Judith Durham and The Seekers

Another Son

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Thread Starter
What a shame that Judith Durham, of The Seekers, has died. What a voice she had! I know that there are a few fans on this forum.

Judith began her professional life as a pianist, so she was certainly a well-rounded musician.

She also worked hard to raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease, which her husband fought against.

Judith previously survived a brain haemorrhage.

It’s the end of an era but Judith’s and The Seekers’ music will live on.
 

JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...
Always a big fan of The Seekers and their sound - and especially Judith - wonderful singer with a voice that Elton John very accurately described as one of the three best ever (along with Eva Cassidy and someone named Karen Carpenter)...
 

Another Son

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Thread Starter

The Seekers were unlike anything of their time and lead singer Judith Durham was a 'shining star' with the 'voice of an angel'.​


Fans across Australia and around the world have paid tribute to The Seekers lead singer Judith Durham, remembering her as an 'Australian icon' with the 'voice of an angel' after her death on Friday, aged 79.

Her Seekers' bandmates, Athol Guy, Bruce Woodley and Keith Potger, said their lives had been changed forever by losing "our treasured lifelong friend and shining star".

"Her struggle was intense and heroic, never complaining of her destiny and fully accepting its conclusion. Her magnificent musical legacy Keith, Bruce and I are so blessed to share," Athol Guy said in a statement.

Best known for their unique blend of harmonies and Durham's angelic voice, The Seekers were unlike anything of their time.

They were the trailblazers of Australian music in the 1960s, knocking heavy hitters such as the Beatles off the top of the charts in the UK and taking the US by storm.

From Melbourne cafes to the world stage​

In 1962, an 18-year-old Durham met Athol Guy. He convinced her to sing acoustic folk music in a Melbourne cafe with Keith Potger and Bruce Woodley. They became The Seekers.

After two years playing in pubs, the band was offered a summer season in the UK — it was "the last thing we expected to happen."

"I had to shock mum and dad and say, 'I'm not actually going to come back'," she said.

The group headed to England, assuming it would be a quick trip.

"Little did we know that our first record, six months later, was going to go to number one all around the world," she said.

"We weren't aiming at being a pop star act, we were a folk group... so that was our niche."

Outselling the Beatles, Rolling Stones

The next few years brought worldwide acclaim for The Seekers, with more albums and tours, and a string of hits at a time when they were competing with the likes of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

"The true perspective that the Seekers were outselling the Beatles, outselling the Rolling Stones... I didn't understand the enormity of that. Now I do," she said in 2016.

The Seekers were the first Australian band to reach number one in the US and the UK, with songs Georgy Girl and I'll Never Find Another You.

Georgy Girl was even nominated for an Academy Award for best original song.

They sold more than 50 million records worldwide and had six top-10 hits during 1965 and 1966.

Durham said she was very self-conscious at the time of the band's greatest success.

"People thought I was hip and cool and people used to emulate my style of dressing, but I used to do it to disguise my weight," she said.

"I didn't realise there were lots and lots of other women going through the same thing. I thought I was the only one."

Despite their success, the band broke up in 1968, having agreed that if anyone wanted to leave, they had to give six months' notice.

Durham wanted to spread her wings and try her hand at opera.

She admitted being nervous about embarking on a solo career, but went on to perform to standing ovations as an international solo artist.

Durham's life after The Seekers​

Personal tragedy was never too far away from Judith Durham.

In 1990, she and her husband Ron Edgeworth were in a car accident — the driver of the other vehicle died at the scene.

Four years later, Edgeworth died of motor neuron disease and Duhram spent many years after that raising awareness about the disease.

"I wanted to see if there was a way [to] raise awareness [which] would not only help achieve greater donations, because people would realise this is catastrophic, but of course in the hope of finding a cure," she said.

Durham was also once stalked by a woman who sent her dozens of doormats through the post.

Her work on behalf of charitable groups was recognised in 2015, when she was named Victorian of the Year for her work with a number of women's, Indigenous and disability support groups and as patron of the Motor Neurone Disease Association of Australia.

The Seekers were also individually honoured as Officers of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours of June 2014.

In 2013, Judith Durham reunited with The Seekers for a 50th anniversary tour, but it was cut short after she suffered a brain haemorrhage.

She spent six weeks in intensive rehabilitation at a Melbourne hospital before returning to the stage to continue the tour.

Durham said it was a "miracle" that the musical Georgy Girl, which told the story of The Seekers, made it to the stage in 2015, while she was still alive.

"I'm thrilled to bits that it's happening. It's very special the way it's all done, beautiful production and everything," she said.

"It's not 100 per cent true to life, but that's important for the entertainment value."

She said watching her life on stage was overwhelming in many ways.

"Sometimes I think 'oh surely, it wasn't that tragic', but everyone says 'Oh my God, what you've gone through'," Durham said.

"It's a funny one, I belittle all the things in my life, I've had a philosophy in life that carries me through those things.”

Despite her many years of success, Durham never thought of herself as a pop star, but appreciated the love of her fans.

From ABC News website, 7th of August, 2022.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter

Judith Durham, The Seekers lead singer, dead at 79, six decades after the formation of the group.​

Judith Durham, one of Australia's best-loved entertainers and the former lead singer of The Seekers, has died at the age of 79.

Born in Essendon in Victoria, Durham recorded her first EP at 19 and went on to worldwide fame with The Seekers, selling more than 50 million records.

Durham died in palliative care on Friday night after a short stay in The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, according to a statement from Universal Music Australia and Musicoast after complications from chronic lung disease.

As part of The Seekers, Durham was one of the first Australian artists to achieve international success, with songs like Georgy Girl, I’ll Never Find Another You, A World Of Our Own, Morningtown Ride, I Am Australian and The Carnival Is Over.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese took to Twitter to describe Durham as "a national treasure" who "gave voice to a new strand of our identity".

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton described Durham as "an exemplary performer" whose voice was "a gift of universal beauty".

"The carnival may be over, but Judith Durham’s legacy will well and truly live on," Mr Dutton said.

Her Seekers' bandmates, Athol Guy, Bruce Woodley and Keith Potger, said their lives had been changed forever through losing "our treasured lifelong friend and shining star".

"Her struggle was intense and heroic, never complaining of her destiny and fully accepting its conclusion. Her magnificent musical legacy Keith, Bruce and I are so blessed to share," Athol Guy said in a statement.

Durham was born Judith Mavis Cock, but changed her surname to her mother's maiden name at the age of 19, having trained as a classical pianist.

The Seekers moved to the UK in 1964, having formed in 1962, a year before Durham joined the group.

After recording I'll Never Find Another You in November 1964 at EMI's Abbey Road Studios — known as the domain of The Beatles — The Seekers went to number one in the UK and Australia.

With their first three releases going to the top of the British charts, the previously unknown group from Melbourne knocked The Beatles off the number one spot.

They also had three top-20 singles and two top-20 albums in the US — a market notoriously difficult to crack for Australian artists.

On their return to Australia in 1967, The Seekers set an Australian record when a crowd of more than 200,000 watched their performance at Melbourne's Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

They were later named joint Australians of the Year for 1967.

But just over a year later, Durham stunned the music world by quitting the group at the height of its success to launch a solo career.

Durham made her shock decision to leave The Seekers on a tour to New Zealand in 1968, with the band about to sign a lucrative second contract with EMI.

"I found artistically that I wasn't quite on the same page as the boys ... I just felt that I really need to do my own thing," Durham told Australian Story in 2019.

The Seekers' final performance in July 1968 — Farewell The Seekers — was broadcast on the BBC and watched by more than 10 million viewers.

Over the past three decades, The Seekers played a series of comeback concerts and recorded three new albums with Durham returning as lead singer.

Travelling with British pianist husband Ron Edgeworth and tour manager Peter Summers, Durham survived a road accident in 1990 that killed the driver of the other car, as she sustained a fractured leg and wrist.

Soon after The Seekers reunited for a 25-year Silver Jubilee tour in 1993, Edgeworth was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, dying in December 1994.

In 1995, The Seekers were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, with I'll Never Find Another You added to the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia's Sounds of Australia registry in 2011.

In 2013, during The Seekers' Golden Jubilee tour, Durham suffered a stroke, which affected her ability to read and write, while not diminishing her singing skills.

Members of The Seekers, including Durham, were honoured as Officers of the Order of Australia in 2014.

Durham was inducted into the Australian Women in Music Awards Honour Roll in 2019.

By Jason Dasey, on ABC News web site, August 6th, 2022.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Tributes have flowed for folk music icon and much-loved Australian entertainer Judith Durham, who died in Melbourne aged 79.

Durham died in palliative care on Friday night after complications from a long-standing lung disease, her management said.

Durham made her first recording at 19 and later achieved worldwide fame as the lead singer of The Seekers after joining the group in 1963.

The group of four became the first Australian band to achieve major chart and sales success in the United Kingdom and the United States, eventually selling 50 million records.

Durham embarked on a solo career in 1968 but recorded with The Seekers again in the 1990s. In 2015, she was honoured as Victorian of the Year.

Members of The Seekers paid tribute to their "shining star".

Her bandmates - Keith Potger, Bruce Woodley and Athol Guy - said their lives had been changed forever by losing "our treasured lifelong friend and shining star".

"Her struggle was intense and heroic, never complaining of her destiny and fully accepting its conclusion. Her magnificent musical legacy Keith, Bruce and I are so blessed to share," they said in a statement on Saturday.

Durham made her first recording at 19 and later achieved worldwide fame after joining The Seekers in 1963.

The group of four became the first Australian band to achieve major chart and sales success in the United Kingdom and United States, eventually selling 50 million records.

Durham embarked on a solo career in 1968 but recorded with The Seekers again in the 1990s.

Durham's sister Beverley Sheehan spoke of the siblings' shared love of music.

"Judith's joy for life, her constant optimism, creativity and generosity of spirit were always an inspiration to me," Ms Sheehan said.

Durham's death in palliative care after a brief stay in Melbourne's Alfred Hospital was a result of complications from a long-standing chronic lung disease, Universal Music Australia and Musicoast said in a statement on Saturday.

"This is a sad day for Judith's family, her fellow Seekers, the staff of Musicoast, the music industry and fans worldwide, and all of us who have been part of Judith's life for so long," The Seekers management team member Graham Simpson said.

'Uniquely Australian'​

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese hailed Durham as "a national treasure and an Australian icon".

"Judith Durham gave voice to a new strand of our identity and helped blaze a trail for a new generation of Aussie artists," Mr Albanese said on Twitter on Saturday night.

"Her kindness will be missed by many, the anthems she gave to our nation will never be forgotten."

Durham gained international fame with upbeat hits like "Georgy Girl" and a series of covers and collaborations with the likes of Paul Simon.

"Once, the best known Australian voice was Judith Durham's", said arts minister Tony Burke. "With The Seekers and solo Judith earned her place as an icon of our music", he added.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton paid tribute to Durham as someone who "gave voice to more than one generation of Australians through words of universal appeal, carried by melodies that, once heard, became fixed in our memories".

"Durham demonstrated in song after song, concert after concert, how the human voice can reach, and move, every one of us," Mr Dutton said in a statement.

"Her language was uniquely Australian, and her voice a gift of universal beauty."

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews said the Essendon-born musician "went on to conquer the music world both here in Australia and overseas".

"With her unique voice and stage presence leading The Seekers, the band became one of Australia's biggest chart toppers," Mr Andrews said on Twitter.

Durham, born in Essendon on 3 July, 1943, was well prepared for a career in music, if not exactly pop.

The second daughter of World War Two airman William Cock and his wife Hazel gained a music degree studying classical piano at Melbourne University after returning from Hobart, where the family lived for seven years in the 1950s.

She started singing with the Melbourne Uni Jazz Band at 18 and within a year, using her mother's maiden name, made her first record, an EP for W&G with Frank Traynor's Jazz Preachers.

'Trendsetting idol'​

Life changed for The Seekers when they sailed to England in 1964 on the SS Fairsky, performing on board and literally "singing for our supper", as Mr Durham recalled, on what was supposed to be a 10-week trip.

The sexual revolution was underway, but Durham's "trendsetting idol" was the Queen.

"I'd have my matching handbag and matching gloves," she said.

"I would go to great pains to do that and make my own clothes to suit. I was not at all tuned into the London dolly birds and Carnaby Street."

In 1967, The Seekers set another record when they drew more than 200,000 people – almost 10 per cent of Melbourne's entire population – to a concert at the Myer Music Bowl. They were also named Australians Of The Year.

When the bubble burst the following year, it was Durham holding the pin.

On a tour of New Zealand, she gave six months' notice, honouring an agreed pact, to pursue a solo career, oblivious to the shock caused to both her colleagues and their fans.

A year later, she asked London-based freelance musician Ron Edgeworth to be her musical director, pianist and arranger.

He also became her soul mate. They married and enjoyed 25 wonderful years together before he died in 1994 of motor neuron disease, Durham becoming a patron of the association fighting for its sufferers.

Fans of The Seekers finally got their wish when Durham reunited with "the boys" for a 25-year reunion tour which sparked an intermittent series of performances and recordings throughout the 1990s and into the new century.

The Seekers' Golden Jubilee Tour was cruelly halted in 2013 when Durham suffered a brain haemorrhage.

She spent six weeks in intensive rehabilitation in a Melbourne hospital and had to learn again to read music and play the keyboard. Fortunately, her singing was unaffected, and doctors gave her the okay to resume touring.

She marked her 75th birthday in 2018 with her first solo studio album in six years, So Much More.

She said when she sang the track You Are My Star, "my vision is of the whole universe surrounded by the love in my heart. It's a love that defies time and space to encompass everything".

From SBS News web site, August 6th, 2022.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I was unbelievably saddened yesterday to hear that Judith Durham passed away. I absolutely adored her, as did my late dad who got me into The Seekers’ music. We were lucky enough to see The Seekers live on their Golden Jubilee tour of the UK in 2014. She had to be helped on stage as she was still physically frail following the brain haemorrhage she had suffered the year before but remarkably, it hadn’t affected her singing voice at all - when she opened her mouth and started to sing, her beautiful, clear voice filled the entire auditorium. It was such a privilege to witness that.

The lovely news coming from Australia today is that she is to be honoured with a state funeral for her services to music and to her country, something which I think would have made her feel both humbled and very proud. RIP Judith.

 

LPJim

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Staff member
Moderator
Just received a reissue of a second A&M album from 1971 released in Australia but not in the U.S. GIFT OF SONG also came out on import CD in 2O15 on Decca.
 

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AM Matt

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The song "Music Everywhere", is that the remake also done by Tufano & Giammarese (members of The Buckinghams) from 1973 on Ode Records?? Peaked at # 68 in May of 1973 & their only charted Hot 100 song.
 

Another Son

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Thread Starter
The song "Music Everywhere", is that the remake also done by Tufano & Giammarese (members of The Buckinghams) from 1973 on Ode Records?? Peaked at # 68 in May of 1973 & their only charted Hot 100 song.
No, it’s a different song, very different in style from the Tufano song, AM Matt.
 
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