COUNTRY singer, songwriter and yodeller Frank Ifield visited Uckfield last weekend.
Frank was an iconic performer whose work hauled British audiences from the bland sounds of the 1950s towards the revolutionary early 60s.
Readers who have never heard of him might be familiar with the once-heard-never-forgotten ‘I Remember You --ooooo’ which extended its last note to places not reached by many male singers.
Frank called into the Uckfield FM studio on Sunday as a guest on Paul Hazell’s World of Country show. The pair had known each other for some time and both had looked forward to meeting again.
Frank is also known for his hits “Lovesick Blues” and “The Wayward Wind” which gave him the distinction of being the first artiste to achieve three consecutive number one hits in the British Pop Charts.
He was also the first person to give the Beatles a break outside Liverpool when they were a supporting act on his show!
That was all back in 1962 but there is much more to Frank’s career than that.
He started his career as a youngster growing up just outside Sydney, Australia in the 50s.
Back then he was a big name down-under and recorded on Regal Zonophone 78s. He even had his own TV show as one of the first stars of Australian TV.
He came to England in 1959 to further his career and from 1962 became one of the biggest global stars the world has known.
His constant stream of concerts, TV, radio and recording continued into the late 80s when he moved from performing into artiste management.
Today he nurtures aspiring Australian talent and is currently in the UK promoting a tour by his protégé Nicki Gillis, an award-winning contemporary country singer and instrumentalist.
Born in Coventry of Australian parents, Frank is being honoured on this tour by the City of Coventry for his years of outstanding achievement in showbusiness on this 50th Anniversary of the ‘big three’ hits.
Frank and Paul are old friends and wanted to share reminiscences of Frank’s long career with listeners to Uckfield FM around the world.