Legendary Country Songwriter Dallas Frazier Dead At 82
Dallas Frazier, the songwriter best known for country hits such as “Elvira,” died Friday, Billboard reports. Frazier died from complications related to two strokes he suffered late last year. He was 82.
Frazier was born in Oklahoma in 1939 and was raised in Bakersfield, California. He began writing songs as a child and by age 12 had won a talent competition sponsored by Ferlin Husky, who would become a longtime supporter and collaborator. By 14 Frazier was signed to Capitol Records as a recording artist. Although his career as a performer was slow to take off, the Hollywood Argyles had a hit in 1960 with Frazier’s song “Alley Oop.” He moved to Nashville in 1963 to give it a go as a songwriter.
Frazier went on to have one of the most accomplished songwriting careers in country music history, a run that landed him in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1976 and scored him three Grammy nominations among other honors. Besides “Elvira,” recorded by many artists but best known for the 1981 Oak Ridge Boys version, he penned Gene Watson’s “Fourteen Carat Mind,” Jack Greene’s “There Goes My Everything,” and a number of Charley Pride hits including “All I Have To Offer You (Is Me),” which he wrote with frequent creative partner Doodle Owens. Other artists who recorded Frazier’s songs include George Jones (who recorded an entire album of Frazier’s songs), Connie Smith, Diana Ross, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Louvin, George Strait, Emmylou Harris, and many more. He was also a writer on Tanya Tucker’s first hit “What’s Your Mama’s Name?”
For a far more in-depth look at Frazier’s life and legacy, an episode of the great country music podcast Cocaine And Rhinestones was devoted to him this year.