Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b William Orville Frizzell, 31 March '28, Corsicana TX; d 19 July '75) One of the greatest of all honky-tonk singers. Radio work in El Dorado '38--9; worked in South Texas and New Mexico '44--50; boxing was another interest, left hook leading to nickname. Demo of 'If You've Got The Money, I've Got The Time' led to Columbia contract '50, became no. 2 hit; continued with 'I Love You A Thousand Ways', 'Look What Thoughts Will Do', 'I Want To Be With You Always', 'Always Late', 'Mom And Dad's Waltz', 'Travelin' Blues', 'Give Me More, More, More', 'Don't Stay Away', 'Forever', 'I'm An Old, Old Man', all top ten country hits '51--2. Joined Grand Ole Opry '52, but next year to West Coast, became regular on Town Hall Party and Country America. Hits tailed off, but incl. 'I Love You Mostly' '55, 'Cigarettes And Coffee Blues' '58, 'Long Black Veil' '59. Move back to Nashville '62 followed by biggest hit 'Saginaw, Michigan' (no. 1 '64) and 'She's Gone, Gone, Gone' (top ten '65). Deeply infl. by Jimmie Rodgers, his distinctive, drawling vocal style in turn infl. Johnny Rodriguez, John Anderson, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard; partly due to Haggard's idolization he had new lease of chart life '70s: signed with ABC-Dot, had hits 'I Never Go Around Mirrors' and 'Lucky Arms' '74, 'Life's Like Poetry' '75. Compilations on Columbia and Rhino; twelve-CD set Life's Like Poetry on Bear Family collects everything of one of the half-dozen most influential country singers of all time.
His brother David Frizzell (b 26 Sep. '41, TX) had 18 country hits '70--87 incl. no. 1 'I'm Gonna Hire A Wino To Decorate Our Home', also eleven duet hits with Shelly West (b 23 May '58, Nashville, Dottie's daughter) incl. no. 1 'You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma', used in Clint Eastwood film Any Which Way You Can '80. Shelly was married to Alan, another Frizzell brother.