Frank IFIELD 2003
1937 – Born on the 30th
of November in Coventry, England, to Australian parents.
1947 – Age 10- was influenced by his grandfather who had toured
with the minstrel show as the Song & Dance host 'Mr
1948 – Age 11, family travel back to
to the then semi rural area of Dural. Parents gave him a ukulele
and he quickly learned to make the chords fit any song he sang.
1949 – Given his first guitar.
1950 – Age 13, the Ifield’s move to
suburb of Beecroft. Conned his way to appearing on radio 2GB's
Amateur Hour, which eventually led to a recording contract with
EMI Regal Zonophone.
1952 – Age 15, appears on Tim
McNamara’s Music Show after hearing that one artists has not
turned up for his spot at
Hornsby, talks Tim into letting
He was a regular on
Nestles –(renamed) Bonnington’s Bunkhouse Radio shows. Joined
Ted Quigg Show and worked the busy Sydney Clubs and hotel
1953 – Age 16,
EMI recorded Ifield on his
first Regal Zonophone
“Did You See My Daddy Over There”
“There’s a Love Knot in My Lariat”
1956 – Became the first country singer
to appear on the second day of TV broadcasting.
Soon he had his own TV Show –
1957 - National Service put an abrupt halt his career. After
had his own TV series called “Campfire Favourites”
on TCN Channel 9.
By the end of the 50’s,
he recorded more than 40 sides –
firstly on Regal Zonophone 78s, then on Columbia
45s and even had one of the first LP records to be recorded in
“Yours Sincerely”. The first tracks were recorded with just
Frank’s guitar for accompaniment, but he later went on to record
with country bands and some of the best jazz and session
musicians in the country.
Toured the country with Big Chief Little Wolf.
1959 – Age 21, his ambition to travel
He heads out and leaves for the
His repertoire then consisted of
entirely country music and he was heavily influenced by people
like, Slim Dusty, Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers and Tim
He was lucky enough to meet
“Norrie Paramor” of
Records they eventually became close friends.
Country Music at that time
hadn’t made such an impression in Britain.
Norrie was sceptical about
Frank’s desire to record it.
- First recording session at
Studios for Columbia
Devil” and “Nobody
Else But You”.
1960 - Played the title role of Dick
Whittington in 1st Pantomime staged at the Globe Theatre,
supporting 'The Shadows' who played the 'Brokers Men'.
Released the following singles
-“Happy Go Lucky Me” “Unchained Melody”,
“Gotta Get A Date”, “No Love
Tonight”, “That’s The Way It Goes”,
Snow”, “Life’s A
“Tobacco Road”. “Your Time Will Come” “That’s The Way It Is”.
Wrote “I Listen To My Heart” in 10 minutes whilst at the beach.
1961 – Released “Alone Too Long” “Bigger Than You And Me”.
Whilst these releases were reasonable successful Frank was still
looking for a bit hit.
1962 – Recorded “I Remember You”,
backed by “I Listen to my Heart”. Released on
1962, the first
indicator of what was to come was when David Jacobs’ prestigious
TV show “Juke Box Jury”, voted the record a “unanimous hit”. In
early July, it reached the number one spot in the UK
and had gone Silver within 2 weeks of release. It remained at
number one for 7 weeks – in one day, 17th
July, it sold 102,500 copies - in one half hour period alone
selling 32,750. The single proceeded to stay in the chart for 28
weeks, sold millions of copies. “Lovesick Blues” backed by “She
Taught Me To Yodel” were released after Frank appeared on the
Royal Variety Performance. The Queen Mother said she had heard
that Frank could and would he yodel “Ragtime Cowboy Joe” that
night? Frank did not have the words or music to “Ragtime Cowboy
Joe” with him but he did agree to yodel “She Taught Me To
“The Wayward Wind”, “Nobody’s Darling
But Mine” and “I’m Confessin’ (That I Love You)”.
“You Don’t Have To Be A Baby To Cry”
also became hits for Frank.
1963 – In May Frank was awarded the Weekend Magazine
Showbusiness award for “Top Male Vocal” and in June the new
single was released. Within a few days Frank was rewarded with
his fourth number one. “I’m Confessin’” stayed at number one for
2nd Pantomime proclaimed a blockbuster
The show 'Mother Goose', co-starred Oscar winning actress Beryl
Reid. Did video clip on Manly Beach
for 'Top Of The Pops' BBC-TV.
Frank’s second LP and his first UK
album in the very country-influenced “I’ll Remember You” (Columbia
SCX 3460), which became a major seller. It was followed the same
year by the equally country-flavoured “Born Free” (Columbia
Another whirlwind year, Frank had made
it to the top of the business and demonstrated that he could
stay there. He had also had two more LPs released, “Blue Skies”
SCX 3505) and “Frank Ifield’s Greatest Hits” (33SX 1633).
starred in the film “Up Jumped A Swagman” and enjoyed a very
successful soundtrack album (Columbia SCX 3559) for which he
re-recorded “I Remember You Issued to promote the film, “I
Guess” was coupled with “Then Came She” from the pantomime
“Babes In The Wood” in which Frank played Robin Hood, once again
working in pantomime with The Shadows.
Royal Performance in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen of
at the Palladium Theatre.
Same year Frank and Gillian Bowden marry.
1966 – Voted one of the ten Best British Male Vocalist
International Country Music.
and signed to
records in the
Appeared on 'The Grand Ole Opry' in
with Roy Acuff.
Made a member of the Red Carpet Club by the Nashville Area
Chamber Of Commerce and received Honorary Citizenship Of The
State Of Tennessee from the then Governor of Tennessee, Frank
1967 – October 6th
son Mark Phillip born. Release of the
strongly country LP “The Singer And
The Song” (Columbia
1971 – Featured prominently in “New Musical Express” Top 50
world famous artists over the past 15 years.
1973 – Came first in the Lubjana Song
Festival representing Great Britain.
1974 – Special Guest Artiste at the Lubjana Song Festival.
1975 – 25th
September, daughter Sarah Lee born.
1978 – Inducted in Hands of Fame in
1978 – Apart From the
he was also a star in The
where he received two Gold Discs for record sales.
Late 70’s -
Set up his own label, “Frank Ifield Records” (FIR).
established Frank as
No 1 country music star. The Guinness Book Of Records proclaimed
that Frank had by this time, notched up a staggering 158 weeks
in the UK Pop Charts and also held
#24 in the 'Top 100 Chart Hits Of All Time'
1981 – Voted Best British Male
Vocalist International Country Music Awards, Wembley. Made
Honorary Citizen (of) the State of
1982 – While touring
his father lost his battle with cancer. His marriage breaks
down. The stress resulted in pneumonia and in
to recuperate suffers with a collapsed lung. The operation to
repair his lung, whilst successful, leaves Frank unable to sing.
1982-1983 – Male Entertainer of the
Year awarded at Midem International Music Festival by the
International Country Music Association of America.
1983 – Start of a new career - hosted TV and radio shows;
Instigated the Galston Country Music Festival; Became the patron
for The Music & Arts Talent Search (MATS); Started the annual
presentation of 'The International Spur Award' given to
Australian CM artists who Frank felt had overseas appeal and;
lined up UK and European tours for the most promising.
2003 - Elevated to the “Country Music
Roll Of Renown” in Tamworth.
2004 - Received
the TIARA (Tamworth
Independent Artist Recognition Awards) for Services To The
2007 – Inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.
2009 - Awarded the Medal of the Order
for service to the arts as an entertainer.
2010 – Mo Awards inducted into the Hall of Fame.
A wax sculpture of Frank is on display in the Big