I can’t help feeling sorry for Frank Ifield. Here’s why:
The X Axis on this graph is the early 60s. The Y Axis is Frank’s chart position. See the all-conquering pop hero of 1962, a million-seller with his second single, reduced to grubbing around at No.25 for the duration of his career. What happened? Merseybeat happened, and Frank clung on for a month or two before fashion took its toll on him. The graph is a neat illustration of the step-change in pop music that was on its way.
Meanwhile Frank Ifield enjoyed his place in the sun. His thing was that he was a yodeller. He was also Australian, which mattered less. On his cheerful records – like “I Remember You” – he ululates with glee when the mood demands, a happy harmonica backing him up.
I really like “I Remember You” – it’s the kind of record Cliff should have made. A more edgeless disc would be hard to find but its simple campfire good humour is infectious, the tune is fine, and to his credit Ifield yodels with skill and restraint – the bit where he breaks smoothly from the song’s one big yodel into a descending verse is marvellous. If ever a record merited patronising talk of a “more innocent time”, though, this is the one.