The following is an expanded version of the liner notes...
THE GOLDEN YEARS OF FRANK IFIELD
by PAUL HAZELL
Born in Coventry, England
on November 30th 1937 of Australian parents, Frank Ifield’s earliest
recollections of music are of the combined harmonies of Hitler’s bombs,
community singing in the air raid shelters and BBC radio shows like Big Bill
Campbell’s Rocky Mountain Rhythm.
In 1947, with Frank still very young, his
father decided that he and the family would return home to Australia where they
settled in the delightfully rural area of Dural, New South Wales. There Frank
would milk the cows and perform other chores before embarking on the long walk
across country each day to attend school. At home, he would regularly listen to
the radio – and local radio in Australia
in those days often meant exposure to country music. Through listening to those
early “hillbilly” shows, Frank became fascinated by the likes of Canada’s Hank Snow, Orval Prophet and Wilf Carter, America’s Sons Of The Pioneers, Roy
Rogers, Slim Clark, Jimmie Rodgers and The Carter Family. He also grew to love
the home-grown songs of local artistes like Buddy Williams, Smoky Dawson, Tim
McNamara and New Zealand’s
Tex Morton. In fact, these formative years were when Frank first learned to
yodel. Most of the songs featured a yodel and Frank discovered that he could
sing and yodel himself. He also found that yodelling whilst milking the cows
improved the yield of milk!
At school, Frank benefited hugely from his
headmaster who taught him to “perform” poetry though the use of expression,
vocal emphasis and posture rather than simply recite it. This passion for
expressing words through vocal variation and body language was to put Frank in
good stead in later years. The hundreds of thousands of people who have
attended Frank Ifield concerts through the years will testify that Frank’s
performances delivered huge impact as much through the way he expressed the
songs as through the strength and quality of his voice. Back in the late
forties though, Frank already had the seeds of that famous voice – it was
already strong and true.
Four great names of Australian showbusiness
also had crucial input to the Frank Ifield brand in those formative years.
Chief Little Wolf was a wrestler who took Frank under his wing when Frank was
starting out in showbusiness. He taught Frank that being in the business was
not just a matter of singing and strumming a guitar – it was the “business” of
Frank learned from Little Wolf the
importance of dressing immaculately and stage-managing what the audience see.
Even today, Frank is horrified to see youngsters in scruffy dress preparing
stage equipment in full sight of the audience, then clambering on stage in the
same clothes to present their show. In Frank’s day, you did not see him until
the curtain was drawn back and Frank would appear in colourful stage dress,
immaculately groomed and beaming that characteristically infectious smile.
It is difficult to explain to those who
have never encountered the talents of Tex Morton, just what a giant of
showmanship he was in his day, but even though Frank never knew him personally,
he learned a lot from this legend of Australasian showbusiness – about timing,
putting feeling into a song, keeping your name – positively – in the public
eye, as well as a few useful guitar licks and yodels! To this day, he still
loves to recite the old bush poetry for which Tex also became famous.
The third of those four key names in those
early Australian days was an ex-boundary rider turned impresario and cowboy
singer by the name of Tim McNamara. McNamara established himself as the kingpin
of country music around the city of Sydney
and became as well known for the spectacular music and talent shows that he
staged as he did for his many top selling records. Possessed of a warm, golden
singing voice and a crystal clear yodel, he became a hero to many of the
youngsters of the day – including the young, star struck Frank Ifield, who
asked him for a spot on the McNamara show.
The relationship with McNamara was soon to
come down to earth. Tim at first turned Frank down for his show but Tim’s
brother gave Frank his first break when the show came to Hornsby Pacific
Caberet, a few miles outside Sydney.
After a terrified Ifield had raced through Hank Snow’s “Golden Rocket”, Tim
realised that Frank had real potential so he extended the offer to a regular
spot at one guinea per show. Frank learned the discipline of timing and
entering and exiting on time and in the right way. Tim then taught Frank a
valuable lesson in economics – when Frank asked for a raise, Tim sacked him!
Finally, Frank was given another important
break by husband and wife country music duo Rick & Thel Carey. The Careys
were very big in those days and they carried a lot of influence. It was they
who gave Frank an introduction to Southern Music in Sydney and it was that introduction that led
to Frank becoming a Regal Zonophone recording artiste in 1953.
Frank’s first commercial recording was a
sad war story he learned from an early Eddy Arnold record. The title was “Did
You See My Daddy Over There” and it was backed by a yodelling showpiece built
around Wilf Carter’s theme tune, “There’s A Love Knot In My Lariat”.
Frank went on to become a huge name in
Australian showbusiness through the rest of that decade. 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 Australia,
“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. For more details on those
early years and 30 of those early tracks, see the EMI Gold release 'Frank
Ifield Sings Country & Classics' on EMI 7243-5-41734-2-4. To hear "There's A Love Knot In My Lariat" from Frank's first ever commercial 78 and one of his early compositions, "A Mother's Faith", seek
out a copy of the 4CD set "A Cowboy's Life Is Good Enough For Me: 100 Songs
Of The Plains And Life In The West" on the UK-based Jasmine label JASBOX
13-4. This set also includes hitherto rare tracks by Tim
McNamara, Tex Morton and Hank Snow along with many others
Frank also became a household name on radio
and, when TV was introduced in Australia in 1956, he was in at the start with
his own TV series called “Campfire Favourites”. Successful tours of Tasmania
and New Zealand capped his achievements. He was in fact riding the crest of a
wave; young, successful and popular with the girls! What more could any young
man ask? Frank could have been forgiven for resting on his laurels and enjoying
the fruits of his success.
Frank Ifield however, never was and still
is not, a man to stand still for long! By 1959, he had done just about as much
as could be done in Australia. Frank realised that he would need to travel
overseas if he was to further his career. Frank’s first love in showbusiness
had always been singing to a live audience. The thrill of the boards and the
adrenalin rush from a crescendo of applause was where the real passion was for
him. So now, he set his sights on performing in some of the World’s most
prestigious theatres, like The Palladium in London and Radio City Music Hall in
New York. To do that he would have to be a big name and to become a big name he
would need a big hit with wider recognition than could be achieved within the
local market in Australia. In hindsight we all know that he eventually achieved
all this countless times over, but back then he was a young, bright star
shining in a relatively small, local market and he knew that to really “make
it” he would have to up his game.
To embark on such a move would take
considerable courage; he would be travelling from a home country where he was a
kingpin at the top of the ladder to an unknown in a strange country halfway
round the world, where the competition was far more intense and widespread.
That would be the case whether he chose to travel to the USA or to the UK. Two
factors combined to determine which of these he would choose. One deciding
factor was Frank’s English heritage. The other was his manager, Peter Gormley,
an astuste businessman and persistent personality. Peter felt that as the
Columbia Gramophone Company was a London-based company, Frank might at least
carry some weight with the London office by reason of being on the Columbia
roster in Australia.
So it was that on November 4th
1959, not long before his 22nd birthday, Frank left Sydney on the
inaugural British Airways Comet flight. On arrival at Heathrow on November 5th,
thanks to some careful planning and lobbying by Peter Gormley, Frank was met by
the British press and by then British rock’n’roll superstar Tommy Steele. And
that is where this collection enters the story.
A Second Career
Peter had done his share of advance
promotion and had organised for EMI Artiste & Repertoire Manager and band
leader Norrie Paramor to provide some mentorship and help to Frank in his new
career. The fact that Frank was a likeable and personable individual and always
willing to listen to the advice of others, placed him in front with Norrie.
Norrie quickly realised that Frank had the qualities of stardom, complete with
youthful good looks, strong voice and boundless energy. Nevertheless,
notwithstanding Norrie’s new mentoring role, the first advice that Frank
received – and observed – in England came from Peter Gormley. Peter advised him
not to yodel – firstly because he didn’t know if the British audiences would
like yodelling and secondly because he did not want Frank to be “type cast”.
Frank is also a man of strong views and,
although he will listen to others, he usually knows what he wants and will not
hold back from saying so. Not surprisingly, this quality came to the fore very
early on in the relationship between Paramor and Frank! Norrie arranged with
Peter for Frank to enter into a recording contract. Frank chose for his first
“A” side a bouncy teenybopper number with a country feel. The title was “Lucky
Devil” – probably befitting the way Frank was feeling at that time – but
Norrie felt it was too country for the UK market. To make his name in the UK,
Frank needed a big chart hit and Norrie felt that “Lucky Devil” was not the
kind of number to fit the bill. Norrie was highly respected in the business and
had a long track record of successful recordings with – amongst others –
England’s own Ronnie Ronalde.
Frank however felt the song was strong and
persuaded Norrie to give it a chance. Paramor eventually gave in and engaged
Ken Jones to do the arrangement. So it was that, just a few short weeks after
arriving in England, on December 23rd 1959 Frank found himself at the Abbey
Road studios in London with “Lucky Devil” on the agenda. The track was coupled
with Frank’s own composition “Nobody Else But You”. The song had a
meaning to Frank that was a cross between cupid and nostalgia. In his early
days in Australia, Frank’s high-profile life had brought him into contact with
many beautiful girls and, being young and impressionable, he fell in love with
most of them! “Nobody Else But You” was inspired by his susceptibility to the
fair sex. The single was released on January 18th 1960 and “Lucky
Devil” made the top 30, peaking just short of the coveted “Top 20” at number 22
– not at all an accomplishment to be sneezed at for an unknown youngster. Frank
was delighted and so were Norrie and Peter.
The next session took place in April 1960
but the recordings made at the session were not released until later in the
year. In the meantime, another single was recorded and released. “Happy Go
Lucky Me” could also have been written specially for Frank as it epitomises
his cheerful, optimistic and outgoing personality. He was offered the number as
one of the new songs emanating from the USA and his interpretation is light and
catchy with a country feel – just as you might expect. Following the success of
“Lucky Devil”, at the time of release in May 1960 it seemed a good contender
for the charts. And it may well have done so, had it not been for George Formby
being offered the song and releasing it at the same time as Frank’s version!
Frank’s was a fine recording and he is in good voice but his profile was not
yet as high as a long-time established favourite like Formby. Formby benefited
from extensive airplay at the cost of Frank’s version with the result that the
follow-up hit that he and Norrie had hoped for did not come with this song.
The song was coupled with “Unchained
Melody”, an old Al Hibbler hit that Frank had always loved. In fact, he
liked it so much that he had already recorded it on his first album in
Australia. So this version, recorded in London specially for the single, was a
nostalgic trip for Frank. On reflection – in the light of the repeated success of
the song for people like the Righteous Brothers, Robson & Jerome and Gareth
Gates in subsequent years – perhaps it should have been the “A” side!
The April session had provided five
recordings from which were drawn the next two singles. “Gotta Get A Date”,
released in August 1960 was another catchy “teeny” type song not unlike “Lucky
Devil” and some of the songs Frank had recorded towards the end of his time in
Australia. The track was slightly more pop than country and was picked up by
Radio Luxembourg. Back in those days, youngsters kept up-to-date with the music
scene by listening to Radio Luxembourg so the airplay from the station gave the
record a welcome boost. In addition to that, the station ran a competition
around the song, the prize being to go on a date with Frank! The winner chose
to go boating on the river with some underprivileged children and this
generated more publicity! The song was not a smash hit but it did enter the
charts for a week, reaching number 49 and again demonstrating Frank’s chart
potential. It was backed by “No Love Tonight”, a pleasant song well sung
but never one of Frank’s personal favourites.
The big hit was still eluding them though
and the next song followed in the same style as “Gotta Get A Date”; catchy,
light and reflecting the trend of pop ballads at that time including not a
little of the Buddy Holly style of presentation. “That’s The Way It Goes”,
from the Shadows stable was coupled with a country song written by Jimmy Work.
Frank’s presentation of “Hoebe Snow” is a cross between rockabilly and
straight country and stands out with “Unchained Melody” in indicating the vocal
capability and presence that had so far remained largely untapped in Frank’s UK
recordings. Frank was never happy with the track yet many rockabilly and
country fans found his to be a refreshing treatment.
Interestingly, the proposed “B” side to
“That’s The Way It Goes” was “She’s The Girl Who Doesn’t Care For Me” which was
much closer to some of the more mature ballads that Frank would perform in a
few years time. It is not perhaps quite as good a song as some of those that he
recorded later but when one listens, it is hard not to anticipate that falsetto
break that was to become Frank’s trademark in the very near future. However, at
this time, Frank was still following advice and not using that side of his
voice and “Hoebe Snow” in this writer’s opinion was a stronger “B” side that
could have been an “A”. “She’s The Girl” remained unissued until 1997 when it
was included in a limited edition release, “Frank Ifield Remembering The 60s”.
During this period Frank was raising his
profile by appearing on TV and radio and touring whenever he could. His tours
included stints with Duane Eddy, Emile Ford and Bruce Channel and he appeared
with The Shadows in 1960 in the first Pantomime staged at the Globe Theatre,
Stockton. Frank played the title role of Dick Whittington and The Shadows were
“The Brokers Men”. He was a contender for the 1961 British Song Contest with “I
Can’t Get Enough Of Your Kisses” (which reached number one in the sheet music
charts) and that year also enjoyed a summer season at Swanson’s Hotel, Jersey,
Channel Islands with top comedians Mike & Bernie Winters. So delighted was
he to be back on a beach under the summer sun that one day he scribbled out a
song during a spare 10 minutes. Even though he still lacked that big hit,
things were not bad at all – he was making a name for himself, he was enjoying
regular work, he was recording with one of the most respected producers in the
business and here he was with a beautiful girl lying on the beach by his side!
He had achieved all this by following his own instincts. That day, he wrote “I
Listen To My Heart” on the back of a cigarette packet and tucked it away
without further thought.
Meanwhile, the search for a hit continued
and the next “A” side was another bouncy, singalong song, “Life’s A Holiday”
which Norrie thought might hit the charts for the summer holiday period.
However, Frank preferred the “B” side, John D Loudermilk’s as yet undiscovered classic “Tobacco Road”.
“Having met John, I became more
interested in seeking out his songs. I came across this gem gathering dust in
the publisher’s back room and couldn’t wait to record it”.
The song became popular on Frank’s stage
performances and emphasised much more of his country roots than some of the
previous numbers. The single failed to make its mark however and “Tobacco Road”
– one of the most distinctive Frank Ifield recordings of those early UK years –
sank into virtual obscurity with the saving grace being when it appeared as the
title track of an early EP. A few years later the song became a massive hit for
The Nashville Teens.
“Your Time Will Come” came next and showed a strong leaning towards a Roy Orbison style
of presentation. A robust Ifield composition presented with confident vocals,
one cannot help but wonder if the sound was too “Orbisonesque” to make it as an
Ifield single. Certainly there was nothing wrong with the song, nor with
Frank’s performance. Sweden’s Anita Lindbloom covered the song and made the
Swedish charts. The Orbison influence was a powerful one and emerged further in
later Ifield recordings of songs such as “The Crowd” and “Blue Bayou” which won
Frank extensive airplay. The coupling for “Your Time Will Come” was “That’s
The Way It Is”, another catchy pop ballad. Frank felt that “That’s The Way
It Is” might make the charts even if “Your Time Will Come” did not, but it was
not to be.
January 1962 found Frank recording a song
written specially for him by popular vocalist Vince Hill. “Alone Too Long”
enjoyed some success as it was entered in the heats for the Eurovision Song
Contest. It was not the chosen song but did come third which gave it some
airplay. Notwithstanding this, the record failed to make the charts. It was
backed by “Bigger Than You And Me”, a song in which Frank’s vocals
reflect another influence, that of the bluesy balladeer Brook Benton of “Boll
Norrie and Frank were more than just
disappointed. They had set out on a strategy to bring Frank to the attention of
the British record-buying public and had followed the sounds of the day. They
had made Frank visible through TV shows and high-profile tours, he had guested
on all the big BBC radio shows and yet he still had not had that big hit he so
much needed to escalate his standing to “Top Of The Bill” status. There was
only one record to go to complete Frank’s Columbia contract and it looked like
Frank’s bid to hit the big time would have to come to an end. They decided that
if Frank was try his luck elsewhere, he would at least leave his mark on the
scene. Frank resolved that the last record would reflect more of the true
Ifield style and less of the style dictated by the pop market.
Back in Australia he had recorded a number
of old standards like “Autumn Leaves”, “Deep Purple” and “That Lucky Old Sun”.
Frank now looked for another such song that he could adapt to a country
presentation closer to the style he used to sing. He had also been impressed
during the tour with Bruce Channel, with Delbert McLintock’s “mouth harp”
playing on Bruce’s “Hey Baby”. Frank decided that for his final single of the
contract he would “be himself”. He began to experiment to himself with some new
ideas and the first thing to go was Peter’s ban on yodelling!
One day, guitar in hand, he breezed into
Norrie Paramor’s office, put his foot up on a chair and sang him “I Remember
You”, from the 1942 film, “The Fleet’s In”, complete with falsetto breaks.
The open-mouthed Paramor was at once astounded (he had never heard Frank sing
like this), nervous (would doing this to an old standard win him sales or
alienate the public?) and excited (this was certainly unique and the
country-style “pick’n strum” guitar had never been matched with these old
standards before). Peter Gormley too was concerned – he didn’t want Frank
type-cast as a yodeller and once again restated his belief that Frank should
refrain from yodelling in the UK. Frank however was undaunted; it was the last
single of the contract – why should he not do what he was best at and leave his
mark? Besides, it was only a few voice-breaks, not a fully-fledged yodel!
Despite reservations, Paramor pressed ahead
to produce the disc himself. Searches for country fiddle players and steel
guitarists were unsuccessful so they settled on a simple sound supported by
some subtle strings. The recording was made on 27th May 1962 and
boasts one of the most memorable openings for a record ever recorded. The mouth
organ plays the first bars of “Waltzing Matilda” after Frank’s opening guitar
runs and is followed by Frank’s strong, country vocal and falsetto. The “B”
side was “I Listen To My Heart” – the song Frank wrote that day on the beach,
back in that summer season in Jersey. It was later covered as an instrumental
by the Spotnicks as “Just Listen To Your Heart” and gave them a hit.
The Big Time – At Last!
This time though, it became apparent very
quickly that something very different was going on. Far from alienating the
public, “I Remember You” was capturing their imaginations! Released on June 29th
1962, this was the one he and Norrie had been waiting for. The first indicator
of what was to come was when David Jacobs’ prestigious TV show “Juke Box Jury”
that reviewed new releases, 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 and, with
artiste royalties on “I Remember You” and songwriter and artiste royalties on
“I Listen To My Heart” made sure that Frank would not have to worry too much
about his finances for quite some time!!
Needless to say, the expiring recording
contract was quickly renewed and Frank received his first gold record. He also
became the first artiste to sell a million records in the UK alone – the
overseas sales made the record one of the most successful of all time. “I
Remember You” was also a major world-wide hit.
Things really took off now. Frank was a
name to be reckoned with and the TV and personal appearance invitations poured
in. Norrie, Peter and Frank had to move quickly to identify a follow-up.
Clearly, the country feel of “I Remember You” had not done any harm, although
Frank was anxious not to have a “carbon copy” to follow. What was apparent
however was that the falsetto on “I Remember You” had contributed markedly to
the record’s memorability. It was on everyone’s tongue and people would meet in
the streets and sing “I Remember You – woo” to one another!!
Frank delved back into his country roots
and this time came up with a song that was a hybrid between outright hillbilly
and vaudeville. Ronnie Carole and Frank were doing the TV show “Cool For Cats”
and Frank was in his dressing room strumming his guitar and playing around with
“Lovesick Blues” when Ronnie overheard him. Carole loved the song and
immediately suggested to Frank that it should be his next single.
The song had started life in a vaudeville
stage show and became prominent in the 30s by a black-face minstrel by the name
of Emmett Miller, who added some falsetto phrasing. Country songwriter and
yodeller Rex Griffin had then picked it up as a country song and Hank Williams
had added fiddles and steel guitar and enjoyed a huge US number one hit in
1949. But the Williams hit was more than a decade before. The facts were now
that the twist was the “in” thing. So Norrie negotiated with Frank that he
could do “Lovesick Blues” if he agreed to record it with a twist beat and an
up-tempo band arrangement. Frank was true to the test and the record that
followed was not only a classic of British pop, it would also give him another
number one and stir up interest in country music amongst the younger
generation! Now confident that people would like the falsetto, he used it
liberally and “Lovesick Blues” became a showstopper.
For the “B” side Frank was searching
through more country songs when two things happened that made up his mind for
him. One night he appeared on stage with a band that was so out of time that
Frank asked them to stop playing after the opening number. He had to think on
his feet and come up with a song that he could do with just his guitar. He
recalled an old Elton Britt hit that he had loved as a lad and used to sing on
stage in Australia. He was nervous though as it was an outright yodelling song
and Frank was still mindful of Peter Gormley’s repeated warnings. Having built
up a big name he didn’t want to damage the image now by singing something that
wasn’t “cool”. Still, standing there, guitar in hand, in front of a theatre
full of expectant fans focussed his mind and he launched – for the first time
in years – into “She Taught Me To Yodel”. The crowd went wild! Frank
suddenly realised that Peter’s warning – whilst well intentioned – had been
based on assumption rather than factual evidence.
The second factor was when Frank appeared
on the Royal Variety Performance. The Queen Mother said she had heard that
Frank could yodel (news travels fast!) 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. Under Royal command, Frank overruled Peter’s
recommendation that he should not yodel on national TV and once again performed
“She Taught Me To Yodel”. Yet again the crowd went wild – it brought the house
down – and the Queen Mother was delighted. Needless to say, “She Taught Me To
Yodel” was hastily recorded and scheduled as the “B” side to “Lovesick Blues”.
The two tracks were recorded on August 19th 1962, along with another
Ifield composition, “I’m Smiling Now” which would very shortly become a
very familiar song.
In September of that year Frank received
the “National Record Award” from Record Retailer and the Music Industry for the
best pop single of 1962 for “I Remember You”. Now, following the award, the
popularity of “I Remember You” and the overwhelming reception of “She Taught Me
To Yodel” at the Royal Command Performance, surely no-one would ever again try
to convince Frank that British audiences didn’t like yodelling!
The Hits Flow
In October 1962 Frank flew to the USA for
his first appearances on the other side of the Atlantic. In the same month,
“Lovesick Blues” coupled with “She Taught Me How To Yodel” was released and,
not long after that, the airplay began. Favourite English yodeller and whistler
Ronnie Ronalde recalls,
“I was appearing in the west country and
was taking a break in rehearsals one afternoon when this young chap came on the
radio yodelling about going across to Switzerland. Well, I thought ‘I’ve Got
Some competition now’”.
Always one to support aspiring young
talent, Ronnie called Norrie Paramor – who had also produced a lot of Ronnie’s
records – and told him,
“I don’t know who this new boy is but
he’s very good. You’d better come and sign him up!”.
The reply of course went along the lines of
“I already have!”. Through the years it has emerged that Ronnie and Frank
admire one another’s work. But back to 1962. The single became a double-sided
hit with as many people requesting “Yodel” as wanted “Lovesick Blues”. Frank
subsequently received a second gold record.
Frank was now riding the crest of a wave
for the second time in his career and he found more songs from the country
music archive in the form of “The Wayward Wind”, which was recorded in
November 1962 along with “Nobody’s Darling But Mine” and “I’m
Confessin’ (That I Love You)”. “The Wayward Wind” had been a hit for cowboy
singer Tex Ritter but Frank also remembered how it had been popular for Goggi
Grant. The “outdoor” lyrics of the song could have been written about the young
Frank Ifield and Frank felt a real affinity to it. This time the mouth organ
and guitar so popular in “I Remember You” was brought back and the falsetto
used only a little – although it was still there.
If the title of “I Listen To My Heart”
unintentionally reflected how Frank came to record “I Remember You”, then the
title of “I’m Smiling Now”, which was used as the “B” side of “Wayward Wind”
certainly reflected how Frank had cause to feel as 1962 drew towards its close.
“The Wayward Wind” was released in January
1963 and received some criticism on “Juke Box Jury” but the public defied the
jury and bought the disc in droves. Within a week it was in the charts, where
it stayed for 13 weeks. Frank however was in Australia – his first visit home
since 1959 – where he was greeted as a hero and awarded the Macquarie Tune
Table Award for his outstanding achievements, the Conductors’ Silver Baton
specifically citing him for “Leadership, Discipline and the Quest for
Excellence”. Back in the UK, New Musical Express magazine awarded him “Best
British Disc Of The Year” for “I Remember You” and named him “Top New TV
On February 21st, “The Wayward
Wind” made the number one spot, holding back at number 2 the Beatles’ “Please
Please Me”. It remained at the top for three weeks. The following month, the
Guiness Book Of Records officially proclaimed Frank the first artiste in
Britain to achieve three consecutive number ones in the British Pop Charts.
Columbia were keen to keep the pot boiling
and were by this time happy to trust Frank’s judgement about the songs he recorded.
Frank felt he had enjoyed his peak for the time being – four consecutive number
ones was just too ambitious. Mindful of Peter Gormley’s ongoing concerns about
being typecast as a yodeller, he decided on a change of pace with the next
“Nobody’s Darling But Mine” was a country
standard written by ex Governor of Tennessee Jimmie Davis, who also wrote “You
Are My Sunshine”. Frank dropped all trace of the yodel or falsetto for this one
and gave it a beautiful and tender love song treatment that showed the quality
and range of his singing voice. Compared to those early teenybopper singles,
the emotion and vocal control expressed in this track was much more in keeping
with Frank’s true talent. The flip side of this single was as strong as any of
the “A” sides so far, a rousing treatment of Tennessee Ernie Ford’s big hit “You
Don’t Have To Be A Baby To Cry”, which had been recorded in the previous
August. The single was released in April 1963 and within a week was riding at
number 4 for a 13 week sojourn in the chart. “Nobody’s Darling” had repaid
Frank’s faith in the song and “You Don’t Have To Be A Baby” was later covered
successfully by the Caravelles.
Over this frantic period, Frank was
maintaining a hectic schedule of shows and returned frequently to the studios
to build a stockpile of songs for future release. The Liverpool sound and the
Beat craze were now leading the pop field so Frank and Norrie decided it was
time to revert back to the tried and tested “I Remember You “ formula of old
standards presented with a country feel. “”I’m Confessin’”, recorded the
previous November as part of the same series of sessions that produced “The
Wayward Wind” and “Nobody’s Darlin’”, brought back the falsetto with some fine
phrasing by Frank. The “B” side this time would be a song that had become a
great favourite on his stage shows – a rousing rendition of Australia’s
unofficial national anthem, the Banjo Patterson composition “Waltzing
In May 1963 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 two weeks before being toppled by Elvis
Presley’s “Devil In Disguise” and even then remained in the charts for a total
of 16 weeks.
By now, tracks were being chosen for
singles from recordings laid down several months before. In September 1963,
another international double “A” side followed and saw Frank back in the charts
for 13 weeks, peaking at number 8. If country music had always been Frank’s
first musical love, then jazz had to come a close second and he loved the music
of artistes such as Nat King Cole, Dinah Washington and Louis “Satchmo”
Armstrong. From the vast stable of jazz standards, “Don’t Blame Me” was
coupled with “Say It Isn’t So” to produce a double “A” side. Both sides
were jazz classics given the now tried and tested formula of falsetto and a
country influenced delivery. Whilst “Don’t Blame Me” led the way in the UK,
“Say It Isn’t So” was extremely popular and much requested and entered the
charts in several countries.
Frank’s final single of 1963 was another
Tennessee Ernie Ford country standard, “Mule Train”, which was released
in October. Ever since he learned to express poetry by listening to his
headmaster at school, Frank had always loved a song that could create pictures
of other places and times in a listener’s mind. “Mule Train” does just that. In
Frank’s own words, “You should almost feel the heat and see the tumbleweeds
under the feet of the mules, straining to pull the heavy wagon. That’s how I
saw it and that’s what I tried to depict”.
The single was not as big in the UK as the
previous ones – possibly because it was released so close on the heels of “Don’t
Blame Me” - but it was a good seller and musically was very strong. Frank’s
performance of “Mule Train” reflected the love he had for the song and this was
also true of the “B” side, which probably showed off his voice control as well
as any song recorded to that date. “One Man’s Love” is a tender song of
love gone wrong but the arrangement required Frank to sing across a wide range,
with some voice breaks at fiendishly difficult stages of the melody. It
features all the qualities of “Nobody’s Darlin’ But Mine” but with the added
complication of the falsetto breaks, which come in some of the softer parts of
the song, making them even more difficult. It is an outstanding piece of work
and could just as easily have been an “A” side. It could also have stood its
own in Nashville as it has a pure country feel to it.
1963 also saw 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 SCX 3485).
Perhaps a lesson was learned from the
comparative lack of impact of “Mule Train” in the UK. A gap of several months
now ensued until April 1964 when “Angry At The Big Oak Tree” was
released, coupled with “Go Tell It On The Mountain”. A folky type of
song, Frank gave “Oak Tree” a semi-country treatment with harmonies from Mary
Mudd of the Mudlarks vocal group. “Go Tell It On The Mountain” is an old gospel
song that Frank adapted to a love song and presented as a song and dance
routine on the prestigious “Sunday Night At The London Palladium” TV show.
Incidentally, it was whilst dancing with the girls on this show that Frank met
the first Mrs Ifield, Gillian Bowden, who was one of the dancers. “Angry At The
Big Oak Tree” was reminiscent in style to “Nobody’s Darlin’” and attracted so
much airplay, that it became one of Frank’s most requested songs on radio.
May and June 1964 found Frank recording
again and from those sessions was drawn the next single with “Another Cup Of
Coffee” from the May session being coupled with “I Should Care”,
recorded in June, which was chosen as the “A” side. “I Should Care” was another
jazz standard given the familiar country vocal treatment with some impressive
falsetto. “Another Cup Of Coffee” drew from Country, Jazz and Blues to form an
unusual fusion of styles.
Frank’s old friend Tom Springfield of The
Springfields wrote “Summer Is Over” specially for Frank, although Dusty
Springfield also covered it. The song formed Frank’s next “A” side and was
released in September 1964. Frank liked the folky feel as he had with “Angry At
The Big Oak Tree”. However, “Summer Is Over” had something of a “dancing on the
village green” feel about it and the merry, “toodling” flute added to the rural
atmosphere. Norrie Paramor provided an unusual arrangement that moved from a ¾
tempo to a 6/8 and remains today one of Frank’s personal favourites. The song
gained a lot of airplay and provided a total contrast to Frank’s gentle
treatment of Buddy Holly’s beautiful “True Love Ways”, which formed the
“B” side. Frank admired Holly’s achievements and included the song as his
tribute to the great man.
“Summer Is Over” was very popular on radio
but did not become a major hit. Disappointingly, the single that followed it
achieved even less impact. “Don’t Make Me Laugh (Don’t Make Me Cry)” was
the record buyers’ loss – Frank had fallen in love with the lyrics and
delivered an impassioned performance with a country treatment. Replace the
strings with a steel guitar and you would think it had been recorded in
Nashville! It was a great record and deserved better. Yet again we must ask –
in hindsight was it wise to release singles so closely on the heels of one
another? The “B” side was “Without You”, a beautiful love song that
Frank had first recorded in Spanish in Sidges, near Barcelona, to coincide with
a tour of Spain he undertook with Cliff Richard. For the single though, he
recut it in English.
1964 had been 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” (Columbia SCX 3505)
and “Frank Ifield’s Greatest Hits” (33SX 1633), which for some inexplicable
reason was released only in mono!
Time To Refocus
Having achieved so much – more than he had
ever dreamed – Frank could take whatever direction he wished. He was a massive,
worldwide draw on concerts, whilst TV, radio and film studios beckoned
continuously. Frank could work as much, or as little as he wished. The pressure
was no longer on to score hit records, although there was continuous pressure
to keep his public plied with new recordings. It seemed that, at this stage,
Frank began to switch his attention away from trying to hit the charts in order
to concentrate on his first love, performing. Not that he ever strove for
anything less than perfection in his recordings; it was more that the urgency
to score chart success now seemed less: Lps became the focus. Certainly, the
next single was not released for six months and when it was, it went right back
to Frank’s country roots.
In January of 1965 Frank recorded two
country standards by two of the greatest songwriters in country music history
and they were also two of Frank’s most significant influences. “I’m So
Lonesome I Could Cry” was from the pen of the immortal Hank Williams and it
affected Frank in a very special way. Frank had been very close to his father
and was distraught when he passed away. He recalls today, “I equate this
classic Hank Williams song to my emotional feeling of desperation at the
passing of my dear father. Nobody but Norrie could have done such a beautiful
and sensitive musical arrangement. It touches my soul”. The “B” side was
the Don Gibson composition “Lonesome Number One”. Frank had always
admired Gibson’s work and recorded numerous Gibson songs through the years. A
superb coupling but perhaps just too country orientated to make the charts. The
record was not a major seller for Frank and seemed to slip by relatively
quietly – only to become much sought after in later years when collectors
realised what they had missed!
The next single was classic Ifield with
some superb falsetto bordering on a yodel with the standard “Paradise”
which has been often covered as a Hawaiian number. This time the single
achieved considerable success both through sales and the airplay it generated.
“Paradise” remained a favourite for years to come and often appears on Frank’s
“Greatest Hits” compilations. The Orbison influence emerges again in the “B”
side, “Goodbye Now”, which is one of Frank’s own compositions.
1965 saw another Frank Ifield first. He
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”.
One of the tracks from the film was another Ifield composition and successfully
became his first self-penned “A” side. 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
One other single was taken from “Babes In
The Wood”. “There’ll Be Another Spring” was Frank’s personal favourite
from the show – perhaps because he had to sing it to Maid Marion, played by
Tricia Money, star of the hit TV series “Emergency Ward 10”! “Don’t Be
Afraid” was sung in the show to calm the babes when they were hiding in the
forest. It was used as the “B” side. This pantomime also spawned a very popular
album (“Babes In The Wood” Columbia SCX 6009) released the following year. On
the LP as on the show, Frank shared billing with The Shadows.
1965 saw one other album in the form of
“Portrait In Song” (Columbia SCX 3551) which incorporated the usual mix of
updated country songs alongside a few bigger production numbers.
Despite the brief move away from the
country influences on the singles front, country was to continue to play an
important part in Frank’s recordings. He had long been well received in the USA
and his frequent coverage of country songs – on record and stage – had endeared
him to the country fraternity in Nashville. They were impressed with the Ifield
sound and the sales he had achieved via his US and Canadian releases of the UK
recordings through the Vee Jay and Capitol labels. Some of his recordings had
even been featured on a special LP alongside titles by a new young group from
the UK in an attempt to break the group into the US market. The name of the
group? The Beatles! Now there was an eagerness to see Frank record on the US
side of the pond. This was put to rights on May 9th 1966 when Frank
arrived in Nashville.
Frank signed to Hickory records in the USA
and an agreement was made for the US recordings to be released on Columbia in
the UK and the Columbia recordings to be released in the USA on Hickory.
Frank’s stable-mates at Hickory included Roy Orbison, The Everley Brothers,
Mickey Newbury, Don Gibson and Roy Acuff. For Frank, this was like a dream come
true – recording alongside the same people who had long been his idols.
The first Nashville-recorded “A” side was a
reworking of the country standard “No One Will Ever Know”. Although much
recorded before Frank, the song was given the true Ifield treatment, complete
with falsetto and in 1966 Frank sang it on the Grand Ole Opry – country music’s
most prestigious show. In doing so he realised another great ambition; to tread
the boards of the famed Ryman Auditorium – the original home of the Opry. He
loved performing there and the crowds loved him. The song was a big hit in the
US and charted in the UK too. The “B” side was “I’m Saving All My Love For
You”, a beautiful country love song on which Frank draws on his full vocal
prowess to sustain some impressive falsetto notes.
1966 would also prove to be a rewarding
year as Frank was 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 Clements. All these accolades reflected
Frank’s considerable contribution to the country music genre and it began to be
apparent that the influencing was not only occurring in one direction! Big name
artistes like David Houston and Slim Whitman were covering “I Remember You” and
Hank Williams Jnr complimented Frank for “doing such a great job on my
daddy’s song” (“Lovesick Blues”). Frank was an artiste who had earned the
respect of the Nashville community for his talent, his originality and his
business sense. His second album that year was the superb, contemporary country
“Close To You” (Columbia SCX 6080) which featured a mixture of songs recorded
in London and Nashville.
To follow-up “No One Will Ever Know”,
another US recording, “Call Her Your Sweetheart” was coupled with a
London recording, “All My Daydreaming”, which was written specially for
Frank. This single too did well on both sides of the Atlantic.
February 1967 found Frank returning to the
“Ifield Hits” formula with an old standard that had been popular in jazz and
swing circles. “You Came Along (From Out Of Nowhere)” was released in
July 1967 and did very well for Frank in the UK. Strangely, although Frank sang
it to huge audience and critical acclaim on the Ed Sullivan TV show, it did not
receive a US single release, which seemed to miss out on a clear potential hit.
Nevertheless, the song was also the title track to a very popular album
(Columbia SCX 6147) which again featured tracks recorded in Nashville and
London, so it certainly earned its place in the Ifield Hall Of Fame! The UK
single was backed with “And I Always Will Do” from the same team that
produced “All My Daydreaming”. It was certainly unlike the material that Frank
had recorded before and very different to the “A” side – a good song but one
might argue that it did not match Frank’s style as well as others and he moved
away from that presentation.
Another change in direction occurred to
great success with the next release. “Up Up And Away” was very popular
by the Johnny Mann Singers and Norrie persuaded Frank that it would suit him as
a solo singer. Norrie drew on his band experience to provide a big production
behind Frank’s soaring vocals. The song was a hit and Frank found himself
singing it regularly on stage and screen. Another Nashville-recorded song, “Roses,
Moonlight & One Little Bottle Of Wine” was the “B” side and once again
reflected Frank’s country roots.
With Frank’s popularity ever growing in the
US, the demands for personal appearances were growing too and Frank toured the
USA more than in the past. During one of these tours he met country legend Mel
Tillis who had recently written “All The Time”. Frank was impressed by
Tillis as an entertainer (and to impress Frank is not easy!) but he was even
more impressed by the song, which immediately set the Ifield creative juices
working. Needless to say, “All The Time” was the next single, released in
November 1967 and recorded with a bigger production than that used by Tillis.
To back this one was “In The Snow” which enjoyed a folky treatment and
still finds itself being dusted off every year as Christmas approaches – even
though white Christmases are rare or unknown in most of Frank’s markets!
1967 had continued the growing trend away
from singles aimed at the pop charts and back towards Frank’s first love, country
music. This trend continued in an impressive way with the outstanding and
strongly country LP “The Singer And The Song” (Columbia SCX 6225). The album
still sounds commercial today and featured predominantly country songs – four
of them recorded in Nashville and all presented in a polished, contemporary
sound that was well ahead of its time.
1968 was Frank’s last year with Columbia
and February of that year found him once again turning to country music. Frank
does not recall where he first came across “Some Sweet Day” but believes
it may have come, via Hickory, from the Everley Brothers. The “B” side was “Singing
The Blues” a song with a very impressive pedigree and now acknowledged
around the world as a country standard. Both Guy Mitchell and Marty Robbins had
enjoyed big hits in the USA. The Mitchell version had also vied for honours in
the UK with the Tommy Steele cover, which was huge for Steele. Frank’s
recording broke away from an established pattern in that it was recorded at
EMI’s Lansdowne Studios instead of Abbey Road, where Frank’s other UK records
had been made. Abbey Road was where most of the Beatles’ hits had been recorded
so maybe the writing was on the wall that Frank and EMI would soon head in
Though Frank and Norrie may not have
realised it, there were now only two singles still to come on UK Columbia and
the first of those drew once again on Frank’s Nashville recordings. The “A”
side was “Morning In Your Eyes”, a country number with a very modern
feel for the times. They say that the UK and the USA are two great countries
separated by a common language and Frank smiles today as he remembers,
“I was picked up while singing this song
by my American recording manager for my pronunciation of ‘Asphalt’. I pronounced
it ‘Ashfelt’ where he said ‘Azfault’. Try singing quickly the line ‘The azfault
carpet’s cold beneath my feet!’ It ain’t easy! But we managed it somehow!”
Notwithstanding that Frank did a great job
on “Morning”, the “B” side was to be recognized as one of the great recordings
of Frank’s career. The song was Don Gibson’s perennial “Oh Such A Stranger”,
recorded by Frank in April 1968; a strong song by anyone’s standards. As has
been mentioned elsewhere in these notes, Frank had always admired Gibson and had
a clear affinity with his work. When Gibson himself turned up at the studio for
the recording session, Frank pulled out all the stops. The result was a
passionate performance of a great song, with Frank pouring his heart into the
vocals. Many Ifield aficionados rated this track as one of the best of his
career to that time. Not too many years later, Frank would enjoy a big hit with
another Gibson song, “Touch The Morning” but that is outside the scope of this
For Frank’s final Columbia release, he
retuned musically to where he had made his name back in 1962. Whilst from “I
Remember You” onwards, Peter Gormley’s warnings of stereotyping had to some
extent rung true – he had become labelled “a yodeller” – he had actually
recorded very little outright yodelling. There was “She Taught Me How To Yodel”
and “Cattle Call” – which appeared on an album – and a few tracks like “Love
Song Of The Waterfall”, “Sweet Lorraine”, “My Blue Heaven” and “Paradise”,
which came near, but no actual yodelling. For his last Columbia single, Frank
brought out the yodel and added it to a pseudo-Swiss song that strangely had
never before been recorded with a yodel.
had been written and recorded successfully by country humourist Roger Miller –
who was not a yodeller - and when Miller met Frank he wanted to know why Frank
hadn’t recorded it! The song had been covered with resounding success by Del
Shannon. Although a competent yodeller in his own right, Shannon had not
yodelled the song so the way was still open for Frank to score another “first”.
And score it did – Frank added the song into his stage show and it immediately
became a highlight. He performed the song with similar arrangement to previous
versions until the end of the song, where he added a Swiss-style oompah band to
which he yodelled an authentic Bavarian style (not Swiss) yodel. At the end of
the song he would gather the microphone cable into a lasso and swirl it above
his head as he yodelled. The crowds loved it and the song generated standing ovations
wherever Frank was showing. Chart wise it may not have set the world on fire
but it did better than that by generating the kind of fan enthusiasm that
brings people back for more and sells albums along the way! It had to be
recorded so musical director Fred Peters added a French Horn and on the day
called in the cleaners to clap time and one of Frank’s great recordings closed
off the Columbia stage of his recording career!
The song was released with “Baby Doll”
as the “B” side. Frank recalls that the recording session for “Baby Doll”
appropriately coincided with the birth of his son, Mark. Whilst “Baby Doll”
subsequently appeared on the album “Happy Tracks”, “Swiss Maid” did not and the
stereo tape was misfiled. The song remained unavailable for almost 25 years
until the stereo tape was rediscovered and included in a various artistes CD
yodel compilation. The song was also included in a subsequent “Greatest Hits”
type compilation of Frank’s material in Australia but for some reason the mono
tape was used. Thus this set is the first time that “Swiss Maid” has ever been
released on a Frank Ifield album in stereo anywhere in the world! A fitting
close to an amazingly successful and productive phase in Frank’s long career.
The final Columbia album of new recordings
was “Happy Tracks” (Columbia SCX 6276) which followed a similar pattern to “The
Singer And The Song” and included no less than nine tracks recorded in
Since The 60s
Frank changed direction very sharply
shortly afterwards. Norrie Paramor passed away and without the valued
friendship and guidance that Norrie had always provided, Frank had to search
for a direction that suited him. Creative spirit can be difficult to tame; it
needs to be focussed. Over the next few years Frank experimented with musical
directions. He recorded for a while with Decca, subsequently moving on to Mam,
Spark and PRT.
Frank now was no longer looking for the big
pop hit. Rather he was looking for the right outlet for his creativity and the
right recording outlet to keep his legions of fans around the world satisfied.
Some fine tracks were recorded with Decca and some, in particular “Three Good
Reasons”, sold very well. Musically Frank veered between country and aspects of
classics, jazz and rock. A live album was cut in Japan in 1969 and demonstrated
that Frank’s voice was as good as ever.
However, it was not until he moved to Spark
that Frank’s ultimate future musical direction really began to crystallize. The
Spark recordings are very contemporary in feel and have elements of soft rock
but are unmistakably country influenced and – in some cases – unashamedly pure
country, full stop. Frank enjoyed hits in various parts of Europe, especially
in the Netherlands with his versions of Merle Haggard’s “Silver Wings”, the
immortal “California Cottonfields” and Mike Nesmith’s classic “Joanne”. He
eventually took time out from his major concert schedule in the late 70s to
indulge himself in his first musical love. Backed by top British country band
Barbary Coast, he toured the UK country music clubs and set up his own label,
“Frank Ifield Records” (FIR) with whom he cut a number of contemporary country
The fans loved him for his decision to
become more accessible by undertaking the more intimate venues and a happy
Frank could be found night after night in rhinestone suit chatting with the
fans that had turned out to hear him sing country. Ironically, many of these
fans were of a younger generation and some assumed that Frank was jumping on
the country “bandwagon” not realising that he had been singing country before
they were born! In the meantime, the Guiness Book Of Records published the fact
that Frank had notched up 158 weeks in the British pop charts over the years
and held number 24 in the “Top 100 Hits Of All Time”! The call of the
international market continued however and Frank was elected to the “Country
Music Hands Of Fame” in Tamworth, the hub of country music in Australia in 1978
and voted “Best British Male Vocalist”and awarded the “International Country
Music Award” in the UK in 1981. In 1981 he was also awarded “Honorary Lifetime
Citizenship Of The State Of Kansas” following similar awards in Tennessee some
years earlier. That was followed by being voted “Male Entertainer of the Year”
in Texas in 1982. And through all this, the hectic tours continued. Frank was
doing what he had always wanted – concentrating on personal appearances and his
diary was full.
The Third Career
Then in 1986 through sheer exhaustion, he
succumbed to a vicious infection and suffered a collapsed lung. His health hung
in the balance for some weeks until exploratory surgery identified the nature
of the problem. The surgery paved the way for treatment that rapidly brought
him back to fitness. However, the surgery had employed a camera which had
damaged muscles in Frank’s throat and left him unable to trust in his middle
range. The days of “Frank Ifield – singer”, were over and for a time it seemed
that his world would fall apart. However, never one to be despondent for long,
Frank rapidly carved out a new career as a manager and groom of new talent and
before long was winning awards for his TV presentations, talent concerts and
Since then and up to the present time,
Frank Ifield has operated as a much respected figure in the administrative and
management side of the business and has most recently visited the UK in his
capacity as tour entrepreneur for aspiring young Australians.
That just about brings the story up to
date. Frank was inducted to the “Country Music Roll Of Renown” in Tamworth in
2003 and in 2004 received the TIARA (Tamworth Independent Artist Recognition
Awards) for Services To The Industry. This award acknowledged the contribution
he has made in recent years and highlighted the importance of his own “Frank
Ifield Spur Award” that he presents each year to new, aspiring names in country
music in Australia. The award is a prestigious vote of confidence in the
potential of any artiste that wins it.
We have added for your additional pleasure
and to please the many Frank Ifield collectors, four bonus tracks. Firstly,
three recordings in the German language of his big hits from the early days, “I
Remember You”, “She Taught Me How To Yodel” and “Nobody’s Darling But Mine”.
Then finally, a 2005 update of Frank’s original hit version of “I Remember
You”, backed as Frank would have liked to have heard it back then – with some
subtle but delightful country steel guitar.
All these notes provide some context around
a body of music that stands up very well on its own merits. However, when taken
in the context of the life of the man that recorded the music, it becomes a
document of the star-studded career of one of the 20th Century’s
great music stylists.
As you settle down then to listen to this set
of Frank Ifield’s UK Columbia “A” and “B” sides, you will hear the developing
style and uniqueness of a huge talent and a major influence on pop music in the
60s. Perhaps more importantly though, you will be listening to one of the major
influences on the development of the appeal of country music of the second half
of the 20th Century and its evolution into the 21st.
©2005 PAUL HAZELL
Freelance Writer and Broadcaster.
With grateful thanks to Robert Gunn and
Bill Grant for their invaluable assistance in researching the recordings for