The non-Seekers years
The early years:
The earliest recorded release by Judith Durham was an EP on Australia's W&G label, "Judy Durham and Frank Traynor's Jazz Preachers" This recording was made at about the time The Seekers recorded their first album, also for W&G. In fact, the recording of "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" that appears here was also released under the name "The Seekers Featuring Judith Durham".
The late 60's:
In 1967, Judith made her first solo recordings under her solo contract with EMI; "The Olive Tree" which was backed with a very surprising composition, "The Non Performing Lion Quickstep". If you can find a copy of this one, it is very definitely worth hearing! This was followed up by Judith's second solo single; "Again and again / Memories".
Judith's first solo album, in 1968, was a wonderful collection of Christmas songs called "For Christmas with Love", released by Goodyear. It features several traditional Christmas songs done in a style only Judith could master. Though the vinyl issue of this album was discontinued many years ago, Judith has since allowed the re-release of this album on CD, and has even recorded 2 new songs, one being a duet with John McDermott, for inclusion in the re-release.
Judith's style(s) in the '70s ranged from pop and gospel to jazz and blues, with a smattering of opera. Her second solo project, released internationally as "Gift of Song", included songs by established composers such as Mason Williams, Harry Nilsson and also David Reilly, who had previously co-written with Judith "The Non-Performing Lion Quickstep", as well as the following single, "Again And Again" and "Memories". Later, two of David and Judith's songs - "Colours Of My Life" and "Can't Make Up My Mind" were included on The Seekers' album Seekers Seen In Green.
"Climb Ev'ry Mountain", also released for A&M around 1971, took more of an orchestral turn. This album also featured original compositions by Judith and her husband, Ron Edgeworth and benefited from the input of such seasoned musicians as Dudley Moore and Elton John.
The above 2 albums were variously re-compiled by Festival Records and released on the A&M label under the titles "Here Am I" and "Australia's Own Judith Durham"
In the early 1970's, the Edgeworths returned to their favoured musical style, traditional jazz! Between 1972 and 1974, they recorded and released 2 albums that were independently recorded by Judith and Ron's record production company Trophworld, and released by Pye Records in England and Festival Records in Australia. "Judith Durham and the Hottest Band in Town" and "Judith Durham and the Hottest Band in Town Vol. 2". The latter is particularly hard to find in vinyl, but Judith has allowed their re-release on CD in Australia (through Warner Music) and the first volume features the bonus tracks, "I Love You" and "Gloryland".
The 1980's to today:
In 1981, the duo acquired the rights to the rough tapes of their performances at the ABC Odeon Theatre in Hobart in 1977 and the Newport Jazz Festival in 1978. Through their company, Trophworld, they compiled a compilation of the highlights from those performances and released them on the Interfusion label, through Festival Records under the title "The Hot Jazz Duo Live in Concert". Again, quite a rare item in vinyl but available now in CD format.
The Edgeworths didn't do much recording work through the 1980's, but around 1990, the time was right for a comeback. A series of solo "Silver Jubilee" concerts (marking Judith's 25th anniversary as a singer) was scheduled throughout Australia. Due to an unfortunate traffic accident in 1990, in which Ron and Judith were both seriously injured, the concert series was forced into postponement. A series of "Thank You Melbourne" concerts was later performed.
Following the recovery of both of the duo, in 1993 the original Seekers were reunited for the first time in 25 years. (See the links section below for more information.) The Edgeworths also collaborated with playwright Ian Austin on their own musical "Gotta be Rainbows" and Judith released her own salute to Australia, "Australia, Land of Today".
During the planning of the 1993 reunion, it became known that the couple were experiencing a very personal tragedy - Ron had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. Judith is now the Australian Patron for MNDA, an organisation which exists to raise awareness of the effects of this fatal disease and to raise funds for research and aid for patients.
In 1994, Judith recorded "Let Me Find Love", an album of her own original compositions and collaborations. This may be the best, most heartfelt work Judith Durham has produced to date and marked the last time Ron would work with her, as he finally lost his battle with MND in December 1994.
After another tour with The Seekers, Judith once again returned to the studio in 1995, to record "Mona Lisas", an album of interpretations of some well known songs by other artists. "Mona Lisas" was released in 1996 and has since been reworked and re-issued in Australia as "Always There".
Judith enjoyed a series of acclaimed concerts in the UK following the "Mona Lisas" releases. She also collaborated with Russell Hitchcock of Air Supply and Mandaway Yunupingu of Yothu Yindi, on a rendition of Bruce Woodley's "I Am Australian", which was released as a single and reached the Australian top 20.
In 1997, the album Judith Durham: The Seekers "Future Road" was released in Australia by EMI. It has enjoyed triple platinum sales. See the Seekers links below for more information on the group's activities.
In the last few years, Judith has turned again to Solo projects. In December 2000, the CD "Hold On to Your Dream" was released, containing songs from "Let Me Find Love" (some remixed) and Judith's anthem "Australia, Land of today". There has also been a DVD of the special 60th birthday concert during the tour celebrating Judith's 40th anniversary in show business, a new CD with the Melbourne Welsh Choir and further releases are anticipated! For more details of these and other projects with The Seekers, please visit the 'news' page.
For more information on Judith Durham and Ron Edgeworth, the best source is Graham Simpson's "Colours of My Life -The Judith Durham Story", the authorised biography. Our thanks to Graham for his invaluable help in compiling this webpage. Thanks also to Jayne Bishop, David Farmer and members of the Seekers Chatgroup.
.Just A Closer Walk With Thee / Moan You Mourners (Sailor Boy, SIB-291) (New Zealand only, 1963)
The Olive Tree / Non Performing Lion Quickstep (EMI/Columbia - DB 8207 [UK pressing] - DO 5003 [Aust])
Again and Again / Memories (EMI Columbia DB 8290 - UK)
The Light is Dark Enough / Wanderlove (UK issue - AMS 777, Australian issue - AMK 3559. Also issued in Portugal with Picture sleeve - A&M N-35-15)
Take Care of My Brother / Wanderlove (A&M 1169)
There's A Baby / Take Care Of My Brother (AMK 3791)
Let Me Find Love / Music Everywhere (A&M AMS798 - U.K. only)
Bonny Face / Let Me Find Love (7AM-5051- Released in Brazil ahead of Judith's performance in the Rio Song Festival.)
Climb ev'ry mountain / What could be a better way (A&M AMS 823)
I Wanna Dance to Your Music / Mama's got The Blues (UK -Pye 7N 45312,
Aust -Interfusion K 5440I)
What'll I do / The Hottest band in town (Pye 7N45365)
It's goin' to be a beautiful day / Chase those blues away (Pye 7N 45389)
Down by The Riverside / Chase those Blues away (Australian release - Interfusion K 5794)
I Love You / Gloryland (Interfusion K6060)
Australia, Land of today was also released as a Cassette and CD single.
Judith has recorded 3
songs which have appeared on charity Christmas albums:-
Hark the herald angels sing (1994)
Bambino (1995) and
O happy day (1996).
In addition to the "I Am Australian" release there is a duet of Judith Durham and John McDermott singing "Somewhere a Child is Sleeping" available on both the "For Christmas with Love" CD re-issue and McDermott's "Christmas Memories" CD. Judith's CD also includes a second bonus track, her 1994 recording of "Amazing Grace". (For the Seekers fans, John McDermott's "Love is a Voyage" CD also features another talented musician, The Seekers' Keith Potger, on 2 tracks, "Guardian Angel" (the first version) and "Friend Like You".)
A revamped version of "Slowly Gently", featuring a children's choir in the backing, is included on the album "One Man's Journey", which was released as a fundraiser for Australian musician George Fay (of the Four Kinsmen) who was suffering from, and has since died from, MND.
Judith was also one of the singers who contributed vocals to the single "Yil Lull". "Yil Lull" is from the Aboriginal Gugugimidhir language of northern Queensland and it simply means "sing". The sales of "Yil Lull" went towards highlighting the importance of indigenous issues, like the Wik decision, the land rights debate, health and education issues and general welfare and rights of indigenous Australians. All profits raised through its sale went directly to Link-Up, an organisation that helps to reunite stolen Aboriginal children with their families.
Any additional information or corrections would be appreciated!
official site: www.judithdurham.com/
Seekers Chatgroup Home Page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/surfinseekers
Patrick Jervis' Judith: Seekers website: www.pjervis.freeserve.co.uk/seekers_main.html
Richard Saunders' World of The Seekers: www.telinco.com/seekers
Richard Veit s Seekers Lyrics: www.baylor.edu/~Richard_Veit/
David Smith's fan page: http://www.geocities.com/davidsmith40uk/
Any questions, comments or suggestions are welcome and may be emailed to Richard S. or Barbara.V.
This site is not connected to or affiliated in any way with any of The Seekers, Judith Durham, or the Musicoast, or Jukebrats companies or management.