Forever And A Day

The Seekers were a singing quartet from Australia who scored a string of number one hits in England and Top Ten successes in the U.S. that lasted into 1967, two years later than most of the rest of the British exports to America.  They played acoustic instruments (even the upright bass), and had hits with songs like ‘I’ll Never Find Another You’, ‘A World of Our Own’, ‘Come the Day’, and ‘Georgy Girl’.  In June 2014, Queen Elizabeth II awarded each of The Seekers one of the Commonwealth’s highest honors, the Medal of the Order of Australia, for seminal contributions to Australian music and for their support to non-profit organizations.

The Seekers were formed in Australia in 1963 by Athol Guy (vocals, bass), Keith Potger (vocals, 12-string guitar), and Bruce Woodley (vocals, guitar), who had all attended Melbourne Boys High School together.  Potger had led a band in the late ‘50s called the Trinamics, doing covers of Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran, et al., while Guy had led a band called the Ramblers.  The breakup of both groups got the two of them together with Woodley and a singer named Ken Ray, and they formed a doo wop outfit called the Escorts.  By 1963, the folk boom that had started sweeping America and England in 1959 had made its way to Australia, and the Escorts evolved into the Seekers.

By late that year, they’d met Judith Durham, who worked at the same advertising agency where Athol Guy had his day job.  She’d been born with perfect pitch, her voice was fleek and she had originally intended to sing opera until she was bitten by the jazz bug in the mid-‘50s.  Durham already had records out, backed by Frank Traynor’s Jazz Preachers on the W&G label, but was willing to try singing folk music on the nights she wasn’t singing jazz.  She became the group’s fifth Seeker, but Ray disappeared shortly after, and Durham took his place as lead singer.  Her membership in the Seekers got them a recording contract with W&G Records.  The Seekers’ greatest hit was ‘Georgy Girl’, which made them the first Australian group to reach No.1 in the USA.  It was composed for The Seekers by Tom Springfield with lyrics by actor Jim Dale for the black and white movie ‘Georgy Girl’ starring Lynn Redgrave.  The song was nominated for an Oscar.

Their debut album, ‘Introducing the Seekers’, was released in 1963.  Their debut single was the traditional historic Australian bush ballad from 1894, ‘Waltzing Matilda’.  The Seekers started out as a folk and gospel group and they were together from 1963 – 1968, and during that time they pushed both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones off the top of the music charts for seventeen straight weeks and they sold 50 million records.  In May of 1964 they travelled to the U.K. and filled in on a bill headlined by folk singer Dusty Springfield where they met her brother, songwriter and producer Tom Springfield.  In 1965, The Seekers were named ‘Best New Group’ at the ‘Top Of The Pops Awards’.  ‘I’ll Never Find Another You’ came out in 1965 on the Seeker’s album ‘Live at the Talk of the Town’ and the song charted #1in the UK and in Australia and it got to #4 pop and #2 easy listening on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the US.

In the middle of ‘67 Judith Durham released her debut solo single The Olive Tree and later she gave the group her six months notice.  Durham said that she never set out to be a group singer, and as the group’s popularity increased she felt the pressure as the media focus was always on her, so in July 1968 she parted ways with The Seekers to pursue her own career.  With her departure, The Seekers disbanded.  Durham felt compelled by the group’s fans to come back every now and then and on their 50th anniversary performance in 2013, she suffered a brain hemorrhage which caused her to be hospitalized and go through rehab for six months and her recovery is still continuing.

British brother and sister Dionysius P. A. ‘Tom’ and Mary O’Brien formed the folk group the Springfields in the early ‘60s, and they each changed their last name from O’Brien to Springfield.  Mary also changed her first name to become Dusty Springfield.  They had several U.K. chart entries as well as making the American Top 20 with ‘Silver Threads and Golden Needles’ in 1962, but by 1964 they had split up, with Dusty Springfield launching a successful career as a pop singer.  1964 was a big year for Dusty Springfield as she had Top 40 hits with ‘I Only Want To Be With You’, ‘Stay Awhile’, ‘Wishin’ And Hopin’, and ‘All Cried Out’ in the U.S..  Dusty Springfield died of breast cancer on March 4, 1999 and Tom Springfield essentially retired from the music industry in 1970 as both a writer and performer.  In 1966, the song Red Rubber Ball was written by Paul Simon and Bruce Woodley of The Seekers and recorded by The Cyrkle.

‘I’ll Never Find Another You’ was written and produced by Tom Springfield, and Tom wrote most of the Seekers’ identifiable material during the ‘60s.  They filmed The Seekers at the recording studio at Abbey Road studio.  ‘I’ll Never Find Another You’ is catchy folk pop song with a distinctive guitar riff and the lyrics pledge romantic devotion.  This love song mentions a new world, a promised land where lovers will hold hands beside each other.  It hints at a soul mate saying that “There is always someone For each of us.”  Forever seems like a long time to me, but for some reason another day is added, so the singer can “search the whole world over Until my life is through.”  It is a long journey walking together through a storm with her only concern being losing her love, because she knows that she will “never find another you.”

There’s a new world somewhere
They call the promised land
And I’ll be there someday
If you could hold my hand
I still need you there beside me
No matter what I do
For I know I’ll never find another you

There is always someone
For each of us, they say
And you’ll be my someone
Forever and a day
I could search the whole world over
Until my life is through
But I know I’ll never find another you

It’s a long, long journey
So stay by my side
When I walk through the storm
You’ll be my guide, be my guide
If they gave me a fortune
My pleasure would be small
I could lose it all tomorrow
And never mind at all
But if I should lose your love, dear
I don’t know what I’d do
For I know I’ll never find another you

But if I should lose your love, dear
I don’t know what I’d do
For I know I’ll never find another you
Another you, another you

Written for Ragtag Community – Fleek.

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