The festival is established, in cooperation with the city of Corsicana, to honor the enduring musical legacy of Lefty Frizzell, one of American music’s most iconic and influential singer/stylists of any genre. Lefty, who would’ve turned 90 this year, was a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1982. A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame honors his contributions to entertainment.
David Frizzell is the younger brother of Lefty. He toured with Lefty in his youth, before being signed to a record deal of his own, and going on to a multi-award-winning career that remains dynamic today. David is a singer, songwriter, touring performer, producer and author.
A chance meeting with Corsicana Chief of Police, Robert Johnson, set the wheels in motion for David Frizzell’s longtime dream of a festival to honor his world-famous brother. Johnson, arguably the only SAG-AFTRA actor in the world who also happens to be a police chief, is an avid fan of Lefty Frizzell, and was instrumental in the early planning for LeftyFest.
“I am so grateful to the city of Corsicana, Chief Johnson, and the good folks at The Moontower at the Oaks,” David says. “Without their support and enthusiasm, we wouldn’t be able to host this festival. It has been a dream and a goal of mine for many years, and I am so excited to honor my brother, and give the gift of a free festival to country music fans in Texas and from around the world.”
The free festival will be held in Corsicana’s Jester Park, home to the Lefty Frizzell Museum and statue. LeftyFest performers include David Frizzell, Lacy J. Dalton, Paulette Carlson, Marty Haggard, Allen Frizzell, Sarah Patrick, and Aaron Copeland. Fans should bring lawn chairs or picnic blankets. Coolers are ok. There will also be vendors onsite, including beer gardens. There is a VIP seating area for Active Military, Veterans and family members on a first come, first serve basis as space allows.
Lefty Frizzell has been called “the honky-tonk archetype.” His voice was golden; he wore fringe and Nudie suits and those trademark bandanas; and he had a fondness for women and whiskey. Before this became a Hollywood stereotype, it was the real Lefty. Born William Orville Frizzell, this year marks 90 years since the birth of this legendary singer, just outside of Corsicana, Texas in 1928.
Frizzell burst onto the music scene in 1951 and had had eight top 10 hits in that year alone. At one point, Frizzell had four songs in the Billboard Top 10 at the same time, something that had never happened before: “I Want To Be With You Always,” “Always Late (With Your Kisses),” “Mom And Dad’s Waltz,” and “Travelin’ Blues.”
As a singer, Lefty was the ultimate stylist. His voice was an instrument that he played brilliantly: stretching out or breaking up vowels. He slurred his words and played with phrasing. His pioneering vocals have inspired decades of artists, and his songs have become classics and beloved standards. Merle Haggard revered Lefty Frizzell, and was often quoted praising the singer. Willie Nelson loved Frizzell’s songwriting so much that he released an album of Lefty cover songs.
On July 19, 1975, Lefty suffered a massive stroke, slipped into a coma, and passed away at just 47 years old. In his all-too-short life, however, Lefty Frizzell revolutionized country music with a style that remains influential today. Artists like Blake Shelton, Randy Travis, Keith Whitley, Tim McGraw, and even George Jones, have tipped their hats to Lefty for his inspiration.
LeftyFest is set to begin at 2pm on June 16th with live music from 4-10pm. Visitors may see the Lefty Frizzell statue, enjoy the historic Pioneer Village, activities for kids, a classic car show, a variety of vendors, beer gardens, and of course, great live music. The free event is made possible by presenting sponsor, The Moontower at the Oaks of Corsicana, and through a grant from the Corsicana Visitor’s Bureau. A variety of lodging options are available in and around Corsicana, including brand name hotels and RV parks. LeftyFest supports COMPASSION CORSICANA and we ask for donations of canned foods and dry goods for the food pantry at the event.
LeftyFest Music Festival
Saturday, June 16, 2018
Jester Park | Corsicana, Texas
FEATURING: David Frizzell, Lacy J. Dalton, Paulette Carlson,
Marty Haggard, Allen Frizzell, Sarah Patrick, Aaron Copeland