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The singer of Australian music legends The Seekers has died at the age of 79

Along with Guy were Keith Potger and another publicity man, Bruce Woodley, and soon Durham was a regular at their Monday night performances at a popular coffee lounge. Potger was also an ABC radio producer at the time, so on his lunch break he made a demo tape of the group that became the first album. Introducing the Seekers – Although Potger was not intended to have a second job, he did not appear on the record’s cover. Durham also recorded two more songs with the Jazz Preachers, muddy water and Trombone Frankie (a version by Bessie Smiths Trombie Choly).

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Ready to see the world, the group signed on in 1964 to perform on the SS Fairsky to get to London. They wanted to return home after 10 weeks in Europe but got so many bookings in England that they decided to stay.

In November 1964 the group was dismissed I’ll never find a you again, and in February it was No. 1 in the UK and Australia, and the Seekers were on their way to stardom. Over the next few years, the group released the hit records A world of its own, The carnival is over and Morningtown drive.

The Seekers’ largest international seller was Georgy girl (Music by Dusty Springfield’s brother Tom) which was originally the theme song for the film starring Lynn Redgrave, James Mason, Charlotte Rampling and Alan Bates. The song was nominated for an Oscar and the single reached #1 in America.

In 1967, 200,000 people (about 10 percent of Melbourne’s population at the time) saw the Seekers perform at the Myer Music Bowl. It wasn’t until 2020 that a full shot of the set on the day was released, and at the launch of the Hidden Treasures record Durham, then 76, looked back in amazement at what was still the biggest concert in the southern hemisphere.

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

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

“I had a dry mouth, which is sometimes a nerve thing, plus there was no air conditioning and it was a summer in Melbourne, typical March weather,” Durham said. “I’ll never find a you again had become No. 1 in the world and that was a big turning point for us, but we didn’t have the big take on the Australians yet. It was so overwhelming when we did that show at the bowl.”

It was part of a series of big moments for the band in 1967 – The seekers from below was highly rated on television, and the members were named Australians of the Year (the only time in the history of the awards that a group has held the title).

However, the following year, for all her success with the Seekers, Durham decided she wanted something different and announced she was leaving the group. In 1968, she also made the decision to become a vegetarian and went on to live a smoke-free, eco-friendly, decaffeinated, teetotal, drug-free, and cruelty-free life.

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

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

The decision to leave the Seekers paid off, offers flooded in for her to sing as a solo artist, and she asked a London-based freelance musician, Ron Edgeworth, to become her musical director, pianist and arranger. Edgeworth had worked with many big names and was in constant demand, but he signed with Durham.

Her first solo album was For Christmas with love and she continued to tour, working in New Zealand and Australia and being constantly in demand for touring and nightclubs in the UK. In 1969 she and Edgeworth married in Melbourne.

Durham continued to work around the world, singing anything and everything from folk to jazz and blues to gospel, ragtime and classical. She recorded trad jazz albums with Edgeworth in the 1970s and released a piano and voice recording from the 1978 Newport Jazz Festival.

In the 1980s Durham and Edgeworth settled on the Sunshine Coast and she focused on writing and performing her own works. She and Ian Austin also wrote a musical, Must be a rainbow.

The bad times came in the 1990s. In 1990, Durham, Edgeworth and their tour manager were in a car accident that killed the driver of the other car, leaving Durham with a broken wrist and leg. However, she was never discouraged. In January 1993, as the Seekers’ silver anniversary neared, the group announced a reunion concert. This turned into a successful tour, but then Edgeworth was diagnosed with motor neuron disease and died in late 1994.

Much of 1994 was the publication of Durham’s authorized biography, Colors of My Life: The Story of Judith Durham, by Graham Simpson. This was popular enough to be updated and re-released in 1998 and 2003. In 1995, the Seekers were inducted into the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame and Durham was made a member of the Order of Australia for services to music.

After years without an album, Durham was released in 1996 Mona Lisa’s. The following year this was re-released as Always there featuring Durham’s solo recording of Bruce Woodley’s I am Australian (with Air Supply’s Russell Hitchcock and Yothu Yindi’s Mandawuy Yunupingu).

Around this time, Durham was stalked for a number of years by an obsessed fan who bombarded her with phone calls and faxes and instituted false legal proceedings against her. In 1998, the stalker was finally convicted of stalking and ordered not to go near Durham.

Durham’s album was released in 2000 let me find love was re-released as hold on to your dream with the extra recording of their song Australia country of today. Durham toured Australia again in 2001 and in 2003 she toured the UK to celebrate her 60th birthday. A film of her birthday concert at London’s Royal Festival Hall was released on DVD in 2004.

In 2006, Durham sang part of her song Seldom does Melbourne leave my mind in Melbourne and was invited by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Fund to take it up as a fundraiser. In the end, Durham absorbed them entirely The Australian Cities Suite, which was released for charity in October 2008. The suite includes Sydney girl of my dreams, Happy years spent in Hobart and Australia country of today.

Durham returned to the stage in 2012 with her one-woman 50th anniversary touring show. colors of my life and her 1969 album gift of song was last released on CD.

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

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

Over the years, Durham has performed with the Seekers, usually for charity, and in 2013 they reunited for a 50th anniversary tour. Celebrations to mark the anniversary included Australia Post awarding Durham a 24-karat gold ‘stamp’ as part of the Legends of Australian Music series and the portrait of the group by Helen Edwards, featured in the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra hangs.

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’ 50th birthday celebrations.Recognition:Justin McManus

Then, after their first tour concert at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall, Durham complained of being unwell and collapsed with a brain haemorrhage. The stroke affected her literacy and she spent months in rehabilitation, but she said she didn’t lose her singing voice Age in 2019. “The doctor said, ‘Can you sing me a little song?’ and of course I sang Morningtown drive.”

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https://www.smh.com.au/national/a-seeker-who-found-international-fame-20210512-p57r7k.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national The singer of Australian music legends The Seekers has died at the age of 79

Joel McCord

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