It’s been more than four decades since country/honky tony legend Lefty Frizzell passed away but his music inspired a slew of musicians that are still around today, a diverse group that includes everyone from Willie Nelson to John Fogerty. His music was also a key ingredient that helped launch the careers of The Everly Brothers and Roy Orbison (who was so inspired by the singer that he took the name Lefty Wilbury for tag in band The Traveling Wilburys). So, while a massive 20-disc retrospective box set may seem excessive to some, it’s seems a pretty appropriate tribute to the influence and popularity of Lefty.
This impressive box, put out by Bear Family Records (no stranger to Frizzell re-releases, having released two other compilation sets of his over the years), is a complete collection of all of the country great’s material, amassed over 25 years of recoding – dating back to 1950. And yes, the oft-covered “If You’ve Got the Money (I’ve Got the Time),” one of the best country songs ever penned is there and just the tip of the iceberg. It fits snuggly aside some of his other number one’s like “Always Late (With Your Kisses),” “Saginaw, Michigan” and “I Love You a Thousand Ways” as well as many, many more deeper cuts.
Spread over 361 tracks, this set covers his entire career, up to his death from a massive stroke at the age of 47.
Along with the 20 CDs, this beautifully curated box set also includes an audio book spread across 8 CDs and a gorgeous LP-sized hardcover book of Frizzell’s life and career. An absolutely brilliant offering for anyone looking for the true heart and genesis of Outlaw Country music.
Lefty Frizzell – An Article From Life: The Complete Recordings/20 CD Box Set/Bear Family Records/2018