Arts Desk

William “Whop” Frazier, 1943-2011

Bassist and singer William "Whop" Frazier spent years backing up other blues players before stepping out on his own. The singer—who for decades was a prominent figure in D.C.'s blues scene—passed away on Dec. 22 at Fairfax hospital following a brief battle with lung and bone cancer. Frazier was 68.

Frazier's wife, Dolores "Dede" Frazier, recalls meeting him in the late '60s at the now-defunct Rand's nightclub on 14th St. NW. "Actually, I was a dancer," says Dede. "[Whop] was playing behind Carl Anderson." On remembering what first stood out to her about Whop, Dede says, "When I used to get offstage and he was getting ready to go on, he used to say, 'Pineapple, if I leave a ring around the bathtub, you know I left it clean,' and I thought he was a little nuts."

Whop later joined a gospel group at Mount Zion Church in Warrenton, Va., where he first began to sing. "He wasn't really a singer," says Dede, "but they made him start singing, and that's when he went on his own." Initially, Whop joined up with Michael Tash and the Bad Influence Band, but shortly thereafter he founded the longstanding Whop Frazier & Friends by Choice, where he honed his own songwriting for years to come.

Whop is survived by Dede, four daughters, three sons, 10 grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. A memorial service for the late blues player will take at Mountcastle Turch Funeral Home, 4143 Dale Blvd., Dale City, Va. on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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  • Been Around

    Whop Frazier conducted his life and played his music in a way that guaranteed he will be remembered by many, many people in DC and elsewhere for a long time. You can interpret that statement a couple of ways....

  • http://Twitter@dawud7774 David Frazier @dawud7774

    My father was the best! He tought me music! His knowledge that I learned made me be what I am! A battle poet! 100% freestyle! There is know man higher then my father! His knowledge of music is a blessing to me! Thanks and much love D.C news paper! WPFW Howard University radio station 89.3 for all their love! I miss my father more then anything on this earth! But I know that he is watching me in heaven! Much love to all who supported my father and my family! God is good! Whop Frazier 8/31/43 to 12/22/11! He is resting in peace! His son David Frazier@dawud7774

  • Been Around

    Whop was actually a musical father figure and natural teacher to many young musicians in the DC area. He touched many lives through the years. He's in God's Band now.

  • Brian (BNICE) Foddrell

    We will miss Whop I remember when he first came to Mt.Zion and I had the pleasure of playing with him. I spoke to whop about a month ago in the cigar shop and he had just given me his new CD that he just finish and told me it was hot.Whop I listened to it and its all that my brother, I will miss you but never forget you. God Bless much Luv to you and your family from me and The Quiet Fire Band!

  • Dede Frazier

    Ryan you got the story absoletly correct love you for the article and I love the picture. The service was very overwhelming for me..met so many people that I have not seen in years..even friends he grew up with.

    He was the love of my life...and with all the write ups on him he will never be forgotten....and thank you again for yours.

    Would love to get a copy of the picture!!!!!