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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The Seekers reunite 50 years on, 2011

Helen Edwards

synthetic polymer on linen (frame: 186.0 cm x 156.0 cm, support: 182.0 cm x 152.0 cm)

The Seekers, folk music band, formed in 1962 when jazz singer Judith Durham met Athol Guy, who sang and played bass in a folk trio with Bruce Woodley and Keith Potger. The four Seekers first sang together in The Treble Clef, a South Yarra coffee bar. Durham added harmonies and jazz and gospel influences to the group’s folk repertoire, which included songs such as ‘South Australia’ and ‘Waltzing Matilda’, the latter released as a single in Australia. New material included gospel songs such as ‘This Train’ and the maddening ‘Kumbaya’. After making a demo tape in 1963 The Seekers were signed to W&G. Following the release of their first album, Introducing The Seekers, the band was booked to entertain passengers on a UK-bound cruise liner. Within two days of their arrival in England in May 1964, The Seekers had appeared on The Tonight Show on BBC TV; a few days later they were performing in Blackpool. They soon became regular guests on television and were offered an album deal with the World Record Club, for which they made the albums The Seekers and Hide and Seekers (the latter including a cover of Bob Dylan's ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’). In November 1964 they recorded ‘I’ll Never Find Another You’ at EMI's Abbey Road Studios. By February 1965 the song had knocked The Kinks off the No. 1 position on the UK charts; selling almost two million copies, it reached No. 1 in Australia and No. 3 in the USA. It was followed by ‘A World of Our Own’, which soon reached No. 1 in Britain and charted well in Australia and the USA, and the huge hit ‘The Carnival Is Over’. In 1966 The Seekers undertook their second Australian tour; that Christmas ‘Morningtown Ride’ became their fourth No. 1 hit. In February 1967, ‘Georgy Girl’ took The Seekers to the top of the US billboard. The group undertook a third Australian tour in March, followed by a season at the London Palladium. After representing Australia at Expo '67 in Montreal, they returned to London to record another album before undertaking their first US tour. In early 1968, when Durham announced she was leaving the band, The Seekers bowed out with a week-long season at The Talk Of The Town in London (which provided material for a live album) and an hour-long BBC TV special, ‘Farewell The Seekers’ in July. The post-split EMI compilation The Best Of The Seekers became their first No. 1 album, remaining in the UK Top 40 for almost three years. The Seekers regrouped in 1993 for a 25th anniversary reunion tour, in which they played over 100 concerts in Australia, New Zealand and the UK and sang ‘Georgy Girl’ and ‘The Carnival is Over’ at the Australian Rules grand final in Melbourne.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Judith Durham, Athol Guy, Keith Potger and Bruce Woodley 2012
Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2012.230

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Helen Edwards (age 66 in 2011)

Judith Durham AO OAM (age 68 in 2011)

Athol Guy (age 71 in 2011)

Keith Potger (age 70 in 2011)

Bruce Woodley (age 69 in 2011)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Related information

The Companion

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On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.