How The Seekers + Judith Durham took Aussie music global | A World of Their Own | Australian Story

How The Seekers + Judith Durham took Aussie music global | A World of Their Own | Australian Story

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foreign guy from The Seekers at 60 years this December since our band first performed together at a little cafe in Melbourne Judith Durham took Santa stage with the boys that night and a voice would become a heartbeat of our sound that carried those magical songs to the world but behind the scenes Judith had long battled a chronic lung condition and recently to our enormous sadness an infection would prove fatal tonight as Australian story looks back at the story of The Seekers those of us who knew Judith best share memories of her incredible Legacy and resilience Australia is mourning a music legend Judith Durham has died at the age of 79. on the 4th of August we got the um I got the the news that the Judith had been taken to hospital I spoke to her and uh I didn't know it at the time that that was going to be the final conversation course comes as a an awful door slamming when you get the newsbook for me she hasn't left and I'm sure the boys feel the same way performing and singing was her passion well I think her Legacy was being part of the first Australian pop group that made it big internationally for Seekers came into my life in the early 60s they had a sound which was unique Judith was a girl with a wonderful voice that made The Seekers a totally different band and a band that had to be considered a huge future success The Seekers flew the flag for Australian music they were the first major group to make it big in the UK and I think it made people aware of the fact that the Australia did have actually a music industry so let's give the Seekers a very cordial American welcome there's a new world somewhere I don't think we truly understood that we'd sort of conquered the charts to the extent we had rivaling the Beatles our second single knocked the Beatles Ticket to Ride off the top of the church and because we'd had the Georgy Girl hit the Press absolutely sources International Stars I wasn't plain sailing along the way there's the usual disagreements or tensions that any group afford very different people are going to have and they produce moments of great drama at times certainly for me it's a story of great Redemption it's just a very human story we're having a little celebration today for Keith's birthday it's about three years since we've all been together well to have the four of us all together is quite a remarkable thing you know really we got together three years ago in 2019 it just happened to be my birthday and we had a great time how lovely to see you all but uh it was probably the last time actually that we got together I believe that there was a an indefinable bond between Judith Athol Bruce and me we were a family you remember this car here oh I do I pride and joy wow what is it DB5 well you don't look any different Ethel except you've got no hair dude has never missed the opportunity to give us a bit of a ribbing because she she was sort of like a little sister you know she always had something tucked up her sleeve there we were four individuals who were so different but collectively got together around the love of music which was you know in all our homes of Music really we're both singing and piano dad was a great pianist and I used to sing with my sister as well you know Harmony around the piano was Grandma and but I'd play piano for the girls to march in at school when Judy was about three or four she caught the measles and that left her with a lung disease called bronchiectasis which is basically an infection in the lower part of the lung and it is incurable and worsens with life but back then it really wasn't a huge issue she just was totally focused on her music and she would say that she knew she was going to be famous and sing on stages around the world Australia back in the 50s and 60s was a very different Australia a very important part of the entertainment at that time were the jazz clubs if we were frequenting the Traders clubs around Melbourne I went up and asked a band if I could sing with them and it was quite late in the night and they said I'll come back next week we did go back next week and she was up on the stage I thought wow she's done it and so from then on they offered her a weekly job singing with the band Kate and I got talking in and out of group and we we shared the love of similar music we found a group called The escorts four boys our own escorts morphed into the Seekers we started doing some folk songs kenray when he decided to get married and leave the group instead of looking around for a bloke we looked around for a girl well when I first heard Judith Durham sing I was absolutely knocked out she was one of those voices that you could identify straight away in 1964 Ethel organized a trip for us on a ship called the first guy to England and our deal was that we would play on board the boat and stay there in England for 10 weeks and return back to Australia I don't think I would have gone if I thought it was going to be more than 10 weeks I was very much you know with my parents and I wasn't intending to leave home for a long time and I wasn't geared up for it our parents they were quite worried really about her leaving with three boys because she was only about probably 19 then this incredible country London at that time was the uh The Swinging music capital of the whole universe you know there were the Beatles here the Rolling Stones there The Kinks are all sort of solo artists like Dusty Springfield heals us as a straight Australian folk group I guess we were so different we were outrageous in our own way my Trend setting idle was the queen so I'd have my matching handbag and matching gloves taught it all tuned into the carnaby street and suddenly we found that we were right in the thick of it because we started working pretty much as soon as we got off the ship we recorded a number of songs from our early days in Australia but there really wasn't a lot of interest at that time I think we needed something different musically and that was where the connection with Tom Springfield was made Tom came around to meet us all which was fabulous and on a little piece of paper I had written that the lyrics to I'll never find another you so in those days there was an upstairs and downstairs and in the downstairs huge Studio was where the Beatles would record so um we recorded I'll never find another you in that studio on the ground floor what made the Seekers different I think was their blend of voices The Seekers was a new sound and people go wow what is that we had casing the high tenor part he was a lot of the time slightly sharp hope he won't mind me saying that I was the next voice down the baritone slightly under the note Judith singing melody in a clear tuneful voice and Athol always very tuneful down in the bottom end with the bass together it produced a very unique edgy vocal sound that not a lot of people could duplicate this is Radio Caroline on 199. England's first commercial radio station The Seekers are just recorded I never find another you but they couldn't get anyone to hear it because the BBC would not play songs until they became hits there was no commercial radio in in the UK so The Seekers got their start through Pirate Radio because nobody else would play their songs we were at Emi as officers and the door just about crashed off its hinges as the team out there came in shouting you're number one you're number one you're number one and we went we are number one how do we do that the pressure was always on after the first hit to come up with another one we'd like to sing for you now a song that we hope will be nearly as successful as I'll never find another year that's a song written for us again by Tom Springfield it's released last Friday it's called a world of Our Own just after I'll never find another you the new musically Express announced that The Seekers have been named the top best new group which was fantastic because the group that won at the year before was the Rolling Stones and the group that won it the year before them was the Beatles of course we went to the big pole win its concert so Rolling Stones were all the Beatles and you know and there we were little Seekers I mean blimey you know and there I am in my homemade dress you know it's classic isn't it but here are the world's greatest um The Beatles we were in our dressing rooms on the day of the concert uh and Eddie our manager was standing out outside the dressing room and John Lennon walked across to him with a very cheeky grin on his face and said they're not a bad little man you know but they're all here to see us things worked out pretty well we evened the score by knocking Ticket to Ride off the top of the church our first tour back in Australia was phenomenal just lined with people everywhere we went Australia who thought that we're second class in most things all of a sudden they saw a group of Australians have success the likes of which we've not seen before how did you all feel when you knocked the Beetles off the the top of the popularity chart key well they were pretty tired when we knocked them up they've been there for about five or six weeks it was pretty heavy going because we'd had to do all the interviews and do the shows and everything you think the time will ever come when Australian artists won't have to go to Europe to become recognized 10 or even 20 years time but I should imagine Australia is going to expand so much that sure doesn't love enough to spend too we finished in Australia and then we went on to America yeah so there was hardly time though to appreciate what was happening after we arrived back in London we had a 16-week summer season in Bournemouth sadly Judith came down with an illness it had been such a whirlwind coming back on in the very next day started rehearsals nothing felt right and I just felt embarrassed and and awkward about everything I had been suffering from nervous exhaustion but you know nobody sort of knew that at this time and so it was pretty um pretty heavy going and uh yeah so anyway I was they said I needed five weeks rest I think the initial success and the constant media attention got all a bit much for Judith a hell of a challenge you know being the front girl at a great and easy for the three blocks you know quite easy for us I was very uncomfortable in my body I was always wondering you know what was I going to do about my weight and in fact I went and spoke to a plastic surgeon you know because I thought I needed a best production operation I asked that same doctor could you also take some I need I want Hollow cheeks so you know because I when I tried I always I used to sit in the cinema and draw my cheeks in you know to hoping they'd stay in you know so I was so self-conscious while we were at the at the Pavilion in Bournemouth during that long season Tom had been working on other material I absolutely loved the carnival is over it was so emotional at that time on the cover of Vogue there was a pair of leather white leather boots and I said to myself I'm going to buy those boots if we get to number one of course it went to number one and uh I bought my boots so that was good song was really going to come out of left field because it came from a request from some film producers who were putting a movie together called Georgie girl and they wanted The Seekers to record the title track s the story of the film is about a girl who is really pretty unsure of herself and and uh and a bit introspective I so much related to her because she was so body conscious and washed her hair out in the ladies room because she wasn't happy with how the hairdresser dresser had done it it was really so much I related to it inside it was just extremely well written it became a huge hit in America this is the number one song 1967 was a very big year for us we were to do a music for The People concert at the Maya music Bowl well before we went out on stage for that concert we were told there was some massive crowds we had no idea thank you if you can imagine a concert by The Seekers Drew 200 000 people and when it was included in their television special the ratings for that night broke a record which has never been achieved again I had no real idea of the future at that point I was thinking that it could go on for some long time there was no real thought that things might change in in the near future I was always receiving requests to go solo I was wondering when will my time with the band come to an end it was a safety net we could have gone on and on and on and I just was thinking well I really have to do something to make a move I found that artistically I wasn't quite on the same page as the boys and I just really felt oh look I really feel I need to just do my own thing I was disappointed not only for myself but for the group because the group could have gone on for years at that level and developed musically so that spelled the end of a lot of aspirations for me you know it's not something you welcome with open arms you know go wow we're breaking up time we were going to be offered a new contract with Emi that would have meant a lot to us financially as well so that never happened I was grateful to be out of obligation we were offered Oh serious like it was a big contract was a big big thing to make that decision and for me money has never been the object so my whole life changed within the matter of days and The Seekers days were over for me and that is from all of us very very sincerely thank you thank you very very much and goodbye because I'm afraid tonight the carnival really is a we went into the BBC Studios and recorded the farewell concept they had over 10 million people viewing the feeling of our fans was one of Devastation despair how could they do this very hard to just simply explain uh and and yeah it's always hard to explain it's just it's a moment that you come to accept and uh and you move on after we disbanded in 1968 we all went on to do different things I formed the new Seekers Bruce was composing jingles and he wrote with Doug Newton he wrote I'm Australian you love me it is our host Ethel guy Ethel went on to host a TV show a variety show and then went into politics oh won't you Judith and her husband Ron created a fantastic name for themselves as as a Duo we'll take a boat despite their individual successes I don't believe they were ever as good as when they combine those voices I wrote a letter to Judith years after we broke up because I didn't feel easy in my heart about caring feelings of resentment particularly towards Judith I just wanted her to know from my point of view how much that breakup had affected me and and caused me a lot of hurt and I couldn't believe what he was saying I never thought for a million years that they would have thought that I'd turn my back on them you know I'd given notice to them and but I thought everybody was feeling fine what happened to The Seekers Judy well I think they're still going with a different kind of members in them they've been sort of on and off for all the years you know since I left out of the blue uh you know Faith steps in and and pushes you into a point where you really you need to connect with you with your friends again Judith Durham one of Australia's first singing Superstars Will Survive the fatal car crash which killed a woman passenger in the other car in 1990 Judaism has been run Edgeworth were involved in a terrible car accident that was not their fault that was the starting point I suppose we all got together and and had a bit of a dinner and chatted about old times Etc it was so great to see the boys of course you know when we walked in big hugs of all of us and when I saw Bruce I I just said to him look I'm really sorry if I've ever hurt you and I thought what an incredibly Brave thing to say and I told her that and I said you know what the moment you said that to me it was all gone and then the idea came up that you know we hadn't been together for nearly 25 years so we should have a silver jubilee reunion concert it was like we hadn't been apart for 25 years it was just a wonderful thing foreign and a series of concert tours and of course our 50th came into view we wanted to celebrate it because the fact we were all still alive after 50 years was so amazing well it really was particularly amazing for Judy because she had varying health problems that she contended with have this bronchiectasis her coffin obviously worsened by that stage but she's still saying with the same enthusiasm and quality she's working on probably one lung power a lot of the time and quite often before a major concert you know I could hear Judith sort of coffin a heart out in the Next Room I thought there's no way she's going to get on on stage and every single time she did with me for me it felt like a rounding out of everything I remember the fans singing to us when I left the Albert Hall backstage all the fans sang to me a world of Our Own It was magic honestly they all sang me the song Oh you know special memories after the golden jubilee Judy did a tour a solo of New Zealand which was very successful but she decided after that that her touring days and Performing days I think were over I think she realized at that point that she would rather be creative quietly behind the scenes she was talking to her composing some music when she could uh we had lots of conversations uh phone conversations where she seemed to be incredibly busy earlier in the year we were talking about our 60th coming up December 3 this year just to work out how we might celebrate but Judith started to to have a few more problems with her bronchial problems foreign it seemed as though her health was diminishing a bit and it was suggested that she go back for another hospital stay her breathing was worsening and she definitely needed some specialist treatment I did get a call and she said that things had become more serious and that she was being moved into palliative care I felt that um each of the guys in The Seekers needed to have a chat with her I said the chance on her last night to say a few words to her on the phone we're just able to say how much we loved her and how much we'd treasured our time together and she had to sum it up a massive amount of strength to have any conversation at all and really lovely conversation actually we spoke about love for each other and and uh and what a fantastic road we had traveled we're forever grateful for it and she went literally sort of an hour or so later very peacefully the very next day after Judy died I got a call from Dan Andrews offering a state memorial for her and I was delighted when Judith died a grief that had caused so many people was just massive absolutely massive I'm expecting to cry my eyes out today there's just certain songs and Georgie girl I mean who didn't love Georgie girl she was just special I think we all loved her there was never any Scandal no it'll be a special night tonight well for those of my vintage gathered here and the thousands more who are watching Judith Durham and The Seekers have been a part of our Lives as far back as we can remember it was an absolute tsunami absolute the tsunami of love and affection and Good Will from around the whole planet I'm speaking from London thing of our beloved Judith we felt she was ours and it was quite quite stunning in its depth of emotion and and genuine you know uh affection you know for her and her beautiful contribution you know to to our music you've been absolutely delighted it was just a beautiful tribute to her and I think she'd have been overjoyed she was one of the finest voices that Australia has ever had the pleasure and in fact the world's ever had the pleasure to hear is falling and as far as the Seekers are concerned we hope that we have been an uplifting source of energy for some people and in fact I think that's where Judas Legacy is as well that she was a source of energy to a lot of people I until my time foreign

2022-10-27 22:14

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