The Seekers

Judith Durham

Judith Durham was born on July 3, 1943 in Essendon, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She is known for Cash and Company (1975), The Benny Hill Show (1969) and Al Read Says What a Life! (1966). She was previously married to Ronald Edgeworth.
A member of the singing group, The Seekers, Judith Durham’s is the main voice heard on the theme song for the film Georgy Girl (1966). The record was a hit and peaked at “Number 1” in the United States pop charts.

She was the lead singer with the Australian pop group, The Seekers.

She was the main singer heard when The Seekers performed their hit song, “The Carnival is Over,” during the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony.

She took her mother’s maiden name as her stage surname.

She was married for 25 years to British pianist, composer and former member of the The John Barry Seven pop group, Ronald Edgeworth, until his untimely death from Motor Neurone Disease.

Graham Simpson‘s biography of her (Colours of My Life) is named after the song that she and David Reilly wrote when she was with The Seekers in the mid-1960s.

Sister-in-law of Patrick Edgeworth.

Along with her fellow “The Seekers” band members Athol Guy, Keith Potger and Bruce Woodley., she was individually named as an Officer of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of June 2014.

Ronald Edgeworth

Biography

Ronald Edgeworth was born on January 29, 1938 in England. He was an actor and composer, known for Raw Deal (1977) and Cash and Company (1975). He was married to Judith Durham. He died on December 10, 1994.

British pianist, composer and former member of the The John Barry Seven pop group.

Member of The Trebletones, a vocal-instrumental stage and nightclub act.

Older brother of Patrick Edgeworth.

ATHOL GUY

Athol George Guy was born on 5 January 1940 in Colac, Victoria, the son of George Francis Guy (RAN) and Doris Thelma (née Cole) Guy.[2] Guy was educated at Gardenvale Central School, where he was school captain. He entered Melbourne High School, where he was twice under age athletic champion and an officer in the cadet corps. During this time he was Victorian Sub Junior High Jump Champion and then silver medallist to Olympian Colin Ridgway the next year.[citation needed]

Music career

The Seekers in 1965 – Guy at left

Main article: The Seekers

Guy formed his first musical group in 1958, the Ramblers, resulting in his move into performance, marketing and production at GTV9. Progressing via HSV7, media manager with the Clemenger Group and account exec with J. Walter Thompson, he then set sail with the Seekers for 10 weeks’ holiday abroad. On his return he established his own consulting company and compèred two national TV shows.

When the Seekers disbanded in 1968, Guy hosted his own variety series — A Guy Called Athol — on Australia’s Seven Network, and later the quiz show Big Nine on the Nine Network. In 1971, he was elected as the Liberal member for Gisborne in the Victorian Legislative Assembly. One of its youngest members, he won three terms with an increasing majority before he returned to the commercial world as a corporate consultant. Guy has taken part in subsequent reunions of the Seekers since 1993, when they celebrated the silver jubilee of their 1968 break up.

Politics

Guy was elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly in a by-election on 11 December 1971 for Gisborne as a member of the Liberal Party.[2] He served as a member of the assembly until resigning due to ill health on 5 March 1979.[2] His achievements included the government’s purchase and development of Werribee Park.

Business career

Guy opted to return to the business world and rejoined the Clemenger group as general manager of Clemenger Harvie from 1979 to 1989. During the 1990s, Guy joined St George Bank’s marketing team as business development consultant, and then AMP’s financial planning group, Hillross. With the assistance of the St George foundation, Guy was instrumental in the Murdoch Institute introducing a genetic educational course into Victorian schools.

Alongside these roles, he accommodated the many hundreds of reunion concerts with the Seekers from 1993 to about 2015, effectively curtailing any further political ambitions. In recent years, Guy has been involved in a joint venture with Hanging Rock Winery, launching “Athol’s Paddock” in the Macedon Ranges. The first vintage from Athol’s Paddock was 1997 and since that time has regularly produced award-winning shiraz.

BRUCE WOODLEY

Bruce Woodley was born on 25 July 1942 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He attended Melbourne High School with fellow Seekers, Athol Guy and Keith Potger.[3]

The Seekers

Main article: The Seekers

Woodley had a ‘residency’ performing at the Treble Clef restaurant in Prahran. With former schoolmates, Athol Guy and Keith Potger, he formed a folk music trio, The Escorts, in the early 1960s.[3] Soon before the arrival of vocalist Judith Durham in 1962 they became The Seekers, and had some success in Australia before travelling to London in 1964 and recording four international hit singles written and produced by Tom Springfield.[3] Woodley played guitar, banjo, and mandolin, as well as one of the four-part vocal harmony, and was the chief songwriter.[3] While Durham sang the majority of lead vocals for the group, Woodley usually handled the male lead vocals, including a number of album tracks. The Seekers first disbanded in 1968.[3]

During 1965, while in London, Woodley met Paul Simon, following the poor performance of Wednesday Morning 3 A.M. and just prior to the success of Simon and Garfunkel.[3] Simon and Woodley co-wrote the million-selling “Red Rubber Ball[6]—later a Top Five hit for US group The Cyrkle.[3] The Simon and Woodley collaboration also provided “I Wish You Could Be Here”[7] and “Cloudy“.[8] The Seekers later recorded these three songs, and “Cloudy” became an album track on Simon and Garfunkel’s hit 1966 album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme—the only Simon and Woodley song to appear on both groups’ album.[3] However, Woodley’s relationship with Simon had deteriorated and Woodley later struggled to get his share of the royalties—his songwriting credit on “Cloudy” was omitted from the release of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.[3] However, Simon does receive a credit for the song on The Seekers’ album, Seekers Seen in Green.

Going solo

Woodley’s first solo venture was a production company called Pennywheel, which saw him release a number of products for children, including a “Build an Alphabet” set of blocks and the 1969 EP and board book, “Friday St. Fantasy”. In 1969, Bruce headed off to America to sell the songs he had been writing, and was to remain there for several years. During this period he collaborated with a number of writers including John Farrar and Australian folk singer Hans Poulsen. Their compositions “Lady Scorpio” performed by Australian band The Strangers, “Monty and Me” performed by Zoot (which included a young Rick Springfield) and “Boom-Sha-La-La-Lo” which became a hit for Poulsen.

In 1971, Woodley released his first solo album, entitled Just Good Friends. In a reaction to the folk stereotype of the Seekers, the original album cover featured two naked models having sex. This was deemed too raunchy for Australia and the cover was replaced by a photo of Woodley. The original cover, however, was allowed in New Zealand, and this version of the album is a collectors item today. Three years later, Woodley contributed to an Australian-themed album put out by Viscount cigarettes, called The Roaring Days Vol. 1 (after a Henry Lawson poem). A second volume never eventuated. He also had a hit song called “Love Me Tonight Baby”. The album featured Woodley performing the traditional folk song “Eumerella Shore” and some of his own compositions, including “The Bush Girl”, which he would later re-record for a double album in 1987, with The Seekers in 1997 and 2000, and with his daughter Claire Woodley in 2001.

Seekers reunions

Woodley reunited with the Seekers, composed of fellow original members Athol Guy and Keith Potger, and 23-year-old Dutch-born Louisa Wisseling (a semi-professional folk singer formerly with Melbourne band The Settlers). In a February 1975 newspaper article about the group’s reunion, Louisa revealed that Bruce had approached her at a 1974 Settlers concert at Ferntree Gully‘s Swagman Restaurant with an offer to join the group, and she originally turned him down. The new group recorded two albums and a number of singles, some of which, like “The Nimble Song” and “I Saw It All With Trans Tours” (both written by Woodley) reflected the boys’ other careers in advertising. Woodley’s composition “The Sparrow Song” became the group’s biggest 1970s hit and remains to this day the highest-charting Seekers single written by a member of the group. Other tracks he contributed to this line-up included “Giving and Takin'” (the title track of their second album), “Can We Learn to Get Along” (which began life as a solo recording for the TV documentary series Shell’s Australia, and was released by Bruce on flexi-disc), “Reunion”, “Country Ros”, “Standing on Shaky Ground” (featuring Bruce on vocals which he felt were too low for him, but were impossible for Louisa to sing for the same reason), and “The Rose and the Briar”.

In 1977, Bruce left the group and was replaced by Buddy England. He continued to focus on song-writing and advertising, producing many TV jingles including one for Courage beer. His first, back in 1971 was a solo (advertising) single called “The ANZ Bank Travelling Man”, and was given out free to employees of that institution as part of the promotion.

I Am Australian

The year 1987 saw Woodley involved in the preparations for the Australian Bicentenary, and the release of an Australian-themed double album, songbook and cassette tape, featuring covers of traditional songs and some of Woodley’s own compositions. The set was called I Am Australian, after a jingle that he wrote to tie together the various threads of the project, tapping into the need he perceived for a national song in which people could take pride. One of his colleagues on the project was Dobe Newton of The Bushwackers, who helped compose the words of the title song; another was noted folk singer Rose Bygrave. The recordings also featured a children’s choir including Claire Woodley.

The following year he reunited with The Seekers, this time featuring Julie Anthony as the lead singer, to perform “The Carnival is Over” at Expo ’88 and a musical about the Seekers’ journey. This line-up released an album in 1989; “Live On”, the title track, was composed by Woodley, as were many of the other new tracks like “The Streets of Serenade” (which charted the story of the Seekers rather more blatantly than his ’70s composition “Reunion”), “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”, “How Can a Love So Wrong Be So Right” and “Taking My Chances With You”. When Julie left to have a baby (daughter Tamara), former Young Talent Time singer Karen Knowles joined the group. The only studio recordings by this line-up are the Bruce Woodley written songs “Fools Tonight” and “Bright Star”, sold as a cassingle at concerts. “Bright Star”, originally written for Julie’s voice, was also performed by both the Julie- and Karen-led Seekers at Carols by Candlelight.

When original lead singer Judith Durham returned to The Seekers fold in late 1992 for the group’s 25 Year Silver Jubilee, the theme song and CD-Single of the reunion was Woodley’s composition “Keep A Dream In Your Pocket“. A 1993 live album and DVD followed, featuring many of the group’s hits and a song which would become one of their best known, Woodley’s “I Am Australian“.

The success of “I Am Australian” took Woodley completely by surprise. In 1991, he performed it with Karen and the Australian Children’s Choir on a televised drought appeal, featuring a new, drought themed verse which has not appeared on other recordings. “I Am Australian” has featured in all Woodley’s solo tours and all Seekers tours since the reunion with Judith Durham; in 2000 the Seekers performed a condensed version at the televised Australia Day concert. Many artists have covered the song; in 1997, Durham released a version with Russell Hitchcock and Mandawuy Yunupingu which entered the Australian charts. For many[vague], it has become the unofficial anthem, and is a staple performed at many national events, by such artists as Jon Stevens, Delta Goodrem and naturally Bruce and the Seekers. At the 2001 celebrations for the Centenary of Federation, Woodley performed the song with daughter Claire (now known for performing the song solo at many events herself) and co-writer Dobe Newton.

Woodley divorced in the ’80s after a 14-year marriage, and he and former wife Sally have two children, Claire and a son, Dan. With Claire, a burgeoning singer-songwriter in her own right who has performed on the cabaret and conference circuit, he recorded a CD in 2001 called, once again, “I am Australian”. He has since recorded an ANZAC themed version of “I am Australian”, titled “The Anzac Song”, and appeared on Melbourne radio advertising the release of a CD-Single several weeks before Anzac Day in 2005. Apparently due to production difficulties, it never eventuated. In 2005 Bruce was interviewed by music journalist Debbie Kruger for a new book entitled Songwriters Speak, focusing on influential and successful Australian singer-songwriters.

At the National Day of Mourning on 22 February 2009 for the victims of the Victoria bushfires, Woodley unveiled two new verses for “I am Australian”.[9]

KEITH POTGER

Keith Potger was born on 21 March 1941 in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to Justin Vere Potger (1914 – 1990) and Joan Frances Meier (1920 – 2004). His two brothers’ names are Ralph and Nigel.[3] At age 6, Potger’s family migrated to Australia, and he began teaching himself to play the banjo, guitar and keyboard. While at Melbourne High School,[4] Potger performed in vocal groups which evolved into The Seekers in early 1962. The lineup of The Seekers then consisted of Athol Guy, Bruce Woodley, Ken Ray and Potger. When Ray left the group in late 1962, Judith Durham joined, and they focused on the folk and gospel music boom, accompanying themselves on guitars, banjo and double bass.

The Seekers

Main article: The Seekers

See also: List of Australian of the Year Award recipients

The Seekers consisted of Judith Durham, Athol Guy, Bruce Woodley and Potger, an ABC radio producer. Through Potger’s position, the three were able to make a demo tape in their spare time. This was given to W&G Records, which wanted another sample of Durham’s voice before agreeing to record a Jazz Preachers’ album. W&G instead signed The Seekers for an album, Introducing The Seekers, in 1963. Potger does not appear on the album cover because he was not allowed to have a second job.

In early 1964, The Seekers sailed to the United Kingdom on the S.S. Fairsky, on which the group provided the musical entertainment. Originally, they had planned to return after ten weeks, but they received a steady stream of bookings through the Grade Agency because they had sent the agency a copy of their first album. On 4 November 1964 at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios, The Seekers recorded “I’ll Never Find Another You” composed and produced by Tom Springfield and subsequently released in December 1964. In February 1965, the song reached number one in the UK and Australia, while their 1966 recording of Springfield and Jim Dale‘s “Georgy Girl” (from the film of the same name) reached number two (Billboard chart) and number one (Cashbox chart) in the United States.

In 1967, The Seekers set an official all-time record when more than 200,000 people (nearly one tenth of the city’s entire population at that time) flocked to their performance at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne. Their TV special The Seekers Down Under scored the biggest TV audience ever (with a 67 rating), and early in 1968 they were all awarded the nation’s top honour as “Australians of the Year 1967″.[5] On a tour of New Zealand in February 1968, Durham advised the group that she was leaving The Seekers and subsequently left in July 1968.[6]

In the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s, The Seekers reunited and toured extensively. In September 2014, each of them was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

New Seekers

Main article: The New Seekers

See also: Keith Potger and the New Seekers

When The Seekers disbanded in 1968, Potger’s musical activities turned to songwriting and record production in major recording studios in the UK. The New Seekers are an English pop group, formed in London in 1969 by Potger. The idea was that The New Seekers would appeal to the same market as the original Seekers, but their music would have pop as well as folk influences. They achieved worldwide success in the early 1970s with hits including “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing“, “You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me” and “Beg, Steal or Borrow“.

The New Seekers’ second album Keith Potger and the New Seekers, released in 1970, is their only one to feature the group’s founder (Potger) as a member.

Solo career

Returning to Australia in 1978, Potger wrote and produced television jingles and music tracks as well as performing solo concerts throughout the 1980s. In 1988, he wrote and produced stage musicals for the Australian Bicentenary.[7] In 2004, Potger released his first solo album, Secrets of the Heart. This was followed by Sunday in 2007 and in 2010, with Smile Now.

Popular culture

In November 2018, Potger coined the word “mynonym” to be an autological synonym for the word palindrome.[citation needed]

Personal life

On 18 November 2006, Potger married Australian actress Nicola Paull in front of six witnesses and a celebrant on the Mornington Peninsula.[8] They divorced on 8 February 2014. The following year, Potger was reportedly living in Braidwood, New South Wales.[9]

Potger’s previous two marriages were to Pamela Potger (1994 – 2004) (divorced), and British swimmer Pamela Powley (22 January 1966 – 1984) (divorced), from which they had two children, Matthew and Cassandra.[10][11] Matthew (born 1967 London) is an actor and composer.[12][13]

Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

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