Among things we discussed:
- His early start in Bakersfield, California, working with Ferlin Husky, signing as an artist with Capital Records at 14 years old, writing his own material.
- How he experienced working on TV with a well-rounded 'out of the box' band and learning to love more than one style of music.
- Marrying Sharon, the love of his life, at 18 years old. They have been together ever since (she was right there on the couch as we talked)
- How he wrote some of his iconic songs such as Ally Oop. It reached #1 on the charts 58 years ago, and is still played today. Dallas wrote it at the cotton gin where he was working at the time.
- Making the move with Ferlin to Nashville, and his incredible hit-writing success there. Dallas talks about how he was hungry for success, literally and figurably, and how he and the circle he found dug in to have tons of hits by most of the country artists of the time including Charlie Louvin, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley (cut 5 Dallas songs), Percy Sledge, Connie Smith (cut 71 of Dallas's songs), George Jones, Charlie Pride, Brenda Lee, Charlie Rich.
- How Dallas got caught up with alcoholism. Then how he purposefully quit the business to get away from temptations to drink. A year off turned into a 30 year break from the business, and Dallas went to seminary and into Christian ministry as a pastor. He shares his paradigm shifts from alcoholism to over-doing legalism and perfection, and how he has now found balance and a new understanding of God. We discussed this common issue with musicians, and how important it is to know who you are without your music.
- He is now writing again. He believes he's writing even better than ever, and his having a lot of joy in the process of trying to write 'for the masters'. We discuss writing for the market as opposed to the heart, and the balance needed there.
- We finished with Dallas offering some very important insider tips for those who want to become successful songwriters. And I got to thank our mutual friend Ginny Foley, who introduced us some years ago. My deepest gratitude to Ginny, and to Dallas for his friendship and support, as well as this interview for us all!
Dallas Frazier bio highlights:
- Among his legendary hits: Elvira, Ally Oop, There Goes My Everything, If My Heart Had Windows, All I Have To Offer You Is Me, Beneath Still Waters, Will You Visit Me On Sundays, Fourteen Carat Mind, What's Your Mama's Name, Mohair Sam, The Son of Hickory Hollow's Tramp and tons more.
- Dallas had lots of songs in the pop charts, he also had some R&B success with songs such as 'Big Mable Murphy' cut by Diana Ross as well as Brook Benton.
- In 1994 Keith Richards and George Jones did a duet on Dallas' song 'Say It's Not You'.
- 'There Goes My Everything' won CMA's 'Song of the Year' in 1966.
- 'Elvira' won BMI 'Country Song of the Year' in 1966.
- Artists who cut Dallas Frazier 'tribute albums' (all songs written by Dallas) include George Jones and Connie Smith.
- Dallas was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1976
- Country Music Hall Of Fame honored Dallas by featuring him in their 'Poets & Prophets Salute'.
- There is a documentary being produced by Brian Oxley, projected to be finished by summer of 2018. I'll update this post with airing details when it lands at a network!