Thursday, August 21, 2008

"Down Goes Frazier!"

"Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!" Howard Cosell's staccato delivery of those words during the 1973 Frazier-Foreman fight was one of my favorite TV moments as a kid. (I used to do a pretty fair Cosell impression back when Nixon was in the White House.)

That said, and with apologies to Howard's estate, down goes Dallas Frazier as one of my favorite country/soul songwriters. Never heard of him? Then check out "The R&B Sessions," the recent release (on Australia's great Raven reissue label) of some of Mr. Frazier's work from the mid-1960s. It'll be time well spent.

Dallas was the guy who penned "Mohair Sam" (Charlie Rich), "Elvira" (Rodney Crowell, The Oak Ridge Boys), "Alley Oop" (The Hollywood Argyles), "There Goes My Everything" (Jack Greene), "True Love Travels Down a Gravel Road" (co-writer) (Elvis Presley, Percy Sledge), and many other classics. (The last two tunes listed are not on this reissue.)

Although Mr. Frazier's career as a recording artist never really took off, this pair of albums from the mid-1960s is a great listen. It's a wonderful blend of country, soul, and gospel delivered in two- to three-minute doses. If you're a fan of Charlie Rich or Buddy Miller, give it a listen.

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