Frazier’s family announced on Facebook that the songwriting legend died this morning from complications of a stroke he suffered late last year.
Dallas June Frazier was born October 27, 1939 in Spiro, Oklahoma. His parents went to California, landing the youngster in Bakersfield. There he discovered the fertile ground of the Bakersfield sound, performing when he was just 14.
His first songwriting hit was hardly a country standard: the Hollywood Argyles’ novelty hit “Alley Oop.” The road was paved, however, and soon Frazier was writing and performing songs that would last generations.
One of them was another novelty-type song Frazier wrote and recorded in the late 50s: “Elvira.” That song is now legendary, thanks to the #1 version by the Oak Ridge Boys in 1981.
Frazier’s composition list reads like a compilation album of country’s greatest hits: “Beneath Still Waters” (Emmylou Harris), “All I Have to Offer You (Is Me)” (Charley Pride), “Fourteen Carat Mind” (Gene Watson), and “What’s Your Mama’s Name” (Tanya Tucker).
In 1967 he received the first “song of the year” award from the CMA for the Jack Greene hit “There Goes My Everything.” He was also nominated for a Grammy for that tune. A devoted Christian, Frazier reworked the song into a praise song, “He Is My Everything.” It was first recorded by Roy Clark on Clark’s gospel album The Magnificent Sanctuary Band. Jack Greene frequently did “He Is My Everything” after “There Goes My Everything” while performing on the Opry.
In 1988, a dozen years after his induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Frazier walked away from music. He became a full-time minister at Grace Community Fellowship in White House, Tennessee.
While he should have been in the Country Music Hall of Fame a good 20 years or so ago, that honor, when it comes, will be posthumous.
Farewell to the legendary Dallas Frazier, who was 82
K.F. Raizor, author of the website Raizor's Edge and the book We Can't Sing and We Ain't Funny: The World of Homer and Jethro is our guest writer today on That Nashville Sound. She's ever so gracious to provide wonderful tributes to honor those to whom the music we treasure just wouldn't be the same without. Thank you, K.F.