Disinterested in music and unnerved by the echoes of his own style in every song played on the radio, Frizzell reacted by withdrawing from the Nashville scene. This had a predictable impact on his his income and recording output. In 1975 he recorded The Legendary Lefty Frizzell which he believed was some of his best work. ABC records … not so much. In July of that year Lefty was preparing to leave on a short tour of Delaware honky-tonks when he turned to his wife and her friend and said, “I’ve done more than I even wanted to. And I am so tired, I can’t even stand up.” Several hours later Lefty woke up on the side of his bed in a pool of vomit. When he tried to get up he realized he couldn’t move his left side. After dialing a friend, an ambulance arrived at his home on Cline Court. However he suffered another stroke while in the ambulance and lapsed into a coma from which he never awoke.
Back in the late 1940s, as a teenager, he served jail time for statutory rape. During his six months in jail, he wrote to Alice daily and promised her all the royalties from his songs. He wrote in one letter, “You’ll never have to work again when I get out.” During that stint in jail, he wrote many songs for her. One of them would be his most famous song, “I Love You a Thousand Ways,” which also would become his first Billboard charting song, as well as his first No. 1 hit. So naturally Lefty learned his lesson and never, ever cheated on his wife ever again. Whoops, scratch that … in 1951 he was arrested backstage at the Opry and charged with “contributory delinquency” of a minor, underage girl. His wife Alice was pregnant at the time with their second child and was not happy with this latest career development. Their marriage survived somehow.
Lefty lived in Old Hickory Lake at 234 Sterling Road in Nashville, Tennessee but he suffered his fatal stroke at his second home on Cline Court in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
Merle Haggard bought the infamous Lefty Frizzell Gibson guitar for $350,000 from the estate.
Final Resting Place:
Forest Lawn Memorial Garden
1150 Dickerson Pike
Goodlettsville, Tennessee, 37072
Grave Location:Music Row, Plot 8, Grave A-1
Grave Location Description
As you enter the cemetery the office will be on your right and you will take the first left and drive 100 feet to the sign for “Music Row.” Walk 10 feet past the Music Row sign and in this very narrow section along the road you will come upon the “Frizzell” family bronze marker where country legend Lefty Frizzell is buried.
Grave Location GPS36.29552076161211, -86.72573884750739
Read More About Lefty Frizzell:
- Published Obituary
- Wikipedia Entry
- Country Music Hall of Fame - Lefty Frizzell
- Lefty Frizzell biography by Alan Cackett
- The Most Influential Country Singer You Never Heard Of
- Revisiting the legacy of Lefty Frizzell
- Honky-Tonk Legend Lefty Frizzell Gets a New Biography
- Country Music's Original Greatest Singer
- The Lefty Frizzell Museum
- Visit Corsicana - Hometown of Lefty Frizzell
Videos Featuring Lefty Frizzell:
popular name: Memphis Minnie
date_of_death: August 6, 1973
best_know_for: She transcended both gender and genre. Her recording career reached from the 1920s heyday of country blues to cutting electric sides in 1950s Chicago studios for the Chess subsidiary Checker. Minnie helped form the roots of electric Chicago blues, as well as R&B and rock ‘n’ roll
popular name: Miles Davis
date_of_death: September 28, 1991
cause_of_death: Stroke, pneumonia, and respiratory failure
best_know_for: There are few musical geniuses in this world, but as jazz trumpeter, composer and bandleader Miles Davis is one of the most influential and acclaimed figures in the history of jazz and 20th-century music. His sound, technique and restless innovation as an individual performer and as a leader of jazz bands and groups won him recognition as perhaps the foremost setter of style and fashion in what is often called America's only indigenous musical art form.
popular name: Bob Wills
date_of_death: May 13, 1975
cause_of_death: Complications from a stroke and pneumonia
best_know_for: Bob Wills was a bandleader, fiddler, singer, and songwriter who is the most famous exponent of the popular musical genre now known as western swing, which synthesized ragtime, traditional fiddling, New Orleans jazz, blues, Mexican songs, and big band swing. Wills, along with his band the Texas Playboys, toured and recorded nonstop throughout the 1940s and early 1950s amassing dozens of hits including "Steel Guitar Rag", "New San Antonio Rose", "Smoke On The Water", "New Spanish Two Step" and "Faded Love." Wills had a heart attack in 1962 and a second one the next year, which forced him to disband the Playboys, although Wills continued to perform solo. He was recording an album with fan Merle Haggard in 1973 when a stroke left him comatose for 17 months until his death in 1975. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Wills and the Texas Playboys in 1999.