Adrian Barich: Memory of Judith Durham and Olivia Newton-John

I don’t know what you do when a famous person dies, but my usual practice is to google them and spend some time remembering their accomplishments.

I suppose it’s a way of showing my respect even though I barely knew the people.

I’m the king of nostalgia and I’m sure many of our readers are in the same boat.

Your local newspaper whenever you want.

Come on who played Georgy Girl this week and then on Tuesday You’re The One That I Want from the movie Grease.

It’s been a sad few days, that’s for sure.

On Saturday we learned of the death of The Seekers’ Judith Durham and early Tuesday morning news broke of the death of Olivia Newton-John.

It’s hard to imagine two more talented, incredible Australians.

I also let you in on a secret, hearing Durham sing Morningtown Ride again this week had a huge impact on me.

It felt like I was transported back to my childhood in some kind of mental time travel, and it wasn’t something I expected.

I asked my mom about it and she reminded me of Morningtown Ride with his lyrics “The whistle of trains makes a sleepy sound, Under their blankets all the girls and boys walk, swing, roll and ride along the bay, All on the way to Morningtown, many miles away” was, to my great surprise, part of my childhood bedtime ritual.

And I’ll tell you what blew my mind too; For the most part, Gen Z and many millennials haven’t heard of the great Judith Durham.

Blank looks are all I got when I mentioned The Seekers to someone under 25.

Young people even asked for the name of a modern singer comparable to Judith, and of course I had trouble finding anyone.

Maybe a combination of Lady Gaga, Adele and Taylor Swift with a heavy dose of Lorde?

Can one really compare such a voice, the voice of an angel with its almost hypnotic quality?

A follower on social media compared her voice to something beyond mere air and vocal cords, saying: “Judy Garland & Maria Callas had it, as did Edith Piaf. It’s almost pure sadness and a joy that reaches into your chest and grips your heart in a vise grip. You can’t help but be moved.”

That’s enough for me. Another lady revealed that she played I’ll Never Find Another You to her husband, who has Alzheimer’s, and the song brought a rare smile to his face.

“For a few minutes his eyes lost that blank stare and he grabbed my hand and seemed to see something for the first time in years.”

Judith Durham and Olivia Newton-John were great singers, and by all accounts great people too. Adrian Barich: Memory of Judith Durham and Olivia Newton-John

Nate Jones

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