Dallas Frazier Dies: Country Singer-Songwriter Behind “Elvira”, “Alley Oop” & Other Hits Was 82

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Dallas Frazier, the songwriter behind such country hits as The Oak Ridge Boys’ “Elvira,” The Hollywood Argyles’ “Alley Oop” and Emmylou Harris’ “Beneath Still Waters,” has died, according to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s CEO Kyle Young. He was 82.

“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,” said Young in a statement published the Country Music Hall of Fame’s official website. “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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Born in Spiro, Oklahoma on October 27, 1939, Frazier released albums throughout his career including Elvira, Tell It Like It Is, Singing My Songs and My Baby Packed Up My Mind and Left Me. He wrote No. 1 hits for the likes of Harris and Charley Pride and also saw his songs recorded by such icons as Diana Ross, Engelbert Humperdinck, Jerry Lee Lewis, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Elvis Presley, among many others.

Frazier was mentored as a young artist by country icon Ferlin Husky, signing to Capitol Records in 1954, at age 14. He released his first single “Space Command” that same year, going on to make the U.S. country chart eight times and being inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1976.

Plans for a memorial have not yet been disclosed.

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