The Seekers are one of Australia's best known and most popular and enduring singing groups.
They were formed in Australia in 1963 by Athol Guy, Keith Potger and Bruce Woodley, who had all attended Melbourne Boys High School together.
Later that year they met Judith Durham who worked at the same advertising agency as Athol Guy.
Judith had originally intended to sing opera until she was bitten by the jazz bug in the mid-'50s and had already made several recordings.
She decided to try singing folk music with Athol and his band on the nights she wasn't singing jazz. It worked so well that she quickly became the lead singer and it wasn't long before The Seekers landed a recording contract with W&G Records.
In early 1964 the group was offered a chance to perform on board a ship for a year's worth of international cruises. This got them to London in May of 1964 for a ten-week stay.
Thinking ahead, Athol Guy had already sent copies of their recordings to promoters in London and when they arrived they discovered that one of the top talent agencies had already booked them several gigs.
At the same time they received a new recording deal with EMI Records, decided to quit the cruise and released their first album and their first single, 'I'll Never Find Another You', which got to number one in England and number four in America.
There followed a string of hit songs including 'A World of Our Own', 'The Carnival Is Over,' which became their biggest-selling single in England and 'Someday One Day'.
The popularity of this singing quartet from Australia was sufficient to actually rival the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
The Seekers were at the head of the British Invasion's acoustic folk-rock, right there with Peter & Gordon and Chad & Jeremy.
They scored a string of number one hits in England and Top Ten successes in the U.S. that lasted into 1967, two years after the rest of the British exports to America had disappeared.
One of the most interesting aspects of The Seekers is that they continued to play acoustic instruments when most of the other top groups used electric instruments and seemed more in tune with the times.
But The Seekers managed to hang onto young listeners, as well as older teenagers and their parents, with songs like 'I'll Never Find Another You,' 'A World of Our Own,' 'Come the Day,' and 'Georgy Girl.'
By 1967 the changing tastes in America were starting to catch up with them. Although they enjoyed hits again on both sides of the Atlantic with 'Morningtown Ride,' and had two more chart singles in England, their days as a top-selling recording act in the United States were clearly numbered.
In England however the group's commercial fortunes continued into 1968 and beyond. They produced a 1968 concert album, 'Live at the Talk of the Town', which showed them less of a folk group and more of a pop outfit and which got to number two on the Album charts and became their best-selling British album of all time.
The record company followed that with 'The Best of the Seekers', which reached number one in 1969. By that time, Judith Durham had decided to leave, and the group was officially disbanded in early 1969 following a farewell concert that was broadcast live on British television.
The name of The Seekers did not disappear however when they had a partial reunion in Australia in 1975 with Louisa Wisseling as the lead singer of 'The Seekers'.
Judith Durham had by then embarked on a fairly successful solo career and had one hit single, 'Olive Tree,' and a 1973 album entitled 'Here I Am'.
The New Seekers new recording of 'Sparrow Song' topped the Australian charts.
The mid-'70s also saw the release of a pair of Seekers compilation albums in England and America, both of which enjoyed great success.
In 1988, another hits compilation came out in England, and in the early '90s a British hits compilation finally appeared on compact disc. Then again in 1992, Capitol Records in America released a 24-song retrospective as part of its Capitol Collectors Series which also proved extremely popular.
A 1990 car crash left Judith Durham severely injured, but in 1994, the original members of the group, including Judith, re-formed and played more than 100 concerts right around Australia.
There was also a series of silver anniversary shows at the Royal Albert Hall in London for their British fans. That same year, The Colours of My Life, a biography of Judith Durham written by Graham Simpson was published.
The Seekers today remain a very popular group both in Australia and in the UK. Their music, CDs and DVDs are still popular and although they no longer perform almost everyone over the age of forty can remember this Australian group who at one time challenged the Beatles on the world pop music charts.
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