The Seekers 1968 Farewell Show

I post this with some trepidation. Either you, dear reader, will have some appreciation–or at least tolerance–for the music of the 60’s folk movement…or you will not.

If so, you’ll find the Seekers’ 1968 farewell show a treat, dubious attempts at humor aside.

The Seekers formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1962. After immigrating to England in ’64 a string of worldwide hits followed. Their music was a somewhat sugar-sprinkled hybrid, perhaps too close to pop for some folk purists, but it was a winning sound that earned them the distinction of being the first Australian act to land in the top 5 in England and the U.S. as well as their home country.

Just four years later, though, lead singer Judith Durham announced her intention to leave the Seekers for a solo career, and the group called it quits.

Their final performance together was shown live by the BBC in the form of this special, called Farewell the Seekers. It drew an estimated 10 million viewers, a testament to just how well-loved the group were in England and elsewhere.

The mode of music they specialized in is as out of fashion as Durham’s dress. But there’s no denying the talent on display here, or the timelessness of some of these songs.

Fans of singing competition TV shows like The X Factor and American Idol have been brainwashed, frankly, into thinking that a great singer is measured by the level of histrionics in a performance, or the number of notes, other than the ones on the page, that a song is adorned with. Judith Durham’s purity of voice and seemingly effortless performance–the way she gets out of the way of a great song instead of imposing herself on it–is a lesson in how it once was done, and still is by the best ones. Celine Dion is gifted. Durham is a great singer.


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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Zack Cyphers
    Oct 29, 2012 @ 12:28:45

    “I’ll Never Find Another You” is one that’s burned into my childhood from you or Grandpap playing it. What a warm, optimistic and comforting harmony. The jangly guitar and upright bass definitely create a beautiful sound that hasn’t been in style for a long time. I won’t say that that this should still be popular, necessarily, but I think we’re all better off for this music having existed.


  2. Zack Cyphers
    Oct 29, 2012 @ 12:35:07

    Oh man! “Morningtown”! I’m reliving my childhood again! I forgot about that one. This is so cool.


    • Ed Cyphers
      Oct 29, 2012 @ 12:37:49

      So glad you can appreciate them Zack. I have lately come to love “Rattler” too. And “Love is Kind, Love is Wine” is one I used to ask my dad to play for me when I was quite little.

      And Judy can really play piano too!


  3. Zack Cyphers
    Oct 29, 2012 @ 13:00:06

    Hmm, that’s weird. Maybe if I refresh my browser it will register.
    One more thing- I love how in “Morningtown Ride” they make the fiddle sound like a train whistle.
    What is the song that comes after that one? Is it called “A World of Our Own”? Oh man! There are so many good songs here!


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