Judith Durham looks back at The Seekers
Fifty years ago, The Seekers were a pop music sensation. Featuring members Athol Guy, Keith Potger, Bruce Woodley and lead vocalist Judith Durham, the Aussie group’s pop-folk fusion proved popular in America and their hit, “Georgy Girl,” was a nominee at the 1967 Oscar ceremony for ‘Best Song’ for the film of the same name, although it lost to “Born Free.”
The Seekers had burst onto the world music scene just 2 years earlier with their 1965 hit “I’ll Never Find Another You,” but Durham struggled with the sudden celebrity status.
“I was suddenly thrust into the international spotlight and found myself inadvertently in competition with the glamorous UK stars of the period – Dusty Springfield, Sandie Shaw, Lulu, Twiggy,” said Durham from her home in Melbourne. “I was a 20-year-old girl who worked by day as a secretary, and I weighed more than 10 stone (140 lbs at 5’2”). Those girls were ‘real’ stars to me – slim, pretty, and wearing beautiful clothes. I sewed my own frocks for TV shows and performances! I didn’t feel I was glamorous enough to be the pop star I was being projected as. It caused a lot of anxiety for me for the first two or three years.”
From 1965 to 1968, The Seekers’ sound enchanted the pop music world with a string of hits including “A World of Our Own,” “Someday, One Day,” and "The Carnival Is Over” (see www.theseekers.com.au). But as the group’s popularity increased, the pressure on the lead singer continued to mount.
“We worked constantly for four years and when we weren’t doing seasons of tours, we were in the recording studio. It was exhausting.” So, in July 1968, Durham parted ways with The Seekers to pursue her own career (see www.judithdurham.com).