Look What Thoughts Will Do album cover
Look What Thoughts Will Do

Lefty Frizzell

1950 - 1965

Lefty Frizzell’s biggest hits date to the pre-album era; the double-sided single that opens this 1997 compilation, “If You’ve Got The Money (I’ve Got The Time)” and “I Love You A Thousand Ways,” comes from 1950, and while he had hit after hit in 1951 and 1952, his career cooled in the second half of the decade. But he made a moderate comeback in the mid ’60s; “She’s Gone, Gone, Gone,” also included here, is from 1965. Frizzell’s clear but twanging voice was richer than that of Hank Williams, with whom he toured, and his songs had the strong rhythmic pulse necessary to make an impression in crowded, noisy honky-tonks. His lyrics are witty and heartfelt by turns, and the deceptively simple arrangements built around guitar, violin, piano and upright bass are crafted like jewelry. His singing style has filtered down through generations of country performers; Merle Haggard wrote (in the foreword to a Frizzell biography) “No one could handle a song like Lefty…Most of us learned to sing listening to him.” There’s not a bad song here, and most of them are straight-up classics.

Phil Freeman

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