Judith Durham

Judith Durham

Infobox Musical artist
Name =Judith Durham

Img_capt =
Img_size = 150
Landscape =
Background =solo_singer
Birth_name =Judith Mavis Cock
Alias =
Born =July 3, 1943, Essendon, Australia
Died =
Origin =
Instrument =
Voice_type =
Genre =
Occupation =
Years_active =1960s - present
Label =
Associated_acts =The Seekers
URL = [http://www.judithdurham.com/ judithdurham.com]
Notable_instruments =

Judith Durham, OAM (born Judith Mavis Cock on July 3, 1943, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), is a jazz singer who became the lead vocalist for the Australian popular folk music group The Seekers in 1963. She left the group in mid 1968 to pursue her solo career. In 1993, Durham began to make sporadic recordings and performances with The Seekers, continuing into the 2000s.

Early life

Judith Durham was born July 3, 1943, at Essendon, Victoria, Australia, to William Alexander Cock DFC, a navigator and World War II pathfinder, and his wife Hazel. Durham lived in Hobart, Tasmania where she attended The Fahan School before moving back to Melbourne in 1956. In Melbourne she was educated at Ruyton Girls' School, and following matriculation, enroled at RMIT.cite encyclopedia| editor = Suzannah Pearce| encyclopedia = Who's Who in Australia Live!| title = DURHAM Judith Mavis| accessdate = 2007-10-04| date = 2006-11-17| year = 2007| publisher = Crown Content Pty Ltd| location = North Melbourne, Vic]

Durham at first planned to be a pianist and she gained the qualification of Associate In Music, Australia (AMusA) in classical piano at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium. She had some professional engagements playing piano. However she also had classical vocal training and performed blues, gospels and jazz pieces. Her singing career began at the age of 18 when she asked Nicholas Ribush, leader of the Melbourne University Jazz Band, one night at the Memphis Jazz Club in Malvern, if she could sing with the band. In 1963 she began performing at the same club with [http://www.franktraynors.au.com/ Frank Traynor's] Jazz Preachers, using her mother's maiden name of Durham. In that year she also recorded her first EP, "Judy Durham with Frank Traynor's Jazz Preachers" for W&G Records [ [http://www.judithdurham.com/ Judith Durham Official Web Site] ] .

Durham was working as a secretary at the J Walter Thompson advertising agency where she met an account executive called Athol Guy. Guy was in a folk group called the Seekers which sang on Monday nights at a coffee lounge called the 'Treble Clef' on Toorak Road in Melbourne.

The Seekers

The Seekers consisted of Durham, Athol Guy, Bruce Woodley and Keith Potger, an ABC radio producer. It was through Keith Potger's position that the group was able to make a demo tape in their spare time. This was given to W&G Records who wanted another sample of Durham's voice before agreeing to record a Jazz Preachers album. Instead W&G signed The Seekers for an album, "Introducing the Seekers," in 1963. (Keith Potger does not appear on the album cover because he was not allowed to have a second job.) However Durham recorded two other songs with the Jazz Preachers, "Muddy Water" (which appeared on their album "Jazz From the Pulpit") and "Trombone Frankie" (an adapted version of Bessie Smith's "Trombie Cholly").

In early 1964, the Seekers sailed to the United Kingdom on the [http://www.ssmaritime.com/sitmar2.htm S.S. "Fairsky"] on which the group provided the musical entertainment. Originally they had planned to return after ten weeks, but they received a steady stream of bookings through the Grade Agency because they had sent the agency a copy of their first album. In November 1964 The Seekers released a "I'll Never Find Another You", composed by Tom Springfield. In February 1965, the record reached number one in England and Australia.

They were the first Australian group to reach No. 1 on the British charts (I’ll Never Find Another You”), the first Australian group to reach No. 1 on the American charts (“Georgy Girl”) the first group to reach No. 1 on the U.K. charts with their first three singles, the only group in the southern hemisphere to ever draw a crowd of 200,000 people to a concert, Australians Of The Year 1967, record-holders for Australian television ratings (a ‘67’ for their 1967 TV spectacular, 'The Seekers Down Under), quadruple platinum award recipients for their 1993 Live In Concert video and ARIA Hall Of Fame inductees 1995. Their last Australian tour was in 2003.

olo career

Durham returned to Australia in August 1968 and her first solo television special screened on the Nine Network in the September. During her solo career she has released albums titled: "For Christmas With Love", "Gift Of Song" and "Climb Ev'ry Mountain". In the 1970s she returned to traditional jazz and recorded Volumes 1 & 2 of "The Hottest Band In Town" and "The Hot Jazz Duo". After this she retired to Queensland but wrote songs occasionally.

Later solo career

In 1994 Durham began recording albums again. including "Mona Lisas" in 1996 under the direction of producer Gus Dudgeon. This was re-released as "Always There" in 1998 with the addition of Durham's solo recording of fellow Seeker Bruce Woodley's "I am Australian" (with Russell Hitchcock of Air Supply and Mandawuy Yunupingu of Yothu Yindi) and the Smith Family theme song of the title. Her recording of "Always There" was first released on the 1997 double CD "Anthems", which also featured Bruce Woodley's "Common Ground" and the Seekers' version of "Advance Australia Fair".

In 2000 Durham's album "Let Me Find Love" was re-released as "Hold on To Your Dream", with the addition of her song "Australia Land of Today". 2001 saw another Australian tour, and in 2003 she toured the UK to celebrate her 60th birthday. Her birthday concert at the Royal Festival Hall in London was filmed and released on DVD in late 2004.

In 2006, The Seekers were awarded the Key To The City of Melbourne by the Lord Mayor John So. As part of the ceremony, Judith Durham sang part of her song "Seldom "Seldom Melbourne Leaves My Mind" and was later invited by the Lord Mayor's Charitable Fund to record the song with Orchestra Victoria as a fundraiser. The decision was then made to record Judith's entire 'Australian Cities Suite', with all proceeds from the sale of the CD to go to the charitable sector. The album will be released in October 2008. The project will benefit charities like the Motor Neurone Disease Association of Australia (Judith is national patron) and Orchestra Victoria, in addition to other charities which benefit from the Lord Mayor's Charitable Fund or its national affiliated network United Way.

The ‘Australian Cities Suite’ features songs for all the capital cities, including “Sydney Girl Of My Dreams”, heartfelt memories of Judith’s childhood in Tasmania in “Happy Years I Spent In Hobart”, along with her emotional love song for the nation, “Australia Land Of Today”.

Personal life

On November 21 1969, she married her musical director, British pianist [http://www.telinco.com/seekers/Ron.htm Ron Edgeworth,] in Melbourne. They lived in the UK and Switzerland until the mid 1980s when they bought a property in Nambour, Queensland, Australia.

In 1990 Durham, Edgeworth, and their tour manager Peter Summers were involved in a car accident on the Calder Freeway. The driver of the other car died at the scene, and Durham was seriously injured. The response from her fans made Durham consider getting back together with the other Seekers for the silver jubilee show. This reunion, however, was brief when Edgeworth was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. He died on December 10 1994 with Durham by his side. There are no children. As of 2008 Durham remains widowed.

In 1994 her authorised biography "Colours Of My Life: The Judith Durham Story" by Graham Simpson was first published by Random House Australia. The book was updated and reprinted in 1998 and 2000; in 2003 it was again and updated and published by Virgin Books.

In the late 1990s Durham was stalked by her former personal assistant, who sent her dozens of doormats through the post and was subsequently prosecuted.

olo releases

*1963 Judy Durham & Frank Traynor's Jazz Preachers [EP]
*1964 Frank Traynor's Jazz Preachers & Judy Durham - "Trombone Frankie" [45]
*1967 "The Olive Tree"/"The Non-Performing Lion Quickstep" [45]
*1967 "Again and Again"/"Memories" [45]
*1969 "For Christmas With Love" [Gramophone record|LP]
*1970 "Gift of Song" LP
*1971 "Climb Every Mountain" LP
*1973 "JD & The Hottest Band in Town Vol. 1" LP
*1974 "JD & The Hottest Band in Town Vol. 2" LP
*1980 "The Hot Jazz Duo" LP
*1992 "Australia Land of Today" [CD Single]
*1994 "Let Me Find Love" [CD]
*1996 "Mona Lisas" [CD]
*1998 "Always There" [CD]
*2002 "JD and the Melbourne Welsh Male Choir" [CD]
*2000 "Hold on To Your Dream" [CD]
*2003 "Diamond Night" [DVD]

* With the exception of the Jazz EP, the 1970s albums "Gift of Song" and "Climb Every Mountain", all of Durham's solo records have been re-released on CD.

She has also contributed to various compilations, including the CD single "Yil Lull", "Slowly Gently" for the Motor Neurone Disease fundraiser, "One Man's Journey", and most recently an ethnic version of "The Carnival is Over" with Melbourne group Inca Marca for the Melbourne [http://museumvictoria.com.au/ImmigrationMuseum/ Immigration Museum's] compilation CD "This is the Place For a Song". In 2007 Durham also made a cameo appearance on "English Garden", a bonus track featured only on the digital download version of the new Silverchair album "Young Modern".



* Simpson, Graham. "Colours of my life: The Judith Durham story". Melbourne: Random House Australia, 1994, 1998, 2000; Virgin Books, 2004. ISBN 1852270381.

External links

* [http://www.judithdurham.com/ Official Site]
* [http://www.onamrecords.com/gallery/Judith%20Durham Judith Durham's career on A&M Records with gallery, international discography]
* [http://hem.passagen.se/honga/database/d/durhamjudith.html Judith Durham Discography]
*imdb name|0244084|Judith Durham
* [http://www.milesago.com/Artists/seekers.htm The Seekers] - Groups & solo artists at the MILESAGO website
* [http://www.judithdurham.org.uk/ UK Fan Club Site]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuj1IC9kXt8 Judith Durham singing "A Perfect Day" by Carrie Jacobs-Bond (1862-1946)]

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