Album:16 Biggest Hits
William "Lefty" Frizzell was a pioneer of honky tonk music and one of country music's biggest stars in the early 50s. After fading in the late 50s, Saginaw, Michigan was Frizzell's final number one country hit in 1964. He was born Mar. 31, 1928 in Corsicana, TX and he grew up in El Dorado, AR. He began playing guitar as a child and appeared on a local radio station at age 12. His family moved to Dallas for his teen years. The nickname Lefty was given to him after a schoolyard fight. He continued to perform locally but he likely would have worked in oilfields as his father did if Columbia Records producer Don Law hadn't seen him perform and signed him to a contract in 1950. Frizzell's number one country hits in the 50s included If You've Got The Money I've Got The Time, I Love You a Thousand Ways, I Want To Be With You Always and Always Late (With Your Kisses). Frizzell co-wrote these songs. He was also a regular at the Grand Ole Opry and he toured with Hank Williams. Frizzell's career faded when Rock 'n' Roll took over in the late 50s. But he hung in there and scored his final number one country hit with Saginaw, Michigan. It was written by Bill Anderson and Don Wayne. In addition to being a very popular singer, Anderson was a prolific songwriter. Don Wayne wrote the 1974 Cal Smith hit Country Bumpkin. Frizzell continued to record for Columbia until he moved to ABC in 1973. This comp is a good intro to his Columbia hits. Frizzell moved to Bakersfield and recorded minor hits for ABC. But he was having alcohol problems and this led to Frizzell's death from a massive stroke on July 19, 1975 at age 47. Guys like Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson have acknowledged Lefty Frizzell as a major influence. So he's somewhat overshadowed by Hank Williams but he shouldn't be. Check him out. Here's Lefty Frizzell performing Saginaw, Michigan on The Porter Wagoner Show 1967.