Friday, 30 November 2012
Frank Ifield born 30 November 1937
Frank Ifield (born Francis Edward Ifield, 30 November 1937, Coundon, Coventry, Warwickshire, England) is an Australian-English easy listening and country music singer. He achieved considerable success in the early 1960s, especially in the UK Singles Chart, where he had four #1 hits between 1962 and 1963.
Frank Ifield moved with his Australian parents to Dural, 50 km (30 miles) from Sydney, about 1946. It was a rural district and he listened to hillbilly music (now called country) while milking the cows. He learned how to yodel in imitation of country stars like Hank Snow. At the age of thirteen he recorded "Did You See My Daddy Over There?", and by the age of 19 was the number one recording star in Australia and New Zealand. He returned to the UK in 1959.
His first record in the UK was "Lucky Devil" (1960) which got to number 22 in the UK charts. His next six records were less successful, but he finally broke through with "I Remember You" which topped the charts for seven weeks in 1962.
Known for Ifield's falsetto and a slight yodel, it became the top-selling single of that year and was one of the first million sellers within the UK alone. His next single was a double A-side: "Lovesick Blues" and "She Taught Me How to Yodel". "Lovesick Blues" was originally sung by Hank Williams and was treated in an upbeat "Let's Twist Again" style. The other song is a virtuoso piece of yodelling with the final verse - entirely yodelling - sung at double-speed. It also reached number 44 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. His next hit, "Wayward Wind", made him the first UK-based person to reach number one three times in the UK in succession. The only other person to have done so at that point was Elvis Presley.
His other recordings include "Nobody's Darling but Mine", "Confessin'" (his fourth and final UK chart topper), "Mule Train" and "Don't Blame Me". In 1963 he sang at the Grand Ole Opry, introduced by one of his heroes, Hank Snow. Many of his records were produced by Norrie Paramor.
Ifield toured the UK, supported by The Beatles. While Vee-Jay Records temporarily had the rights to a number of The Beatles' recordings, they released an album called Jolly What England's Greatest Recording Stars: The Beatles and Frank Ifield on Stage on 26 February 1964. This consists of four studio recordings of the Beatles plus eight recordings of Ifield. The original pressing has a drawing of a chubby old man with a moustache, and is itself quite rare. However, just before Vee Jay's publishing rights were about to expire on 10 October 1964 they changed the sleeve cover to a drawing of the Beatles. Probably less than one hundred copies were pressed. It is the rarest Beatles album.
Ifield twice entered the UK heat of the Eurovision Song Contest. In 1962 he came second with "Alone Too Long" (losing to Ronnie Carroll). In the 1976 Eurovision Song he tried with "Ain't Gonna Take No for an Answer", finishing last of 12.
In 1991, Ifield returned to the UK chart when "She Taught Me to Yodel", billed as 'Frank Ifield featuring The Backroom Boys', reaching #40 in the UK Singles Chart. In over thirty years, it is his sixteenth appearance in that list. He has successfully made a career in cabaret and the 1960s nostalgia scene.
On 10 June 2012, Ifield joined his friend Paul Hazell, on his World of Country show on the community radio station Uckfield FM. He was in the studio for the entire programme, and discussed his life in music and forthcoming induction to the Coventry Music Wall of Fame. (info Wikipedia)