Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Frank Ifield: I Remember You

I know what you are thinking, how can he go from Montrose, to Sandy Denny, to Brian Auger, to Frank Ifield? Well, that’s the beauty of this blog – I control the content and I have very eclectic tastes. Some of you will really hate Ifield’s only American hit from 1962, “I Remember You.” But it’s my blog and I’m sticking to it.

Co-written by Johnny Mercer, Frank Ifield’s “I Remember You” charted at #5 in the US and was in the #1 slot for seven weeks in the UK. It was Britain’s second biggest selling single for ’62 being beat out by another favorite of mine, “Stranger on the Shore” by Mr. Acker Bilk.

Some will compare Ifield with Slim Whitman, as both yodel. While Whitman no doubt influenced the British crooner, Ifield influenced Whitman with this recording as he recorded “I Remember You” four years before “The Smiling Starduster.” Slim’s version, which is the same arrangement, never had the success of Frank Ifield’s recording, as it peaked at #134 on the pop charts and #49 on the country charts.

In the UK, Ifield had four number one records and eleven others that charted in the Top 40. He was not as fortunate in the US being a one-hit wonder, although his 1966 “Call Her Your Sweetheart” made it to 28 on the US country charts.

VeeJay Records attempted to capitalize on his fame in Britain by combining several of his recordings on albums with The Beatles who were under license from EMI to VeeJay. Two albums were released in 1964 with the title of “The Beatles and Frank Ifield On Stage.” Except for the cover and slightly different names, neither album had any live cuts.

Both included the same four cuts by The Beatles and same eight selections by Ifield (including “I Remember You”) in one of VeeJay’s many schemes to repackage Beatles’ recordings before they reverted back to EMI and its American label, Capitol Records. The first of these albums I have and it is titled “Jolly What.” I bought my copy at a store in East Jenkins, Kentucky in 1973 and paid $2.99 for it. They also had the “Savage Beatles” album, but didn’t have enough cash to buy it – pity.

The second version of the album with a drawing of The Beatles is extremely rare and it is thought that less than 100 copies were pressed. It was rushed released right at the end of VeeJay’s contract with EMI. In 1995, a sealed copy of this album sold at auction for $22,000. I wish I had this one rather than “Jolly What!”


  1. Jim, I'm so glad you posted this one (a nice MONO copy - just the way I like to hear them) - it's really an excellent pop song. A few days ago, for some reason, it came into my mind and I intended to track it down on YouTube.

    How boring it would be if we only posted the songs we thought would earn the guaranteed approval of everyone else - eclectic is much more fun.


  2. Marie:

    Thanks so much. You are right eclectic is much more fun. I am more of a stereo lover, but 60s stereo mixes can be strange. We must have been thinking along the same wavelength on this tune.