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Frank Ifield OAM
I have always been a person who lives for today - therefore not in the habit of constantly reminiscing. Nevertheless, due to my recent induction into the Aria Hall Of Fame I find myself doing just that.
On reflection, I feel I have been very fortunate in that I have always known what I wanted to do and just followed my heart. My passion to entertain was evident at a very early age, influenced mainly by Country music. Whatever talent I might have possessed may have been inherent, as my Grandfather toured in the days of 'Cobb & Co' with the minstrel show as the Song & Dance host 'Mr Interlocutor'. As a stripling 10 year old kid, I was wildly impressed by him and later, even recording some of his old-time music hall songs.

Information courtesy Frank's Website
Frank Ifield OAM
At the time, I was living in Dural, a rural area north of Sydney where, for my 11th birthday my parents gave me a ukulele and I quickly learned to make the chords fit any song I sang. It accompanied me to school one day, where the headmaster encouraged me to adapt Australian poetry to my own tunes and then perform them to the class. This experience whetted my appetite for what I instinctively knew was to be my calling.
Then at Christmas 1949, my beloved Gran bought me a proper guitar and there was no stopping me now. This 13 year old, soon conned his way to appearing on radio 2GB's Australia's Amateur Hour, which eventually led to a recording contract with EMI Regal Zonophone. Before long I was appearing on the Tim McNamara Show and touring the country with Big Chief Little Wolf. With nothing holding me back after leaving school, I appeared on many top-line radio shows and found myself headlining many Country venues throughout the environs of Sydney - Then in 1957, National Service put an abrupt halt to that. After being demobbed, I thought it would be difficult to pick up again, but luckily TV was about to offer the break I needed with 'Campfire Favourites' - the first music show on TCN Channel 9. Before long I was featured on every TV channel in Sydney and what's more, EMI promoted me to the more prestigious Columbia Label.
My sights were set high now and I was determined to try my luck overseas with the London Palladium as my goal. Enter Peter Gormely: He expressed his desire to manage me with the proviso I would go to England. So in November 1959, after many farewell TV shows, I embarked on the inaugural 'Comet' flight from Sydney to London.
Before the year was out, I appeared on BBC TV with comedian Ted Ray on 'Ray's A Laugh' which paved the way for more TV shows and the exposure needed for the long climb. The achievement of gaining a two-year contract with Norrie Paramor, A&R man for Columbia EMI, took me to the next step. My first single 'Lucky Devil' made the lower regions of the pop charts and with it came my first major booking - a summer season in the Isle of Jersey with comedians Mike & Bernie Winters.
The Echidnas - The Australian Order of Comedians