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American Originals

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Album Review

Released in 1990, the Lefty Frizzell installment of American Originals is, like other editions in the series, far too short at only ten songs, and it makes that tight running time by leaving behind such major items as "If You've Got the Money, I've Got the Time." There are some major songs here — "Saginaw, Michigan," "The Long Black Veil," "Always Late (With Your Kisses)," "Look What Thoughts Will Do" — enough to make it a good sampler, but it shouldn't by any means be thought of as a perfect introduction, particularly since only a year later it was trumped by Rhino's excellent 18-track collection The Best of Lefty Frizzell, which remains the best concise overview and introduction to this country giant.

Biography

Born: 31 March 1928 in Corsicana, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

Lefty Frizzell was the definitive honky tonk singer, the vocalist that set the style for generations of vocalists that followed him. Frizzell smoothed out the rough edges of honky tonk by singing longer, flowing phrases — essentially, he made honky tonk more acceptable for the mainstream without losing its gritty, bar-room roots. In the process, he changed the way country vocalists sang forever. From George Jones, Merle Haggard, and Willie Nelson to George Strait, John Anderson, Randy Travis,...
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