Several months ago, I got a renewed interest in the music group The Seekers. I was converting some LP records to CD’s and owned two of their albums from back in the ‘60’s. They were, and still are, a group based in Australia, with memorable hits for my generation like Georgie Girl, I’ll Never Find Another You, A World of our Own, and the haunting The Carnival is Over. They were probably the last of successful folk-based groups, and managed to bump both the Stones and the Beatles off the charts in the days when those groups were expected to be on top.
The Seekers story is interesting. They left Australia to try for success in Britain—booked as entertainment on a cruise ship to cover transportation costs. Shortly after their arrival, their popularity took off. Much of their sound came from the wonderful voice of Judith Durham—she was very much the “Seekers sound”. But Judith had issues of her own, particularly ones of poor self-esteem and lack of confidence. Despite appearing in the dreams of most young men at the time, she thought she was overweight and unattractive, and despite later being described by Elton John (he once played piano for them) as possessing “one of the purest voices in popular music”, she wasn’t even confident in that ability. She decided to leave the group at the peak of their success to pursue a singing career of her own. She did have that, mainly singing jazz in America with her husband pianist Ron Edgeworth. The remaining Seekers had an assortment of replacements for her through the years, none of which was a Judith Durham. Continue reading