Lefty Frizzell

Induction Year: 1972

Birth Name: William Orville Frizzell

Birth Date: 03-31-1928

Place of Birth: Corsicana, Texas

Death Date: 07-19-1975

With his curlicue vocal slides and note-bending effects, Lefty Frizzell is one of the most influential country singers in history. He was also a fine song craftsman. Like many of his generation, he was deeply influenced by the songs and the singing of Jimmie Rodgers.

Frizzell was the son of an oil-field worker, but from an early age he aimed at a life away from the oil fields of his native east Texas. During World War II, he began singing on Texas radio stations as a teenager. He married his wife Alice in 1945, and many of his finest songs were inspired by their relationship, including "I Love You a Thousand Ways."

Following stints at radio stations and nightclubs in New Mexico, Louisiana and Arkansas, Frizzell returned to Texas. He auditioned for country talent scout Jim Beck in Dallas. Beck took a tape of Frizzell singing "If You've Got the Money, I've Got the Time" to Columbia Records in Nashville. The label signed Frizzell and issued the song as his first single.

Backed with "I Love You a Thousand Ways," the record rocketed to the top of the country hit parade. Frizzell's overnight stardom was confirmed when he placed four songs in the country Top 10 simultaneously in 1951. Within roughly two years, Lefty Frizzell had 13 Top 10 hits.

He became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1951, but relocated to Southern California in the mid-1950s and joined the cast of TV's Town Hall Party show. After 1964, his hit streak sputtered.

Lefty Frizzell's songwriting rebounded in the early 1970s when he teamed up with Whitey Shafer. Their co-written "I Never Go Around Mirrors" and "That's the Way Love Goes" are among the best-known songs in his repertoire.

The comeback ended when he was felled by a stroke in 1975 at the age of 47. Lefty Frizzell was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1982.

"Always Late (With Your Kisses)"

(written with Blackie Crawford)

Lefty Frizzell1951 #1 country
Nat Stuckey1969 
Willie Nelson1977 
Jo-El Sonnier1976 #99 country
Leona Williams1981 #84 country
Red Knuckles and The Trailblazers1982 
Merle Haggard1985 
Dwight Yoakam1988 #9 country
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman2000 

"Bring Your Sweet Self Back to Me"

Lefty Frizzell1953 #8 country

"Don't Stay Away (Till Love Grows Cold)"

(written with Loys Southerland)

Lefty Frizzell1952 #2 country

"Forever (And Always)"

(written with A.M. Lyle)

Lefty Frizzell1952 #6 country

"Give Me More, More, More (Of Your Kisses)"

(written with Ray Price)

Lefty Frizzell1951 #1 country

"How Long Will It Take (To Stop Loving You)"

Lefty Frizzell1952 #7 country
David Frizzell2000 

"I Can't Get Over You to Save My Life"

(written with Whitey Shafer)

Lefty Frizzell1973 #43 country
David Frizzell1996 

"I Love You a Thousand Ways"

(written with Jim Beck)

Lefty Frizzell1950 #1 country
Hawkshaw Hawkins1951 #8 country
Carl Smith1958 
Debbie Reynolds1960 
Hank Locklin1966 
Webb Pierce1969 
Hank Williams Jr.1973 
Willie Nelson1977 #9 country
Jimmie Dale Gilmore1997 
John Anderson1981 #54 country
Tim & Mollie O'Brien1988 
Tanya Tucker2009 

"I Love You Mostly"

(written with Bobby Adams)

Lefty Frizzell1955 #11 country
The Orioles1955 

"I Never Go Around Mirrors"

(written with Whitey Shafer)

Lefty Frizzell1974 #25 country
Merle Haggard1976 
Willie Nelson1977 
Ronnie Sessions1978 #96 country
Keith Whitley1982 
Keith Whitley (remake)1988 
Dick Curless1995 
Trace Adkins1998 
Gene Watson2001 
Daryle Singletary2002 
Leona Williams2004 
Bradley Walker2006 
Mark Chesnutt2008 

"I Want to Be with You Always"

(written with Jim Beck)

Lefty Frizzell1951 #1 country, #29 pop
Tab Hunter1958 
Johnny Burnette1960 
Jim Reeves1968 
Glen Campbell1973 
Willie Nelson1977 
Merle Haggard2001 
Jo-El Sonnier2002 
Buddy Miller2011 

"I'm an Old, Old Man (Tryin' to Live While I Can)"

Lefty Frizzell1952 #3 country
Maddox Brothers & Rose1953 
Merle Haggard1978 
Rank and File1984 
Andre Williams & the Sadies1999 

"If You've Got the Money, I've Got the Time"

(written with Jim Beck)

Lefty Frizzell1950 #1 country
Jo Stafford1951 #14 pop
Jean Shepard1964 
Mose Allison1971 
Gary Stewart1976 
The Flying Burrito Brothers1976 
Willie Nelson1976 #1 country
Leon Russell1984 
Jerry Douglas1989 
Ricky Van Shelton1993 
Darrell McCall1996 
Jimmie Dale Gilmore1997 
Merle Haggard2001 
Percy Sledge2008 
The Little Willies2012 

"It Gets Late So Early"

(written with Lee Hayes)

Lefty Frizzell1955 

"Look What Thoughts Will Do"

(written with Jim Beck, Dub Dickerson)

Lefty Frizzell1951 #4 country
Willie Nelson1977 
Tompall Glaser1977 
John Prine1991 
Merle Haggard2001 

"Lucky Arms"

(written with Whitey Shafer)

Lefty Frizzell1974 #21 country

"Mom and Dad's Waltz"

Lefty Frizzell1951 #2 country
Faron Young1959 
Patti Page1961 #21 country, #58 pop
Ernest Tubb1966 
Merle Haggard1968 
Jerry Lee Lewis1969 
George Jones1973 
Sonny James1973 
Jim Croce1973 
Willie Nelson1977 
Moe Bandy1978 
Iris DeMent1993 
Bobby Osborne2000 
Darrell Scott & Tim O'Brien2012 

"My Baby's Just Like Money"

Lefty Frizzell1951 
Chris Jones1997 
Merle Haggard2001 
Red Knuckles and The Trailblazers2006 

"Shine, Shave, Shower (It's Saturday)"

(written with Jim Beck)

Lefty Frizzell1951 #7 country

"Sin Will Be the Chaser for the Wine"

(written with Eddie Miller)

Lefty Frizzell1959 

"That's the Way Love Goes"

(written with Whitey Shafer)

Lefty Frizzell1973 
Johnny Rodriguez1974 #1 country
Connie Smith1974 
Willie Nelson1977 
Merle Haggard1984 #1 country
Moe Bandy1997 
Merle Haggard & Jewel1999 #56 country
Iris DeMent2000 
Anne Murray2002 
Buddy Miller2011  

Lefty Frizzell

Induction Year: 1972