Frank Ifield dead as music legend who kickstarted Beatles' career dies aged 86

Singer Frank Ifield has died
Singer Frank Ifield has died -Credit:Daily Record

Music legend Frank Ifield, who played a pivotal role in kickstarting The Beatles' career, has died at the age of 86.

The Australian singer passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday night. The heartbreaking news was shared on Facebook by his friend, music historian and journalist Glenn A. Baker, who described him as a "remarkable man", reports the Mirror.

Frank was known for hits like "I Remember You" and "Lovesick Blues" and is known for his impact on the music industry in the 1960s.

Baker wrote: "I just took a call from David Ifield, telling me that his brother FRANK IFIELD peacefully passed on this Saturday night, at age 86. There is so much to be said about this remarkable man, who had four number ones in Britain, three of them before the Beatles (who he had briefly support him in concert).

"I Remember You became an indelible hit all around the world and a perfect signature song. It topped the U.K. charts for 7 weeks."

"This is not the time to say any more than my thoughts are with Frank's brothers and his wife Carole and to say how fortunate I was to see him earlier this year. I'm still gathering my thoughts."

Country music singer and guitarist Frank Ifield, circa 1965. -Credit:Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Country music singer and guitarist Frank Ifield, circa 1965. -Credit:Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In tribute, Baker posted pictures of Frank alongside many famous faces, including; Alan Lancaster of Status Quo, Eric Burdon, John Rowles, Frankie Davidson, Mary Schneider, Nicki Gillis, Keith Potger, Wayne Horsburgh and Glenn himself.

Ifield developed a passion for country music and yodeling while growing up in Sydney and at the age of 13, he received a guitar from his grandmother, taught himself to play, and began writing songs.

By 19, he had released an impressive 44 records and was the top recording artist in Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania. In 1959, he moved to London, where he quickly became an international sensation, scoring four number-one hits on the UK singles chart: "I Remember You," "Lovesick Blues," "The Wayward Wind," and "Confessin' That I Love You."

During this period, he gave The Beatles their big break by having them open for him, exposing the Liverpool lads to his massive fanbase and helping to kickstart their careers.

Frank Ifield at The Cavern Club -Credit:Liverpool Echo
Frank Ifield at The Cavern Club -Credit:Liverpool Echo

Frank, survived by his wife Carole Wood and his two children from his previous marriage to Gillian Bowden, had the honor of performing in front of Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Variety Show in 1965.

In addition to his music career, he starred in his own film, "Up Jumped a Swagman," and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his contributions to the arts in 2009.

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