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Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman

Paul Hazell 28 May 09 - 05:26 AM
Will Fly 28 May 09 - 05:39 AM
Dave Hanson 28 May 09 - 06:58 AM
kendall 28 May 09 - 07:02 AM
olddude 28 May 09 - 09:39 AM
Seamus Kennedy 28 May 09 - 10:43 AM
Paul Hazell 28 May 09 - 10:50 AM
Arkie 28 May 09 - 10:56 AM
Stringsinger 28 May 09 - 07:14 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 28 May 09 - 10:43 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 29 May 09 - 12:02 PM
GUEST,Paul Hazell 29 May 09 - 05:46 PM
GUEST,Audrey 13 Apr 11 - 03:56 AM
David C. Carter 13 Apr 11 - 04:09 AM
GUEST,Patsy 14 Apr 11 - 02:55 AM
GUEST,Tomtom 04 Jun 11 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,Paul Hazell 12 Jun 11 - 04:06 PM
Will Fly 13 Jun 11 - 05:46 AM
Steve Gardham 13 Jun 11 - 03:50 PM
Allen in Oz 14 Jun 11 - 04:59 AM
JennieG 14 Jun 11 - 06:50 PM
GUEST,Paul Hazell 16 Jun 11 - 05:15 PM
Allen in Oz 16 Jun 11 - 11:35 PM
GUEST,Tom 07 Jul 11 - 05:57 PM
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Subject: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: Paul Hazell
Date: 28 May 09 - 05:26 AM

Hi to all

just browsing Mudcat when I should be doing something else (as usual) and stumbled across an old thread titled "Folklore: The Great Watershed of 1958". On 25th July 2003 someone had posted an entry including the words "Mention Frank Ifield to an American and he'll come up blank, because Frank Ifield's hits were covers of Slim Whitman songs".

As a great lover of Whitman's voice - he was the one who really got me into country music - I have to say that whilst that is complimentary to Whitman, it is simply not true.

I also happen to greatly enjoy Frank's music and I have interviewed both him and Whitman on several occasions through the years. Each admires the work of the other and they share many of the same influences but they were not major influences on each other. The fact that they both use the falsetto voice and sing some of the same songs is more attributable to shared influences than to one covering the hits of the other.

In fact the only song that I can think of that one actually "covered" is "I Remember You" which was Frank's huge international hit of 1962. Slim covered the hit - including the arrangement - in 1966. Frank did not "cover" any of Slim's hits and Slim did not "cover" any of the remaining hits of Frank Ifield.

As examples of both choosing the same songs but not attempting to "cover" one another, Frank recorded "China Doll" but learned it from the Ames Brothers - his version bore no similarity to Slim's hit. They both recorded "A Fool Such as I" - probably both learning it from Hank Snow. Frank did however write and record a song about the outback town of "Yerranderie" back in the late 50s. He had greatly enjoyed Slim's "North Wind" at the time and used a similar melody. Come to think of it, "Yerranderie" is a bona fide original song about a real place and an historical event - should it be in the digitrad?

They did though share some of the same influences. Both have been influenced by the repertoires of the great balladeers; for instance they both recorded Gene Austin's "My Blue Heaven" Frank a cvouple of years before Slim. Whilst Frank also shows musical influences as well as singing the great old songs, Slim draws on the same repertoires but shows mainly country influences. Thus, Whitman takes a gentle, lilting country arrangement of "My blue Heaven" whereas Frank takes a more bluesy approach but includes some imprssive falsetto more akin to Elton Britt.

Both were influenced by the singing cowboy genre - Frank specifically loved Roy Rogers, Slim's wife loved Gene Autry and Slim sang many of his songs to please her. Both drew on the repertoire of Bob Nolan and the Sons Of the Pioneers - each recording "Tumbling Tumbleweeds", "Cool Water", "Love Song Of The waterfall" but with totally different arrangements to one another.

Growing up in Australia in the late early 50s, Frank was especially influenced by Canadian country artistes through their Australian releases and cites Wilf Carter, Hank Snow and Orval Prophet alongside the Aussie artistes like Tex Morton (actually from NZ but became known as "The Father Of Australian Country Music", Buddy Williams, Tim Mcnamara, Smoky Dawson and Shirley Thoms. All these artistes were yodellers and it was this environment that led him to try yodelling. He also cites England's legendary yodeller Harry Torrani whose records were very popular in Australia.

Growing up in Florida, Slim shared the influence of Wilf Carter but was inspired to yodel through the music of Jimmie Rodgers (although he only ever recorded one Rodgers song, "My Little Lady"). Whilst Frank always enjoyed Rodgers, he was not a major influence and Frank never recorded a Rodgers song. He did though adopt many of Carter's yodels and cites Carter as a major influence. Frank's first commercial recording in 1953 had Carter's "There's a love Knot In My Lariat" on one side and was a yodelling showpiece. He recorded the song about 4 years before Whitman who used a totally different arrangement.

Both cite Elton Britt as a major influence although Frank only recorded one major britt song, "Maybe I'll cry Over You" - about six years before whitman did it. Frank used a similar yodel to Britt but a different arrangement, Whitman used some falsetto but did not yodel at all. Whitman did however record many more songs associated with Britt including "Too Tired To Care", "Blue Eyes crying In The Rain", "Swiss Lullaby", "Chime bells", Mockingbird Hill", etc.

Both Frank and Slim were in turn great influences on countless others - including Paul McCartney, who I understand has attributed the falsetto in songs like "She Loves you" to Whitman and plays guitar left handed since seeing Whitman. He actually covered "I Remember You" after hearing Frank's version. I also understand that Frank gave the Beatles their first break outside Liverpool after Brian Epstein asked him to have them as guests on his stage show.

I could go on and bore everyone to death but will stop. My point is that both these artistes are great original talents. Both often are the butt of ignorant jibes (neither is bothered!) and both have provided a long legacy of fine recordings.

I urge the sceptics to go back and listen to them with an open mind and open ears - some might be pleasantly surprised, many more already know!

I'd be interested in your views - debate is always healthy!!

PAUL


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: Will Fly
Date: 28 May 09 - 05:39 AM

I remember snogging my first girlfriend in the back seat of our family Morris Minor 850 (split windscreen) to "I Remember You" - with Top of the Pops on the car radio...

Good old Frank.


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 28 May 09 - 06:58 AM

Is it true that Frank is making a comeback, I heard he is recording one of his old hits as a duet with Johnny Rotten, called ' I Remember You, You Bastard '

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: kendall
Date: 28 May 09 - 07:02 AM

Frank Ifield was outstanding.
Slim Whitman had a great voice, but I never cared for most of his songs. Rose Marie was my favorite of his.


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: olddude
Date: 28 May 09 - 09:39 AM

My dad loved Slim Whitman. I never cared much for him but a lot of people sure did. I am not familiar with Frank Ifield   I am always interested in music I have not heard yet, please do suggest some songs that I can drive

Thanks
Dan


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 28 May 09 - 10:43 AM

Paul -
I can hear the influence of Wilf Carter, Roy Rogers and Elton Britt in Frank's yodelling, but he eventually developed his own style.

Roy Rogers had a great staccato attack with some wonderful syncopation to his yodels, as did Rex Allen whose work I admire too.

Slim on the other hand, really doesn't show his influences too much - possibly a little Elton Britt, kinda like Ranger Doug Green - really smooth.

They're all great!
BTW, didn't the legendary Slim Dusty yodel some too?

I distinctly remember a video of him from the late '50's singing
Muster On The Golden Plain with a tasty little yodel tag.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: Paul Hazell
Date: 28 May 09 - 10:50 AM

Hi Olddude, go to youtube and search Frank Ifield, you can not only hear him but see him performing. There are a lot of songs on there.

He recorded countless songs but "I Remember You", "San Antonio Rose", "My Blue Heaven", "Touch The Morning", "She taught Me How To Yodel", "Maybe I'll Cry Over You", "That Lucky Old Sun" and "Troubled Heart" would give you a good cross section

He also has a great website, www.frankifield.com

Love the idea of the duet with Johnny Rotten - I'll pass it on to Frank!

PAUL


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: Arkie
Date: 28 May 09 - 10:56 AM

Paul, thanks for the comparisons between Whitman and Ifield. I enjoy Whitman more now than I did in the 50s and 60s. I did like the Ifield recordings when they were first issued but the one song I recall from those days is "I Remember You" which was popular in the U.S. Though it had voice breaks I did not think of it as a yodel song. I did not hear Ifield's serious yodels until much later.


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: Stringsinger
Date: 28 May 09 - 07:14 PM

Someone ought to do a thread on Bob Atcher. (Great cowboy singer).


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 28 May 09 - 10:43 PM

This seems like an appropriate time to get a line on a forgotten (to me) singer.

About 25 or 30 years ago we used to get a taped country music show out Christchurch, NZ. One of the performers, in fact the featured regular, was a guy who dressed like Liberace and pounded the ivories like Jerry Lee Lewis. His name was Jade(?)_________. Please fill in the blank.

Than kew verra much.


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 29 May 09 - 12:02 PM

Seeing "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" reminded me of Willie Nelson, who has penned a number of songs made famous by others. He did not write that particular piece, but he did create "Crazy," the Patsy Cline song for which she is most remembered. He has a rather unique spot in the country pantheon, as did the late Johnny Cash. Both wrote and performed songs which could easily bridge the gap between "country" and folk. Did Frank or Slim have any connection to either?


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: GUEST,Paul Hazell
Date: 29 May 09 - 05:46 PM

Frank recorded a great version of "Crazy" on his "Happy Tracks" album in 1968. Slim recorded "BlueEyes Crying In The Rain" on four different occasions. I believe Elton Britt and Roy Acuff may have had the first recordings of that one.

Frank also did a great recording of "Funny How Time Slips Away"

PAUL


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: GUEST,Audrey
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 03:56 AM

Don't know much about Slim Whitman but I have listened to Frank Ifield for 50 years and I have heaps of tapes, C.Ds etc. and so I am still listening to Frank. He is the best. I have got our radio station playing at least 4 of his songs now. They only used to play one which was I remember you. Great singer, great guy. Done some really nice monologues as well. Long may he reign.


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: David C. Carter
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 04:09 AM

John on the Sunset Coast:Would that be Jade Hurley?
I think he was Australian,maybe.

If it is him,there is some info on the net.

Good luck

David


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 02:55 AM

Slim Whitman was and still is a favourite with my parents my father because he has always been a Western fan and my mother because she likes softening voices rather than shouting and celebrated their 50th Anniversary with a radio request of 'Darling Happy Anniversary' They had an old 78 of Rose Marie but as a child just going through the Rock era I have to admit that it wasn't really my cup of tea at all.

Frank Ifield again was a favourite of my mother because his songs were a little bit more upbeat and she regarded him as manly and good looking although he sang falsetto. I was only 7 when 'I Remember You' came into the charts but the opening of the tune is so memorable and reminds me of a very happy time and then the Beatles came. What I do remember about Frank nothing to do with the music as such, whenever he reached his high notes his eyebrows used to go up and down, especially on She Taught me How to Yodel, check it out.....


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: GUEST,Tomtom
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 10:12 AM

Hi did slim ever meet frank at any time ?


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: GUEST,Paul Hazell
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 04:06 PM

Hi Tomtom, no Slim and Frank never met. However Slim often paid credit to Frank when he performed "I Remember You" on his stage shows. Frank has always acknowledged Slim as an artiste he would loved to have met and whom he admires.


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 05:46 AM

It was Slim Whitman's voice that saved the Earth from annihilation in the film "Mars Attacks"...


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 03:50 PM

Once performed on the same bill as Frank but this was long after his glory days. Didn't he do 'The Wayward Wind'?


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: Allen in Oz
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 04:59 AM

David and our John on the Sunset Coast

Jade Hurley sounds correct to me.

I met Frank Ifield once when I was playing in the Bell Bird Bush Band at a gig in Fagan Park Hornsby, Sydney . Frank was the MC for the day . He is a true gentleman and attended Carlingford Rural School (north west Sydney)as a boy.

His brother was the gardener for our piano player(Wilma) and I believe that Frank worked as a fireman for a while in North Sydney region

So there is some trivia for us all. Sadly, when I met him his voice was suffering and he could not sing for us although he indicated that he would liked to have done so. A good bloke.   

Best wishes

AD


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: JennieG
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 06:50 PM

Jade Hurley is still performing, and no doubt still tinkling the ivories too - he performed in a concert here not very long ago.

I have vintage recordings of Frank on a 3CD set, "The Great Australian Vintage Country" - wonderful stuff.

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: GUEST,Paul Hazell
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 05:15 PM

You can find Frank's early Aussie tracks on two UK releases:

- Frank Ifield Sings Country & Classics on EMI Gold

- The Yodelling Cowboy Years on Jasmine

The two albums do not repeat one another except for one track


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: Allen in Oz
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 11:35 PM

JR

I think that Frank still lives up in Dural ,just north west of Sydney

AD


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Subject: RE: Frank Ifield & Slim Whitman
From: GUEST,Tom
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 05:57 PM

Hi ive got a photo of frank and slim in the uk in the mid 70's at a country music awards show in london


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