William Orville Frizzell, known as Lefty Frizzell (March 31, 1928 – July 19, 1975), was an American country music singer-songwriter and honky-tonk singer. A vocalist who set the style of singing "the country way" for the generations that followed, Frizzell became one of the most successful and influential artists of country music throughout his stellar career. He gained prominence in 1950 after two major hits, and throughout the decade was a very popular country performer. He smoothed out the rough edges of a honky tonk song by sounding out syllables longer and singing longer. Because of this, his music become much more mainstream without losing its honky-tonk attitude and persona.
Frizzell is an influential artist in country music history. Among the artists he influenced are George Jones, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers, Keith Whitley, Merle Haggard, and John Fogerty. He laid a foundation for the many generations of country music performers that followed him. Because of this, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1982. Though he started his career being influenced by other country musicians, in the 1950s Frizzell became one of country music's most well-known artists. After the death of Hank Williams in 1953, Frizzell released many songs that charted in the Top 10 of the Hot Country Songs charts. His success did not carry on into the 1960s, and after suffering from alcoholism, he died at age 47.