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Country legend Dallas Frazier dead, writer of Oak Ridge Boys hit ‘Elvira’ was 82

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Songwriter Dallas Frazier, a multi-Grammy winner who is enshrined in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, died on Friday, according to a report. He was 82.

Frazier built a career on his notable songwriting ability, creating hits like Hollywood Argyles’ 1960 hit “Alley Oop”, The Oak Ridge Boys‘ 1981 classic “Elvira,” and the 1971’s Jack Greene-recorded “There Goes My Everything.”

“Dallas Frazier is among the greatest country songwriters of all time,” said Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Billboard reported

Frazier, who was born in Spiro, Oklahoma, also co-wrote numerous No. 1 hits with A.L. “Doodle” Owens, including 1969’s “All I Have to Offer You (Is Me),” which was Charley Pride‘s first No. 1 Billboard Hot Country Songs hit.

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Pride scored two other No. 1 country hits alongside Frazier and Owens, including “(I’m So) Afraid of Losing You Again,” in 1969, “I Can’t Believe That You’ve Stopped Loving Me,” in1970, and “Then Who Am I,” in 1974. (Pride died in 2020 to COVID-19-related complications).

“He could convey infectious fun with ‘Elvira,’ and then write something as stunningly sad and true as ‘Beneath Still Waters,’” Young added. “His songs helped Connie Smith to become a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. He was a man of kindness, generosity, and faith, who overcame a hardscrabble upbringing to offer smiling gifts to all of us. He lived a beautiful life of a beautiful mind.”

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Dallas Frazier (left), Marty Stuart (center) and Connie Smith perform at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee on Sept. 25, 2019.
Getty Images for Country MusicHall of Fame and Museum

In 1976, Frazier was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and he continued producing top hits.

Frazier wrote “Beneath Still Waters” for Emmylou Harris in 1980, which became a No. 1 country hit. He also co-wrote Tanya Tucker‘s “What’s Your Mama’s Name?” which became her first No. 1 hit, Billboard reported.

Frazier’s applauded writing ability created a magical feel to listeners, he said in an interview in 2018 with journalist Tom Roland.

“I’ve noticed this all my life in writing songs, there’s a thing called feel, and it’s magic when you get ahold of it,” Frazier said. “It can make or break a record. You can have a great song and all, but if it doesn’t have that feel, it just doesn’t do anything. ‘Elvira’ had the feel. And The Oaks, what a tremendous cut. With Richard Sterban doing his thing on it and the horns just making it first class…it had so much magic in it, it’d just raise the hair on your arms.”

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