March 31: Lefty Frizzell was born in 1928, 87 years ago

lefty frizzell


Some people can’t talk and express themselves; with me, expression comes in the form of a song, and it makes me very happy. So I’d lose my blues, hang on to what little I had, and it became a style
~Lefty Frizzell

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.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (

I Love You A Thousand Ways & I Wan’t To Be With You Always:

Birth name William Orville Frizzell
Also known as Lefty Frizzell
Born March 31, 1928
Died July 19, 1975 (aged 47)
Genres Country Music
Occupations musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1942 – 1975

William Orville “Lefty” Frizzell (March 31, 1928 – July 19, 1975) was an American country music singer and songwriter of the 1950s, and a proponent of honky tonk music. His relaxed style of singing was an influence on later stars Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, George Jones and John Fogerty. He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.


Cigarettes and Coffee Blues:

“The impact Lefty had on country music is not even measurable. … No one could handle a song like Lefty. He would hold on to each word until he finally decided to drop it and pick up the next one. Most of us learned to sing listening to him.”
~Willie Nelson


  • George Strait recorded a Sanger D. Shafer song called “Lefty’s Gone” on the album Something Special
  • In addition, Willie Nelson’s 1977 album, To Lefty From Willie was a tribute to Frizzell and consisted entirely of cover versions of Frizzell songs.
  • Frizzell was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1982 and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • He is also in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame
  • Frizzell ranked number 31 on CMT’s 2003 40 Greatest Men of Country Music
  • Fellow Texan Roy Orbison was a devout fan of Frizzell’s sound, and in 1988, as a part of the Traveling Wilburys, he chose the name “Lefty Wilbury” to honor his musical hero


She’s Gone Gone Gone:

Spotify March 31 Playlist

Other March 31:

  • Johnny B. Goode” is a 1958 rock and roll song written and originally performed by American musician Chuck Berry. …The song is one of Chuck Berry’s most famous recordings, has been covered by many artists, and has received several honors and accolades. It is also considered to be one of the most recognizable songs in music history.
    from the album Chuck Berry Is on Top
    B-side “Around & Around”
    Released March 31, 1958
    Format 7″ 45 RPM, 10″ 78 RPM
    Recorded January 6, 1958 at Chess Studios,Chicago, Illinois
    Genre Rock and roll
    Length 2:30
    Label Chess
    Writer(s) Chuck Berry
    Producer Little “Bongo” Kraus


  • Ina Anita Carter (March 31, 1933 – July 29, 1999), the youngest daughter of Ezra and Mother Maybelle Carter, was a versatile American singer who experimented with several different types of music and played stand-up bass with her sisters Helen Carter and June Carter Cash as The Carter Sisters. The trio joined the Grand Ole Opry radio show in 1950 (Anita was 17 years old at the time), opened shows for Elvis Presley, and joined The Johnny Cash Show in 1971. As a solo artist, and with her family, Carter recorded for a number of labels including RCA Victor, Cadence, Columbia, Audiograph, United Artists, Liberty and Capitol.
  • Lowell Fulson (March 31, 1921 – March 7, 1999) was a big-voiced blues guitarist and songwriter, in the West Coast blues tradition. Fulson was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He also recorded for business reasons as Lowell Fullsom and Lowell Fulsom. After T-Bone Walker, Fulson was the most important figure in West Coast blues in the 1940s and 1950s.Lowell_Fulson