Judith Durham (79) of The Seekers dies

Australian singer Judith Durham died Friday night at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. As the singer of The Seekers, he scored three Top 40 hits in 1965, including the top 10 hit The Carnival Is Over. Judith Durham is 79 years old.

The sad news was announced by Universal Music Australia on Saturday morning. In a joint statement with his management, they said that the singer had died from the long-term consequences of chronic lung disease. “After a brief stay at Alfred Hopsitel, Judith was transferred to a palliative care unit on Friday 5 August, where she died peacefully that night.” Judith Durham is seen by many as the first Australian pop singer with tremendous international success. Therefore, the Australian media paid close attention to his death.

Judith was born Judith Mavis Cock on 3 July 1943 in Essendon, a suburb of Melbourne. He studied classical piano at the University of Melbourne, but it turns out he can sing well too. In 1963 he released a solo EP under the name Judy Durham, in which he was accompanied by Jazz Preacher Frank Traynor. Around the same time, he joined the folk pop group The Seekers, replacing singer Ken Ray.

In addition to Judith, The Seekers consists of Athol Guy, Keith Potger and Bruce Woodley. Their debut album Introducing The Seekers was an immediate success in their own country in 1963. Their big international breakthrough came in 1965 with the single I’ll Never Find Another You. With that song they scored a number 1 hit in the UK. Their success in England is impressive. Of their first eight hits, five were in the top 3. One of them was The Carnival Is Over, which also became a number 1 hit. Seeker was also successful in the United States. There they reached the top 5 with two hits.

In the Netherlands, the success is somewhat more modest. The group had three Top 40 hits in 1965. I Won’t Find Another You came to number 23, Our Own World to number 15 and Carnival Ends to number 8. After that we saw no more groups on the list. In the early 1970s, New Seekers still had four Top 40 hits, but Judith was no longer involved. In 1968 the group disbanded and Judith began her solo career. Compared to his hit performance with The Seekers, however, it was far less successful. Yes, a few reunions without Judith, she rejoined the group in the early 90’s and would perform well into the late 10’s in the same line-up as in the ’60s.

In 1994 Judith’s husband Ron Edgeworth died of ALS. Since then, the singer has spent years raising money for the treatment of ALS patients. Not long after, Judith and the rest of The Seekers were awarded royal medals for their service to music and in 2014 they were even appointed Officers of the Order of Australia by Queen Elizabeth II. In May 2013, Judith survived a brain haemorrhage. As a result, she temporarily lost her ability to read and write, but the condition did not affect her singing ability.

At the end of 2014, the singer said goodbye to the public, The Seekers then continued as The Original Seekers, with Judith replaced by singer Michael Cristiano. Judith Durham was the first member of The Seekers to die. She is a widow and always deliberately childless. The Seekers are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. No doubt there will be many thoughts on the life of Judith Durham, with whom they celebrated their greatest success.

Winton Jensen

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