Judith Durham


August 14, 2022

Judith Durham, born Judith Mavis Cock (Essendon, Melbourne, Victoria, 3 July 1943 - Melbourne, Victoria, 5 August 2022) Australian musician, singer, songwriter, founding member and lead singer of the group Seekers from 1963, 1968 solo singer in the pop-folk and jazz genre. He is Australia's first pop singer, who also achieved resounding success in the international music world. In 2015, he was named Person of the Year in the state of Victoria.

His life

Origin, beginning of career

Judith Mavis Cock was born in 1943 in the Melbourne suburb of Essendon. His father was William Alexander Cock, a navigator in the British Royal Air Force, and his mother was Hazel Durham. He spent his early childhood in Hobart, Tasmania, where he attended school until 1956, when he moved back to Melbourne with his parents. He was enrolled at the Royal Melbourne University of Technology (RMIT). Later, he graduated with distinction in classical piano at the University of Melbourne Conservatory and obtained the high-level "Associate in Music, Australia" (AMusA) degree. He also learned to sing. Trained as a jazz singer, she started singing classical, blues, gospel and jazz numbers, accompanied by her own piano. In 1961, at the age of 18, the director of the Melbourne University Jazz Band allowed him to sing with the band at the Memphis Jazz Club in Malvern. In 1963, he took his mother's maiden name and performed with Frank Traynor's Jazz Preachers at the same club. This year they released their first joint album entitled "Judy Durham with Frank Traynor's Jazz Preachers".

Singer of Seekers

In 1963, she worked as a secretary at an advertising agency, where she met accountant Athol Guy, bass player of the folk group Seekers. The other two members were Bruce Woodley on guitar-mandolin-banjo and Keith Potger on guitar-banjo, all three also sang vocals. Judy Durham joined the group as a singer. They performed in the evenings in a music cafe in Melbourne. Potger was an employee of ABC Radio, and he took their first sample recording to W&G Records. Judy Durham's vocals impressed the label, which released the album Introducing the Seekers in 1963, and they also recorded more tracks with her old band, the Jazz Preachers. ("Muddy Water", "Trombone Frankie"), which were released on later LPs. In early 1964, the Seekers traveled to Great Britain, and on the way they played music in the ship's restaurant to entertain the guests. The London agency Grade, to which they sent their first record, organized so many concert performances for them that the planned ten-week tour lasted more than a year. In November 1964, they released the song "I'll Never Find Another You", written for them by Tom Springfield, Dusty Springfield's brother. This single became a chart topper in 1965 in Great Britain and Australia. In 1966, Tom Springfield and Jim Dale's "Georgy Girl" (the theme song of the feature film of the same name) became a chart-topper in the United States. In 1964, they had a big hit with the children's song Morningtown Ride, a cover of Malvina Reynolds' song from 1957. In 1967, a Seekers concert in Melbourne drew 200,000 paying spectators (10% of the city's population at the time), a record for all previous performances. overturned. Their television concert show "The Seekers Down Under" also achieved outstanding ratings. In early 1968, the band were voted 'Australian People of the Year 1967'. In 1967, Judith Durham released her next solo single, "The Olive Tree", a song written for Tom Springfield and Diane Lampert. In the summer of 1968, Judith Durham split from the Seekers. At a farewell concert in London on July 7, 1968, Judith Durham performed her previous year's solo hit, "The Olive Tree". Member of the Seekers after 1968