A Message from Frank:
My wife Carole and I, would like to say a heartfelt thanks to all who came to The Galston Country Music Festival (September 8th) in celebration of my 50th Anniversary in showbiz.
It was great to be able to spend time with my long time friends of the 50s Jimmy Little and his lovely wife Marge. Jimmy and I reminisced over the days in the mid fifties when we worked together on the Sydney Showboat 'Kalang' - Radio 2SM's 'On The Trail' and the Ted Quigg Touring shows and later in the 60s we worked with the great Graeme Bell's Jazz band in New Zealand. The talented 'Gentleman Jim' still lives up to his name and is deserving of his long lasting fame.
Arthur Blanch is a credit to Australian country music, and I was touched that he and his lovely wife Berice should fly down specially from Queensland to celebrate his illustrious 50 years in show-business with me. We discovered that we had much in common - His early influences of Elton Britt and Jimmy Rodgers: His successes in the American Country Music Scene; and appearances in The Grand Ole Opry. We had a fun time catching up with each other's diverse and colourful careers.
Note: Arthur Blanch and Frank were inducted into the Tamworth 'Hands of Fame' in 1978 and the hand print of Arthur's daughter Jewel was placed next to Frank's in 1979. See the photo on the HONOURS page.
L to R: Arthur Blanch, Frank, Mary & Rita Schneider, Berice Blanch
Also sharing the occasion were my friends Mary & Rita, (the erstwhile 'Schneider Sisters') Though they no longer perform together, each has found individual success - It is not surprising that Mary Schneider has had tremendous acclamation on the world stage, and her talent seems to be inherited by her daughter Melinda, while Rita has become Australia's premier comedy song writer and goes on from strength to strength.
I was also thrilled to have some of my 'Spur Award' winners to help me celebrate. Wayne Law was booked to appear and did a magnificent show, underlining my faith in his undoubted talent as a songwriter and performer of International standing. Karen O'Shea who also has that star-studded quality, graced us all with her presence. Though she came as my friend, naturally, she was asked to sing a song as our surprise guest - I knew she couldn't get away with just one song, so she finished with her latest single, the beautifully melodic song Prayers For You - The audience and I were mesmerised and would have liked her to do more but unfortunately she had to dash away for another concert later that same day.
What a memorable day! Surrounded by family and friends and a glittering array of Artists; deejays; Managers; Producers; Promoters and Record People. All this plus my dear friend and Webmaster Bob Howe with better looking half - the lovely, energetic and bubbly Karen, who took these photos on the day, inside the Frank Ifield VIP Tent.
L to R: Katherine, Colin Ifield and Mrs Muriel Ifield
From the ABC studios in Ultimo, Ed Doolan broadcast his program live to England for the BBC West Midlands. I sat in the green room clutching my box of CDs when Ed appeared and told me to be prepared to do an hour-long broadcast. This didn't faze me one bit as I had done many shows with this highly tuned professional presenter, and once we get started it's always been very difficult to shut us up.
Since it was the 40th Anniversary of my hit I Remember You, he naturally started with this as I entered the studio. Then after my introduction, we covered a multitude of stories before he opened the phone lines for me to talk on line to the listeners.
Cllr Ken Taylor, Lord Mayor of Coventry, wrote to the Evening Telegraph asking for people's memories of Frank Ifield. Pictured: Frank and his mother, Muriel, revisiting their old home in Coundon in 1972.
It was interesting to hear their memories and places they had seen me and the things that I got up to... There were calls from two people who remembered my first summer season at Swanson's in the Isle of Jersey with Mike & Bernie Winters where as a stripling, I made my debut by rushing up to the stage, catching my heel, and falling flat on my face. I also had a call from a fellow who recalled knowing me when we were just kids living in Birmingham and how my mum had scolded us for jumping up and down on the beds. Then there was one call however, from a man called Ken, who reminded me of the time I was working in a Birmingham Panto with Jim Davison and Patrick Cargill. He said he met us in the nearby pub where, after a pint, I left them to play the pokies. According to him. I had gambled all my cash and he lent me five pounds which I never returned, Well, this was all Ed needed to make a running jibe at me... The banter went on until he made me promise to cough up the money. So Ken, I hope Ed won't just pocket it, and you'll receive the down payment of an autographed five-dollar bill.
From my recent CD release on EMI in the UK entitled Frank Ifield Sings Country & Classics, I was able to play a track that was my very first hit in Australia from 1958 called TRUE. This was a good way to explain that my so-called overnight success took ten years to eventuate.
I conclusion, I would like to thank Ed Doolan and his multitude of listeners for their generous support of me throughout these many years, and I hope you'll come to see me when I come your way again.
MORNING MEMOIRS hosted by Mark Kristian and starring FRANK IFIELD was a huge success. A capacity crowd joined Frank and Mark for a fun filled morning of amusing anecdotes and marvellous memories. Watch the MEMORIES page for photos and audio highlights....more coming soon!
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