A Seeker who found international fame

Ready to see the world, in 1964 the group signed on to carry out on the SS Fairsky to get to London. They deliberate to return house after 10 weeks in Europe however received so many bookings in England they determined to remain on.

Keith Potger, Judith Durham, Athol Guy and Bruce Woodley throughout a promotional stunt for The Seekers.

In November 1964, the group launched I’ll Never Find Another You, and by February it was No. 1 within the UK and Australia, and the Seekers had been on their strategy to stardom. Over the subsequent few years, the group launched the hit data A World of Our Own, The Carnival is Over and Morningtown Ride.

The Seekers’ largest worldwide vendor was Georgy Girl (music by Dusty Springfield’s brother, Tom), which had initially been the title track for the film starring Lynn Redgrave, James Mason, Charlotte Rampling and Alan Bates. The track was nominated for an Academy Award and the one made No.1 in America.

In 1967, 200,000 folks (about 10 per cent of Melbourne’s inhabitants on the time) noticed the Seekers carry out on the Myer Music Bowl. It wasn’t till 2020 {that a} full recording of the set that day was launched, and on the launch of the Hidden Treasures document Durham, then 76, seemed again in marvel at what continues to be the most important live performance within the Southern Hemisphere.

“I had a dry mouth, you do get that sometimes with nerves, plus there was no air conditioning and it was a Melbourne summer, typical March weather,” Durham mentioned. “I’ll Never Find Another You had become No. 1 all over the world and that was a big turning point for us, but we hadn’t had the huge welcome from the Australian people yet. That was what was so mind-blowing when we performed that show at the bowl.”

It was a part of a sequence of huge moments for the band in 1967 – The Seekers Down Under rated by way of the roof on tv, and the members had been named Australians of the Year (the one time within the award’s historical past {that a} group has had the title).

However, the next 12 months, regardless of all her success with the Seekers, Durham determined that she needed one thing else and introduced that she was leaving the group. She additionally determined, in 1968, to develop into a vegetarian, and after that lived a life that was non-smoking, environmentally pleasant, decaffeinated, teetotal, drug free and cruelty free.

Judith Durham launched a successful solo career after leaving the Seekers in 1968.

Judith Durham launched a profitable solo profession after leaving the Seekers in 1968. Credit:Fairfax

The determination to depart the Seekers paid off, affords for her to sing as a solo artist flooded in, and he or she requested a London-based freelance musician, Ron Edgeworth, to be her musical director, pianist and arranger. Edgeworth had labored with many large names and was in fixed demand, however he signed on with Durham.

Her first solo album was For Christmas with Love, and he or she continued to tour, working in New Zealand and Australia, and was in fixed demand for excursions and nightclubs within the UK. In 1969, she and Edgeworth had been married in Melbourne.

Durham continued to work around the globe, singing something and every thing from folks to jazz to blues to gospel to ragtime and classical. In the Seventies, she recorded trad jazz albums with Edgeworth and launched a piano and voice recording from the Newport Jazz Festival in 1978.

In the Eighties, Durham and Edgeworth settled on the Sunshine Coast, and he or she targeting writing and performing her personal work. She and Ian Austin additionally wrote a musical, Gotta Be Rainbows.

The dangerous occasions got here within the Nineties. In 1990, Durham, Edgeworth and their tour supervisor had been in a automobile accident that killed the motive force of the opposite automobile and left Durham with a fractured wrist and leg. However, she was by no means daunted. In January 1993, with the Seekers’ silver jubilee approaching, the group introduced a reunion live performance. This became a profitable tour, however then Edgeworth was identified with motor neurone illness and died in late 1994.

A greater a part of 1994 was the discharge of Durham’s authorised biography, Colours of My Life: The Judith Durham Story, by Graham Simpson. This was widespread sufficient to be up to date and re-released in 1998 and 2003. In 1995, the Seekers had been inducted into the Australian Record Industry Association’s (ARIA) Hall of Fame, and Durham was made a Member of the Order of Australia for companies to music.

After years with out an album, in 1996 Durham launched Mona Lisas. The following 12 months this was launched once more as Always There with Durham’s solo recording of Bruce Woodley’s I’m Australian (with Russell Hitchcock of Air Supply and Mandawuy Yunupingu of Yothu Yindi).

For some years round this time, Durham was stalked by an obsessed fan, who bombarded her with phone calls and faxes and began spurious legislation circumstances in opposition to her. In 1998, the stalker was ultimately convicted of stalking and ordered to not strategy Durham.

In 2000, Durham’s album Let Me Find Love was re-released as Hold on to Your Dream, with the additional recording of her track Australia Land of Today. Durham toured Australian once more in 2001 and, in 2003, she toured the UK to mark her sixtieth birthday. A movie of her birthday live performance in London’s Royal Festival Hall was launched in 2004 as a DVD.

In 2006, Durham sang a part of her track Seldom Melbourne Leaves My Mind in Melbourne, and was invited by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Fund to document it as a fundraiser. In the tip, Durham recorded her total The Australian Cities Suite, which was launched in October 2008 in assist of charity. The suite consists of Sydney Girl of My Dreams, Happy Years I Spent in Hobart and Australia Land of Today.

Durham went again on stage in 2012 along with her fiftieth anniversary one-woman touring present, Colours of My Life, and her 1969 album Gift of Song was eventually launched on CD.

Judith Durham, lead singer of the Seekers, before winning a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Australian Women In Music Awards in 2019.

Judith Durham, lead singer of the Seekers, earlier than successful a Lifetime Achievement Award on the Australian Women In Music Awards in 2019.Credit:Paul Jeffers

Over the years, Durham carried out with the Seekers, normally for charity, and in 2013 they received collectively for a fiftieth anniversary tour. Celebrations to mark the anniversary included Australia Post presenting Durham with a 24-carat gold “stamp” as a part of the “Legends of Australian Music” sequence, and the portrait of the group by Helen Edwards hanging within the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.

Keith Potger, Bruce Woodley, Judith Durham and Athol Guy reunited for the Seekers’ 50th birthday celebrations.

Keith Potger, Bruce Woodley, Judith Durham and Athol Guy reunited for the Seekers’ fiftieth birthday celebrations.Credit:Justin McManus

Then, after their first tour live performance, at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall, Durham complained about not feeling properly and collapsed with a mind haemorrhage. The stroke affected her capability to learn and write, and he or she spent months in rehabilitation, however she didn’t lose her singing voice, as she instructed The Age in 2019. “The doctor said, ‘Can you sing me a bit of a song?’ and of course I sang Morningtown Ride.”

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