George Frazier, the legendary columnist for the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald, was a little before my time. My sole memory of him was watching him do commentaries on one of the Boston television stations when I was in high school. But I certainly know of him, and the main reason I do is because of my Northeastern colleague Charles Fountain, the author of “Another Man’s Poison,” Fountain’s biography of Frazier.
Fountain had a splendid tribute to Frazier in Sunday’s Boston Globe on the occasion of what would have been his 100th birthday, writing:
Immortality in a business as ephemeral as daily journalism is nigh-on impossible, but every city has a newspaper guy who will be forever identified with that city. H.L. Mencken in Baltimore, Jimmy Breslin in New York, Mike Royko in Chicago, Herb Caen in San Francisco. Frazier, born in Southie 100 years ago last week, is that guy for Boston.
And isn’t it time someone published a Frazier anthology? Given his wide range — newspaper columns, magazine pieces, jazz criticism for the likes of Down Beat, liner notes — there’s little doubt that it would stand up among the best writing produced in Boston.