William Orville “Lefty” Frizzell added both bling and style to the country western music scene with famous songs like “If You’ve Got the Money I’ve Got the Time” (1950); “She’s Gone, Gone, Gone” (1965); “Mom and Dad’s Waltz” (1950), “Always Late With Your Kisses” (1951); and “I Love You a Thousand Ways.”

Though Frizzell’s family moved to El Dorado City, Arkansas, soon after his birth, the city of Corsicana hosts visitors at its Pioneer Village and Lefty Frizzell Museum at 912 West Park Avenue. The museum displays artifacts from his career and honors him with a bronze statue and a small colorful mural.

Frizzell’s characteristic twang made a lasting impact on the music of George Jones, Merle Haggard, and Willie Nelson. He is noted for smoothing out syllables in his honky-tonk tunes. His vocal technique made the tunes more mainstream and had a lasting influence on country western music. Frizzell dressed like other country western singers of his era and was known for wearing flashy outfits studded with rhinestones and fringe.

Haggard commented on Frizzell’s vocal technique in the foreword for a biography titled I Love You a Thousand Ways: The Lefty Frizzell Story by son David Frizzell in 2011.

“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,” Haggard says. “Most of us learned to sing listening to him. There’s a little bit of Lefty left in a lot of the country singers out there, all the way from me to Tim McGraw.”

Frizzell died of a massive stroke at age 47 on July 19, 1975. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame posthumously in 1982 and is interred near Nashville, Tennessee.

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