The most successful recording artist in the U.K. charts during the early '60s, Australian singer/songwriter/yodeler Frank Ifield was one of the more original country artists to come from outside North America. He was born in England, and moved to Australia in 1948. His father was an inventor and engineer famed for creating the Ifield pump, a device used in fuel systems for jet aircraft. While still in his teens, he became a regular on Bonnington's Bunkhouse, a popular radio program, and dropped out of school to pursue a music career full-time. He appeared on other radio shows as well, finally landing on the traveling Ted Quigg Show, where he stayed for many years.
Ifield signed with EMI Australia in 1953 and released two successful singles, including "There's a Loveknot in My Lariat." Soon he was hosting a weekly television show, Campfire Favourites. By 1959, Ifield was appearing on all three of the Sydney television channels. Later that year, he went to London, and had his first British hit in 1960 with "Lucky Devil." He remained in England and in 1962 became a star with his yodeling classic "I Remember You." The song stayed at the top of the British charts for over two months, and when released in the States it hit number five on the pop charts. His most successful year was 1963, when he scored two British number one hits; one of the chart-toppers, "I'm Confessin' (That I Love You)," a cover of a Rudy Vallée hit, made it to the middle reaches of the U.S. pop charts as well.
He continued having pop chart success through 1964, but after that his career in Britain began to wane. He came to Nashville in 1966 and was made an Honorary Tennessean by the state's governor, Frank Clement. Ifield recorded two albums in Nashville and debuted on The Grand Ole Opry, where he was a great success. During 1966-1967, he had several mid-range hits: "Call Her Your Sweetheart," "No One Will Ever Know," and "Tale of Two Cities," recorded for Hickory. He again found popularity in Europe during the '70s, particularly in Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg, and continued to tour and perform at country music festivals and cabarets. ~ Sandra Brennan