Legendary Songwriter Dallas Frazier Dead at 82

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum)

Dallas Frazier, the legendary country songwriter, known for writing hits like Elvira and Beneath Still Waters, reportedly passed away on Friday (January 14th) at the age of 82.

Dallas Frazier was born in October 1939. He was raised in Bakersfield, California. As a teenager, the songwriter played with country music singer Ferlin Husky and on Hometown Jamboree. He released his first single, Space Command in 1954. He was only 14-years-old at the time. 

The family of Dallas Frazier revealed the unfortunate news of his passing on Facebook. “Our dad passed into the loving arms of Jesus this morning. Glory to God! No more suffering!!! The life of Dallas June Frazier will be celebrated this week!”

Dallas Frazier’s family also stated that in lieu of flowers and food, the country songwriter requested donations to be made at the Nashville Rescue Mission. “God Bless each of you who loved and prayed for dad, mom, my sisters, their husbands, and our family!”

Billboard reports that Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, issued a statement about the songwriter’s death. “Dallas Frazier is among the greatest country songwriters of all time. He could convey infectious fun with Elvira and then write something as stunningly sad and true as Beneath Still Waters. His songs helped Connie Smith to become a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.”

Young also called Dallas Frazier 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.”

Dallas Frazier Opens Up About His Childhood

According to U.S. Day News, Dallas Frazier spoke to Edd Hurt in 2008 about his childhood. “We were part of The Grapes of Wrath. We were the Okies who went out to California with mattresses tied on the tops of their Model A Fords. My folks were poor.”

Dallas Frazier then revealed when he was 12-years-old, he moved away from home with his parents’ permission. “Ferlin [Husky] offered me a job. And I started working with him when I was twelve.” 

Dallas Frazier also spoke about how he recovered a side for Capitol Records when he was fourteen. He also did Country music. “I cut in the big circular building that’s still out there on Hollywood and Vine,” the songwriter declared. When Hometown Jamboree ended, he decided to move to Nashville. He eventually teamed up with Jack Greene in the late 1960s for the song There Goes My Everything. The single notably earned him a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Country Song. 

Along with Greene and Smith, Dallas Frazier worked with Diana Ross, Elvis Presley, Engelbert Humperdinck, Jerry Lee Lewis, Willie Nelson, Brenda Lee, Charley Pride, Merle Haggard, and Gene Watson.