Australian music legend Frank Ifield dies, aged 86

Australian music legend Frank Ifield has died aged 86.

Ifield, who died on Saturday night, was best known as a beloved country music singer and guitarist.

The 86-year-old died “peacefully” on Saturday night, his friend and music journalist Glenn A Baker said, describing him as a “remarkable man”.

The legendary star achieved major international success during his heyday, managing to score four UK number one hits during his career.

He was best known for this classic single I Remember You was most well-known thanks to a performance in the movie The Fleet’s In.

The track has long been rumoured to have been written about writer Johnny Mercer’s affair with Judy Garland. He was inducted into the Australia Roll of Renown in 2003 and the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2007. Then in 2009, he was presented with a Medal of the Order of Australia for his “service to the arts as an entertainer”.

The Aussie performed around the world, and could be considered partially responsible for The Beatles’ rise to fame after they to opened for him before they became pop icons.

His parents gifted him a ukulele for his 11th birthday and after getting to perform in class, Ifield “instinctively knew (music) was to be my calling”, according to his website.

By the time he was just 19, he had released 44 records and was the top recording artist in Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania.

In 1959, Ifield tried his luck abroad, moving to London, where he cemented himself as a household name in the UK.

Throughout his career, Ifield was renowned for his unique singing style, which incorporated yodelling with his enthralling falsetto. It made him a standout act in the 1962 Eurovision Song Contest, where he finished second in that year’s heat.

Ifield also saw resounding success in film and television – in 1965, for example, he starred in the feature film Up Jumped A Swagman. He also led two half-hour TV specials, The Frank Ifield Show (1964) and Frank Ifield Sings (1965), and appeared on a slew of established programmes like In Melbourne Tonight, Top Of The Pops, Celebrity Squares and Spicks & Specks.

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