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Frank Ifield interviewed by Rob Willis in the Rob Willis folklore collection [sound recording]
Bib ID 173421
Format AudioAudio [sound recording]
Ifield, Frank, 1937-, Interviewee
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 1999 
2 digital audio tapes (ca. 130 min.) 

Rob Willis folklore collection


Folkloric recording. Ifield speaks of his birth in England to Australian parents, his father's work as an engineer, how the family returned to Australia when he was age 9, his attachment to his grandfather, Jack Ifield, the musical influences on him included his grandmother's gramophone and Big Bill Campbell, country singer, who also yodelled, how he began yodelling for the first time when he delivered milk, how he started singing and lead a group, how he did not like school, how he learnt to play the ukelele in 1947 by putting tunes to poems, how he performed bush ballads at school, how he would listen to Radio 2KA country music and influenced by Wilf Carter, his parents' encouragement, how his grandmother bought him his first guitar, how he came to feel power on stage in capturing an audience, how he tried talent quests and the assistance of Rick and Thel Carey, how he achieved his first break by appearing on the Amateur Hour on Radio 2GB/2UE with Terry Dear signing a contract with EMI at the age 13.

Ifield talks about his problems with Tim McNamarra but rehired by Mrs McNamarra, how these shows were run and the wages he received until mid-1950s, how his mother managed him while he appeared in Showboat, how he eventually got his own radio show on 2UE which lead to appearances on TV Channel 9's Bandstand which he also occasionally compered, his exposure on TV and radio, how he eventually travelled through New Zealand and England and met Marg Day (jazz singer), his tour through the UK in 1959 such as singing and acting at Murchison Hall, his first recorded hit "Lucky Devil", always more of a performer than a pop star with an ambition to work theatre, how he played the Paladium, how he learnt showmanship and how to gain people's support, how the old timers like Smoky Dawson, Tex Morton and particularly Buster Noble were happy to show you.

He continues by speaking about his enjoyment of pantomines, involvement in productions of Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood, changes in show business resulting in the death of theatre, the cultural cringe of the late 1950s, how yodelling typecast him here but not in UK, his recording "I Remember You", how he met the Beatles, how he became an Australian citizen but an artist of the world, his views on Reg Lindsay and Johnny O'Keefe, how his grandfather performed songs recording one called "Molly Darlin", how the town of Ifield near Goulbourn is connected to the family, how he wrote the theme song for the TV series Whiplash and also sang the song, describes his first ever recording at Homebush including the equipment used, how Australian yodelling transcends many cultures, his decision to return to Australia and his involvement in country music.


Recorded by Olya Willis.

Recorded on Sept. 6, 1999 at Parramatta, N.S.W.

Index/Finding Aid Note Timed summary available (5 p.) 
Subjects Ifield, Frank, 1937- -- Interviews.  |  Yodeling.  |  Country music -- Australia.  |  Singers -- Australia -- Interviews.  |  Performing arts -- Australia.
Occupation Singers.
Other authors/contributors Willis, Rob, 1944-, Interviewer


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    Copy: Recording
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    Members of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Maori communities are advised that this catalogue contains names and images of deceased people. All users of the catalogue should also be aware that certain words, terms or descriptions may be culturally sensitive and may be considered inappropriate today, but may have reflected the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written.