico. But his promising musical career was interrupted by a run-in with the law, and Lefty went to work with his father in the oil fields. Soon he gravitated back to music, by 1950 settling in at the Ace of Clubs in San Angelo, where he developed an enthusiastic fan base. ~ 2003 © Texas Country Music Hall Of Fame

In 2012 two Frizzell albums made it to the #DLW500 Dylan's 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time ~ #190 The Sad Side Of Love (1965) ~ #26 The One And Only Lefty Frizzell (1959)

Lefty Frizzell ~ Long Black Veil (Dill/Wilkin) ~ Ranked #9 Rolling Stone 40 Saddest Country Songs Of All Time in 2014 ~ The saddest moment, however, is reserved for his lover, wailing under cover of the night winds. “Nobody knows but me,” Frizzell sadly sings with his deep, gentle twang. The Long Black Veil was written by Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin, who say part of the inspiration for the song was based on a mysterious veiled woman who often visited the grave of Rudolph Valentino. ~ 2014 © Rolling Stone

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