The Seekers are an Australian pop folk quartet, originally formed in Melbourne in 1962.
The original Seekers comprised Athol Guy, Keith Potger, Bruce Woodley and Ken Ray. After a year with the above line-up, Athol Guy recruited Judith Durham as the new lead singer and it was this formation that won international success.
Their debut single was the traditional historic Australian bush ballad from 1894, “Waltzing Matilda”, which appeared in November and reached the Melbourne “Top 40” singles chart.
In 1965 the single “I’ll never find another you” reached No.1 in Britain, Australia and all around the world.
The Seekers had created history as the first Australian group to crack the American charts and the UK ‘beat’ scene had been turned on its ear by these clean-cut Aussies. The Seekers were named ‘Best New Group’ at the ‘Top Of The Pops Awards’.
Also in 1965, the group had made the acquaintance of a young American folksinger living in London named Paul Simon. The Seekers’ fourth single, a cover of Simon’s “Someday one day” only got to number 11 in early 1966, but it was Simon’s first British success as a songwriter, and his first success as a composer separate from the work of Simon & Garfunkel.
In July 1968, Durham announced that she was leaving the Seekers to pursue a solo career and the group disbanded.
She had a minor UK hit in 1967 with “Olive tree”, and her 1973 album “Here I am” contained songs by Rod McKuen, Nilsson and Elton John, as well as some folksy and jazz material.
From 1972, Guy, Potger and Woodley planned on reforming the Seekers without Durham. By 1975 they had recruited Louisa Wisseling, a semi-professional folk singer formerly with Melbourne group the Settlers. They had a top 10 Australian hit with the Woodley-penned “The sparrow song”.
A 1990 car crash left Durham severely injured, but in 1994, the original members of the group, including Durham, re-formed and played more than 100 concerts.
The Seekers has continued to tour throughout the world and in 2000 recorded their first studio album for 30 years “Future Road”.
In May 2013 Durham suffered a brain hemorrhage which diminished her ability to read and write not only visual language but also musical scores. During her convalescence she made progress to rebuild those skills. Her singing ability was never affected.