A Conversation for Yodelling: The Other Vocal Technique

Frank Ifield

Post 1


in 1975 I was working in a night club in Birmingham called The Night Out. It had set itself the target of being the best place to go in the West Midlands and was hoping to cash in on the international clientelle which would be attracted to the area by the National Exhibition Centre.

The stars it attracted were a mixed bunch and the club did not take off in the way it had hoped. Many of the "stars" had already passed their Heyday or were B listers on their way up - like Paul Daniels.

As the club had not been selling as many tickets as it should have it started to give complimentary tickets to staff for them to give to their friends. This meant that the club had people who would spend money on drinks but rarely bought the meal that would bring in a serious money to the club. Anyway, some staff were selling the tickets and management frowned on this.

In the week before Frank Ifield was to appear all free tickets were stopped with a reprimand to the staff for selling them. On Frank's opening night (remember this is 14 years after his no.1 with I Remember You, so he was not at his career high) only two tickets had been sold. Two keen fans (a married couple) had bought tickets for every night of his week's run.

I didn't mention that the club was enormous. There was room for 1,200 people to sit and eat at tables while watching the show. Every single table was empty except for two seats. The couple had been moved to the best seats in the house on a table for six right at the front.

When Frank walked out and saw the lack of audience he was very badly affected and could not sing - never mind yodel.

Management immediately sprang into action asking all food serving staff, wine waiters, kitchen staff, cloakroom attendants, bouncers, bar staff and kiosk staff to go to the bar take a half of lager or bitter and sit in the front tables to make an audience.

Frank was then invited to start again. We were then entertained by Frank's yodelling for an hour while management quickly printed off complimentary tickets for the rest of the week to hand out to the staff.

There were middling audiences for the rest of the week.

I remember a joke at the time about Frank Ifield making a record with Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols (now advertising butter on UK TV). The record was notionally called "I Remember You, You B*****D!"

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Frank Ifield

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