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Lefty Frizzell: Honky-Tonk Pioneer and Country Music Icon

Lefty Frizzell’s Legacy

If you’ve ever heard a country song, chances are you’ve been inspired by the honky-tonk and Western Swing style of Lefty Frizzell. With hits like “If You’ve Got the Money” and “Long Black Veil,” his songs persist to this day.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Lefty’s musical style, genre, and his most iconic hits.

Style and Genre

Born in Texas in 1928, William Orville Frizzell would come to be known as Lefty. His unique baritone voice, wide vibrato, and vocal inflections created a distinctive sound that was instantly recognizable.

Lefty’s music was emblematic of the honky-tonk genre, distinguished by its shuffling rhythms, bluesy guitar licks, and relatable lyrics about love and heartache. In addition to honky-tonk, Lefty Frizzell incorporated elements of Western Swing into his music.

This sub-genre of country music emerged in the 1930s and 1940s and was characterized by its upbeat danceable rhythms and horn section. Lefty’s playful style and ability to incorporate Western Swing elements contributed to his status as one of the pioneers of the genre.

Hits and Enduring Legacy

Lefty Frizzell’s hit songs have stood the test of time. “If You’ve Got the Money” is a standout example of Lefty’s honky-tonk style.

Its catchy melody, swinging rhythm, and relatable lyrics about financial independence and pride make it an anthem for many working-class Americans. The song’s memorable chorus has been sampled by numerous artists in other genres.

Another iconic hit, “Long Black Veil,” is a haunting ballad about a man wrongly accused of murder. Its eerie melody and emotive vocals evoke feelings of regret and doom, making it a classic of the country genre.

The song has been covered by a wide range of artists, from Johnny Cash to The Chieftains, attesting to its timeless quality. Aside from his most famous hits, Lefty Frizzell has composed dozens of classic songs that continue to resonate with audiences.

Here are ten of his most iconic tracks:

Top 10 Lefty Frizzell Songs

1. “

I Want To Be With You Always” This famous love song showcases Lefty’s smooth, emotive vocals and relatable lyrics about devotion and desire.

2. “Give Me More, More, More (Of Your Kisses)” This upbeat tune is full of catchy hooks and sweet lyrics about affection.

3. “

Always Late (With Your Kisses)” One of Lefty’s most famous hits, “Always Late” speaks to the feelings of frustration and heartache that many people have experienced in relationships.

4. “Saginaw, Michigan” This country classic tells the story of a man who finds love and happiness in the city of Saginaw, Michigan, despite his struggles to find work.

5. “

Mom And Dads Waltz” A touching tribute to enduring love and family, this slow ballad is full of nostalgia and yearning.

6. “

Dont Stay Away (Till Love Grows Cold)” This urgent song speaks to the fear of losing someone and the desperation to hold onto love.

7. “Im An Old, Old Man (Tryin To Live While I Can)” In this poignant ballad, Lefty reflects on the passing of time and the inevitability of aging and mortality.

8. “

Look What Thoughts Will Do” A wistful tune about reflection and the power of memories, “

Look What Thoughts Will Do” is a favorite among fans of Lefty’s music.

9. “Travellin Blues” This melancholy song captures the feelings of loneliness and longing experienced by so many people on the road in search of adventure.

10. “

Forever (And Always)” A beautiful, heartfelt ballad about commitment and love, “

Forever (And Always)” is a timeless classic that speaks to the power of true connections.


Lefty Frizzell’s legacy remains strong today, and his contributions to the country music genre have paved the way for countless artists that have followed in his footsteps. His style and genre proved successful for several decades, and his hits continue to be beloved by generations of fans.

As such, we celebrate Lefty Frizzell for his unique, iconic sound, and his contribution to country music history. Lefty Frizzell is considered by many to be one of the greatest country music artists of all time.

His contribution to the genre cannot be overstated, and his hit songs continue to resonate with listeners today. In this article, we will take a closer look at 10 of his most famous songs, exploring the themes and emotions that make them enduring classics.

I Want To Be With You Always

I Want To Be With You Always” is a classic love song. Its timeless lyrics, soothing melody, and emotive vocals from Lefty Frizzell capture the power of love and the vital role it plays in human connection.

The song’s title and the opening verse, “I lose my blues, honey, when I’m with you,” perfectly encapsulate the joy of being in love. The lyrics convey a deep sense of devotion and commitment: “If I could only win your love again, if I could only hold you in my arms again.” It’s a testament to the enduring power of love despite any obstacles that may arise.

Give Me More, More, More (Of Your Kisses)

Featuring one of Lefty Frizzell’s signature hits, “Give Me More, More, More (Of Your Kisses)” is a toe-tapping tune that showcases his ability to craft catchy, upbeat songs. This song’s charm lies in its quirky lyrics and playful rhythm, drawing in the listener with its infectious melody and putting them in a good mood.

The song’s lyrics speak to the deep desire for emotional and physical affection, with lines like “give me more, more, more of your kisses, and less, less, less of your small talk, please.” It’s this fun-loving energy and sense of humor that make it such a beloved track.

Always Late (With Your Kisses)

Always Late (With Your Kisses)” is a song that many people can relate to. Its lyrics describe the frustration of a situation where the object of one’s affection is consistently late, whether it’s for a date or simply with their affections.

The song has a poignant quality, with a sense of longing and heartache that is so familiar to anyone who has been in this type of situation. Lines like “always late with your loving, always late with your kissing, still I dream, dream of you” convey the sense of hope and yet despair that lovers so often feel.

Saginaw, Michigan

In “Saginaw, Michigan,” Lefty Frizzell sings a nostalgic ballad about finding love and happiness in an unfamiliar place. The song’s relatable lyricism and captivating melody tell the story of a man who finally finds work in Saginaw, Michigan, and finds love along the way.

The song’s opening lines, “I was born in Saginaw, Michigan, I grew up in a house on Saginaw Bay,” convey a sense of connection to this place, and the chorus “meet me in Saginaw, Saginaw, Michigan” feels like the perfect coda to this touching ballad.

Mom And Dads Waltz

“Mom and Dads Waltz” is a song that touches on the shared love between family members. Its tender voice, emotive lyrics, and calming melody capture the essence of a family that has gone through much but still come together in their love.

It’s a ballad that will resonate with anyone who has cherished memories of dancing with their parents or grandparents. The opening lines, “I’d walk for miles, cry or smile for my mama and daddy, I want them, I want them to know how I feel,” capture the deep love and appreciation that warms the heart.

Dont Stay Away (Till Love Grows Cold)

Dont Stay Away (Till Love Grows Cold)” is a song that conveys raw emotion. This bluesy ballad speaks to the feelings of desperation and fear that can arise when love is threatened.

The song’s pleading lyrics and emotive vocals from Lefty Frizzell capture the sense of urgency that lovers feel when faced with the possibility of losing one another. It’s a song that speaks to the fragile nature of love and how we should cherish it while we have it.

Im An Old, Old Man (Tryin To Live While I Can)

“I’m An Old, Old Man (Tryin’ To Live While I Can)” is a bittersweet song that speaks to the inevitability of aging and mortality. The song’s somber melody underscores the sense of reflection that Lefty Frizzell brings to his lyrics.

The opening lines, “I lived my life and I lived it well, well enough to say that I feel complete,” convey a sense of peace and acceptance. The song speaks to the passing of time and the importance of living in the present.

Look What Thoughts Will Do

Look What Thoughts Will Do” is a song with a heavy dose of introspection. Lefty Frizzell’s emotive vocals and poignant lyrics speak to the power of memories and how they can affect our lives.

The song’s melancholic melody and sense of nostalgia create a wistful, introspective atmosphere. Lines such as “I see your face in each cloud above, I’ve thought of you and I’ve thought of love” capture the sense of longing and heartache that memory can bring.

Travelling Blues

Travelling Blues” is a song that speaks to the struggles of life on the road. The song’s lonesome melody and emotive vocals from Lefty Frizzell capture the sense of loneliness and longing that can come with long-distance travel.

Lines such as “I got those travelling blues, don’t know which way to go, I got the blues when I’m going, got the blues when I’m coming home” reflect the weary feeling that can arise from living life on the move.

Forever (And Always)

Forever (And Always)” is a song that speaks to the enduring power of love. With its slow, emotive melody and heartfelt lyrics, this song captures the sincerity of true love.

The song’s opening lines, “I’ll be loving you forever and always, I’ll be part of you in the nights and the days,” convey a sense of commitment and devotion that is timeless and heartfelt. In


Lefty Frizzell’s music has stood the test of time and continues to inspire fans today.

His songs resonate with listeners because they capture universal emotions and relatable themes. Whether it’s the joy of love or the pain of heartbreak, Lefty’s music speaks to the human experience and the enduring power of connection.

In conclusion, Lefty Frizzell’s songs are a testament to the enduring power of country music. Through his unique blend of honky-tonk and Western Swing musical style, Frizzell crafted songs that speak to the human experience and capture universal emotions.

From the power of love to the struggles of loneliness and heartbreak, his music continues to inspire and resonate with listeners. As we look back on his legacy, we are reminded of the importance of connection, emotion, and shared experience in the music that endures.

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