1965 The Seekers – A World Of Our Own
Three students who had attended Melbourne Boys High School in Victoria, Australia in the fifties. After graduating, Keith Potger became the leader of the rock & roll group the Trinamics and Athol Guy led a group called the Ramblers. The two joined up with Bruce Woodley and singer Ken Ray to form The Escorts. The group changed its name to the Seekers in 1962. Ken got married and left the group, and jazz singer Judith Durham took his place as the lead singer. The new group based itself in Melbourne and quickly built up a following with their brand of folk-pop music.
A gig as entertainment on a cruise ship took the group to England, and once there they found work and began appearing regularly on the Call in on Carroll television show. In 1964 they recorded a single they wrote themselves.
The group filled in as one of the warm-up acts at a Dusty Springfield show. Dusty had just left the Springfields group to start her solo career the year before, but her brother Tom was also present at the concert. Tom wrote and produced successful folk-pop music for the Springfields, and the Seekers met him at the concert. Soon after that, Tom began writing and producing music for the Seekers. The first single from the team-up was I Know I’ll Never Find Another You. The single reached the top of the UK chart and #4 on the US Hot 100 in early 1965.
Tom also wrote and produced their next hit, A World Of Our Own. The single reached number 2 on both the UK chart and the US Adult Contemporary (AC) chart but peaked at only #19 on the US Hot 100.
The group again topped the UK chart with The Carnival Is Over near the end of 1965. The single did not perform well in the US, where it only reached #27 on the AC chart and failed to chart at all on the Hot 100. Special events in Australia continue to end by playing the song.
Several more records charted in the UK the next year, but none of them charted in the US until the group recorded the theme song for the film Georgie Girl. The single again took the Seekers to the top of the UK chart and they came close in the US, where the single peaked at #2 on the Hot 100.
The single Morningtown Ride had reached the UK top ten in 1966 without charting in the US. Their record company reissued the single in the US after the success of Georgia Girl and promoted the song with a video of the group on a train ride with children from a local orphanage, but the record still peaked at only #44 on the US Hot 100. It was the last time the group charted on the Hot 100. The song has become a popular children’s song.
Judith announced her decision to leave the Seekers and pursue a solo career in 1968, resulting in the group disbanding. Judith recorded a Christmas album and four other albums during the next six years.
Bruce had co-written a few songs with Paul Simon in the mid-sixties and wrote songs for several other groups after the break-up. He also recorded a few songs himself.
Beginning in 1975, the three men began performing as the Seekers with a series of replacements for Judith. The group even reached the UK top ten with a song written by Bruce. Bruce left the group in 1977 and Athol left in 1978. Replacements kept the group alive although the hits had run out.
The four members who recorded all the hit records finally reformed in 1992 and performed publicly as a group until Judith retired in 2019. Michael Cristiano joined the group as the new lead vocalist.
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