Grammy-nominated country music songwriter Dallas Frazier, who was responsible for The Oak Ridge Boys' 1981 classic "Elvira," has died at age 82.
Frazier died at a rehabilitation facility in Gallatin, Tennessee, according to The New York Times. His daughter, Melody Morris, confirmed the news to the outlet, saying that her father had suffered two strokes since August.
Born on Oct. 27, 1939, in Spiro, Oklahoma, Frazier was writing songs by age 12 and was recording for Capitol Records two years later, according to Billboard. His breakthrough came in 1960, when "Alley Oop," which he had penned, became a pop hit for the Hollywood Argyles.
Frazier moved to Nashville three years later to pursue a career as a songwriter and found massive success writing "There Goes My Everything," which was recorded by Jack Greene, and working on songs including The Oak Ridge Boys' "Elvira," George Jones' "If My Heart Had Windows," and Connie Smith's "Ain't Love a Good Thing," People noted. He also co-wrote several songs with A.L. "Doodle" Owens.
Frazier earned three Grammy nominations and was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1976. That same year, he took a step back from music to become an ordained minister. Speaking about his decision with Perfect Sound Forever, he explained that it was based on his own struggles with faith.
"I went through a thing a long time with my Christianity — a struggle," he said. "There's a dichotomous thinking in people — you know, a lot of times we can't blend things together. And I believe there are absolutes in Christianity — but then again, I threw the baby out with the bathwater.
"In 1976, I laid out of the music business because I was having trouble reconciling my faith and the business. It would be just like a man working for the telephone company, and he comes to Christ and gets saved and he has to quit the telephone company because there are telephones in beer joints. It has to do with an over-scrupulous conscience, really."
Frazier returned to the music industry nearly 30 years later. In an interview with The Muse's Muse, he admitted he missed music.
"Well I had laid it down, and I really missed it. I really missed doing it, and I felt like God gave me a green light really to do some unfinished things that were stirring in me," he said. "It's hard to explain it, but I prayed about it and I just felt like that God gave me a green light to do it, and I'm still in the ministry but I'm not pastoring or anything like that. I stepped down in 2006 from pastoring a church."
Frazier is survived by Morris, as well as his wife, Sharon Carpani Frazier; their two other daughters, Robin Proetta and Alison Thompson; four grandchildren; one great-grandson; and a sister, Judy Shults.
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