Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 16 April |
Saint of the Day: St. Bernadette Soubirous
home iconNews
line break icon

The Seekers’ 50th Anniversary: I’ll Never Find Another You

Judith Durham/The Seekers

William Van Ornum - published on 08/10/14

An interview with The Seeker's lead singer, Judith Durham, reveals one class act.

Fifty years ago The Seekers, featuring lead singer Judith Durham, burst on to the world scene. They had a short global run before retiring (1964 – 1968), but during that time The Seekers pushed both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones off the top of the music charts for seventeen straight weeks. And they’ve sold 50 million records.

Their "Georgy Girl" was the theme song of a movie by the same name, starring Vanessa Redgrave. But it was a high pressure world for these four folk-influenced, pop musicians from Australia. A crowd of more than 200,000 people attended their 1967 concert in Australia’s Myer Music Bowl. The Guinness Book of Records still lists it as the largest concert crowd in the southern hemisphere. 

Intriguingly, there were two sets of lyrics to “Georgy Girl”—one for the best-selling hit single, another for the movie starring Lynn Redgrave. The intro.

One of my favorites produced by The Seekers is “Morningtown Ride,” a about the vintage steam train “Puffing Billy.” The orphans in the video are from the St. Vincent de Paul orphanage. Some were looking happy, others smirking, a few bemused, and more than several wondering what the heck was going on. Pay special attention to the engineer, fireman and sandman.

The Seekers’ final performance together in 1968 was a television special called "Farewell The Seekers"—a concert filmed in the BBC TV studios. Their final song together was "Georgy Girl," which followed "The Carnival Is Over."

After that night, Judith Durham resumed her solo career and recorded a solo Christmas album and two orchestral albums for A&M, before she and her husband Ron, the love of her life, returned to their Jazz roots for a nine-year period. marriage that ended far too soon (discussed in detail below). After this she devoted her life to philanthropic work, her music and occasional get-togethers with the original group.

In June 2014, Queen Elizabeth II awarded each of The Seekers one of the Commonwealth’s highest honors, the Medal of the Order of Australia, for seminal contributions to Australian music and their support for non-profit organizations.

They have recently released "The Seekers 50 Golden Jubilee Album." Fellow group members Bruce Woodley, Athol Guy, and Keith Potger also stand out among top recording artists for the exceptional and honorable lives they’ve led.

Ms. Durham wrote careful and lengthy answers to questions I sent her concerning her music, her charitable work, and finally, her marriage—one much different than most in show business. They reveal the life of a very beautiful lady, one who has given freely and fully of her life and talents for over five decades.

*  *  *  *  *

How did your interest for Gospel music develop? Are there singers or musicians whom you have admired?

I was aware of gospel stories from Sunday school, and from being in the school choir and madrigal groups, but I didn’t realise they were so-called Negro spirituals, until my teenage years, when the trad jazz and blues and black gospel music was all the rage, even in the pop charts sometimes. There were crossover, fashionable songs, which I started singing with jazz bands; songs recorded by Mahlia Jackson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Sister Lottie Peavey, and harmony groups like The Swan Silvertone Singers and The Spirit of Memphis Quartet. Some of these I learned from reel-to-reel tapes that my friends in the trad jazz world loaned me; standout songs like “Open Up Them Pearly Gates,” “Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen,” “I Shall Not Be Moved,” “When I Move To The Sky,” “Down By The Riverside,” and “Just A Closer Walk With Thee,” which became part of my repertoire prior to The Seekers.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Tags:
Pop Music
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
LOREN SCHAUERS
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
2
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
3
HOLY SEPULCHRE CROSSES
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
4
SAINT FAUSTINA,CELL
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
St. Faustina’s coffee cup and lessons for Divine Mercy Sund...
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
St. Padre Pio: His life, his miracles and his legacy
6
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
7
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
Catholic prayers for strength
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.