William Orville 'Lefty' Frizzell (March 31, 1928 – July 19, 1975) was an American country music singer and songwriter of the 1950s; a leading exponent of the Honky Tonk style of country music. His relaxed style of singing was a major influence on later stars Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson.
Frizzell was born in Corsicana, Texas but moved with his family shortly after his birth to El Dorado, Arkansas, where they remained until the early 1940s. Frizzell began playing the guitar as a very young boy and by age 12 he was appearing regularly on a children's show at a local radio station.
The family moved back to Texas when Frizzell was still a teenager, and his music career got a boost when he won a Dallas talent contest. He acquired the nickname "Lefty" after a schoolyard scrap with another student. In his late teens, he was performing at fairgrounds and other venues, developing a unique, soulful voice. Like his father, he got work in the oilfields, but his growing popularity as a singer soon gave him regular work on the Honky Tonk nightclub circuit. At age 19 he had a half-hour show on a small Texas radio station, getting a big break when ...