Press Archive - Lefty Frizzell An Article From Life - The Complete Recordings - New York Times
While streaming opened doors for many of 2018's most exciting new artists, retrospective boxed sets and photo books held the keys to gems from the past, from a revelatory 50th anniversary reissue of "The Beatles" (known best as the White Album) to "More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series Vol. 14," an expanded version of Bob Dylan's 1975 masterpiece, "Blood on the Tracks." Here, the pop music critics of The New York Times choose some of the most notable collections of 2018.
Press Archive - Lefty Frizzell An Article From Life - The Complete Recordings - AllMusicargued that when they released this 14-LP Frizzell retrospective His Life, His Music in 1984, the label earned international recognition, and their 1992 sequel, Life's Like Poetry, inaugurated their golden era of releasing massive, comprehensive CD box sets, weighing in at a hefty 12 CDs. In the quarter-century since its release, Bear Family has compiled larger sets, many working from the template of Life's Like Poetry, so that the original 1992 set began to seem a little quaint. Bear Family remedied that situation with the 2018 release of An Article from Life, which expands the original 12-disc box to a whopping 20 CDs. This significant expansion is slightly misleading, however. Those extra eight CDs are devoted to the audiobook of I Love You a Thousand Ways: The Lefty Frizzell Story, a biography written and narrated by his brother David Frizzell.
Press Archive - Lefty Frizzell An Article From Life - The Complete Recordings - LA Times
Lefty Frizzell, “An Article From Life — The Complete Recordings” (Bear Family)
This massive 20-CD, $230 set weighs in at close to 20 pounds and, as the title indicates, pulls together all the recordings by one of the three or four most influential country singers ever. Frizzell’s fluid vocals opened up new vistas for country music that can be heard in subsequent artists from George Jones and Merle Haggard to Dolly Parton and Keith Whitley on through to Miranda Lambert. (R.L.)
Press Archive - Lefty Frizzell An Article From Life - The Complete Recordings - theseconddisc.com
The music of William Orville “Lefty” Frizzell (1928-1975), one of the most influential honky-tonk singers of all time, has long been a cornerstone of the Bear Family catalogue. The German reissue specialists first compiled the Frizzell oeuvre in 1984 as a 14-LP box set, updating that in 1992 on 12 CDs. Now, more than 25 years later, the Bears have returned to the country-and-western troubadour’s career for the most definitive chronicle ever. An Article from Life: The Complete Recordings has every one of Frizzell’s original recordings presented on 20 CDs in a package also including a comprehensive hardcover book.
Inspired by his hero, “the singing brakeman” Jimmie Rodgers, Lefty (so named for his left hook in a schoolyard fight, not a Golden Gloves match as legend has sometimes had it) had sensed by age twelve that his destiny was in song. In his earliest performing gigs, he began to broaden his repertoire to tunes by Ernest Tubb and Roy Acuff. Born in Texas and raised in Arkansas, the local talent made waves on radio in New Mexico. While his theme song was Ernest Tubb’s “I Ain’t Going Honky-Tonking Any More,” he not only kept honky-tonking, but made the country-and-western style his own. His burgeoning career was almost derailed in 1947 when he was found guilty of statutory rape. He served six-months in the Roswell, NM county jail, and while there wrote the words that would later be fashioned into one of his most memorable songs. “I Love You, I’ll Prove It a Thousand Ways” was addressed to his wife Alice, who was left behind with their daughter Lois while he served his time.
Press Archive - Lefty Frizzell An Article From Life - The Complete Recordings - Rolling Stone
William Orville Frizzell was a classic country contradiction: a teenage jailbird and chronic alcoholic who wrote thoroughly believable songs of heartbreak and redemption; a massive star in the early and mid-Fifties, in the wake of Hank Williams’ passing, who endured his own version of the latter’s downward spiral, bereft of hits in the Sixties and dead of a stroke in 1975, only 47. But even in free fall, Frizzell was a pivotal influence on singers across the country-rock divide, from George Jones and Willie Nelson to John Fogerty and Levon Helm, who covered Frizzell’s bleak 1959 masterpiece “Long Black Veil” to immortal effect 10 years later on the Band’s Music From Big Pink, with Rick Danko singing lead. At 20 CDs, An Article From Life is everything from Frizzell’s tumultuous life on record including 78’s, 45’s, LP cuts, outtakes, live material and an audio documentary by his younger brother David, also a country singer. “If you’ve got the money, I’ve got the time,” Lefty sang on his 1950 breakout hit. Both are well spent here.
Press Archive - Lefty Frizzell An Article From Life - The Complete Recordings - mykindofcountry.
It wasn’t a great year for reissues but there were some bright spots. As always our British and European friends lead the way. Also, please note that these can take a while for foreign titles to become available from US suppliers, so it may be into 2019 before these are generally available.
In those cities that still have adequate recorded music stores (sadly, a rare commodity these days), it can be a real thrill finding a label you’ve not encountered before reissuing something you’ve spent decades seeking. It can be worthwhile to seek out the foreign affiliates of American labels for recordings that the American affiliate hasn’t reissued. For example, there are Capitol recordings not reissued in the US that are available on the UK or European EMI labels. For the rest of us, scanning the internet remains the best alternative.
Unfortunately as the sales of physical CDs continue to plummet, so does the willingness of labels, domestic and foreign, to invest in reissuing material by second and third tier artists. Still missing in action are the catalogues of such significant artists as Liz Anderson, Wilma Burgess, Johnny Darrell, Jack Greene, The Hager Twins, Freddie Hart, Warner Mack, Kenny Price and David Rogers. While there has been a slight uptick in vinyl sales and reissues, most of that has been of only the very top selling artists (and at $22 to $33 per title).
Press Archive - Lefty Frizzell An Article From Life - The Complete Recordings - relix.com
The renowned German archival imprint Bear Family Records has been keeping the name William Orville Frizzell— lovingly nicknamed Lefty Frizzell after winning a fight in his youth—in the country-music conversation since 1984 when they reintroduced the honky-tonk icon to fans with the 14-LP box set His Life, His Music. Now over a quarter-century after the label’s 12-CD box set Life’s Like Poetry, the 1992 set has been generously
Press Archive - Lefty Frizzell An Article From Life - The Complete Recordings - Ugly Things
LEFTY FRIZZELL — An Article from Life: The Complete Recordings (Bear Family) Box set From 1950 to early 1954, Wil-liam Orville "Lefty" Frizzell was the hottest performer in country music. Employing a drowsy, expressive baritone, the Texas-born singer-songwriter forged a series of memo-rable hits that still reside on Lonestar state jukeboxes including "If You've
Got the Money I've Got The Time," "I Love You a Thousand Ways," "Al-ways Late (With your Kisses)," "I Want to Be With You Always," "Mom and Dad's Waltz," "Don't Stay Away (Till Love Grows Cold)" and "Give Me More, More, More (Of Your Kiss-es)." Just as suddenly as his stardom began, it faded dramatically.
Wheth-er it was changing audience tastes, the advent of rock & roll, overex-posure or his battle with the bottle, one of America's greatest country vocalists scored with only two more major hits during a remarkably pro-lific career. Frizzell never stopped working; he continued cutting high quality, emotionally resonant music until his death in 1975. He was only 47 years-old.
Bear Family initially paid tribute to Frizzell with their fine 12-CD set Life's Like Poetry in 1992. This 20-CD, 361-song collection includes everything he recorded for Colum-bia and ABC-Paramount including alternate takes, previously unre-leased songs, demos, live radio tran-scriptions, and an audio biography from his son David Frizzell. (Whose "You're the Reason God Made Okla-homa" and "I'm Gonna Hire a Wino to Decorate Our Home" were 1970s country classics.)
Press Archive - Lefty Frizzell An Article From Life - The Complete Recordings - LA Records
Lefty Frail was one of the early popularizers of what we now know as the redneck end &country music and as important to the foundations of the genre as lames Brown was to soul. He wrote mg Performed songs that seemed to come from some some cheerful Internal unNerse where acceptance canceled out pain and remorse. Personally as eloquent and exuberant as some redneck Gully lImson, he exhewed poet, lyrics and saved the expressionism for his voice. As a sirger he had a certain way of phrasing and elongating syllablesthatwas pure H.S. hillbilly butfullyernbraced the nearoniversal basics of what it is to be life, as Johnny Cash would much later. His life, as recounted by brother David Fritteell—himsell a Top Ten helhauser with "You're the Reason God Ma. 010ahoma" and Gonna Hire a Wino to Decorate • Home"—wa a sharnbling ac.oc affair driven by twin desires to make music next money to efther buy his way into the next good time or out of the nett selkmgineered catastrophe. There was a bog string of massive htts like "If You've Got the Money, I've Got the Tirne," "I Love You a Thousand Ways" and "Agays Late with Your 100es," all of .1. topped Cou.ry Music charts. Like oftny born into hard times, Lefty neveI shook the habit hem. Forgose of you who don'tGo Dee This Bern Family Records product: heavy.p,
Press Archive - Lefty Frizzell An Article From Life - The Complete Recordings - All About Jazz
Lefty Frail was one of the early popularizers of what we now know as the redneck end &country music and as Obsession is a great motivator and perhaps the greatest form of appreciation. However, that may be no more than making a virtue out of necessity. The German label, Bear Family Records has made a career of being obsessed in providing a complete accounting of American Music. Previous to this 20-CD box set, An Article From Life -The Complete Recordings was the essential At The Louisiana Hayride Tonight (2018). That collection was a great snapshot of the development of American Music. But Bear Records has a great propensity to be Don Quixote tilting at windmills and their love for country music pioneer Lefty Frizzell is a case in point. An Article From Life is not the first retrospective of the musical career of Frizzell, it is the third, and this time the definitive one.