CLOSE YOUR EYES. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. OPEN YOUR HEART.

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR
High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight
HELLO STRANGER ... IT SEEMS LIKE A MIGHTY LONG TIME!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Seekers and Ye Shall Find Australia's First Lady of Song, Judith Durham!



 I'm Shady Del Knight 

 and I've got proof 

 that old school 

 ...is COOL! 



 THE SEEKERS 


Awarded the OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia)
for her outstanding achievements, Judith Durham
was Australia's first international pop princess.


In 1962, Judith, along with Athol Guy, 
Keith Potger and Bruce Woodley 
formed the Seekers, a folk-influenced 
pop group that became the first 
Australian music act to achieve major 
success in the UK and America.


My favorite Seekers recording is their first UK
release, "I'll Never Find Another You," which
became the top selling UK single of 1965
and a top 5 hit stateside.

"I'll Never Find Another You" - The Seekers 
(May 1965, highest chart position #4)




The Seekers scored an even bigger U.S. hit the
following year with "Georgy Girl," the title song
from the British film starring Lynn Redgrave.

"Georgy Girl" - The Seekers 
(January 1967, highest chart position #2)




In 1967 the Seekers starred in their own TV special
The Seekers Down Under. Included in the program 
was a wonderful rendition of Bob Dylan's early 60s
anthem "The Times They Are a Changin'."

"The Times They Are a Changin'" - The Seekers 
(from 1967 TV special The Seekers Down Under)



As you watched the Seekers perform in those
three videos, listened to the purity of their
voices and felt the love and joy that radiated
from their hearts, perhaps you asked yourself
the same question I have been asking.


What happened to us? In the years since songs
like those were written and recorded how could
pop music and culture have strayed so far from
the innocence and decency they exemplified?
The times they have indeed changed.


 IMPRESSIONS 


"I'm not worthy," is Curtis Mayfield's lament in
"Minstrel and Queen," a tender early soul ballad
by the Impressions. The theme is a familiar one
in pop culture: lovers separated by the class
barrier. "Minstrel and Queen," known in some
circles as "Queen Majesty," was released as
a single in the fall of 1962, spent six weeks
stuck in the mud on the Bubbling Under chart
and never managed to escape to the Hot 100.

"Minstrel and Queen" - Impressions 
(October 1962, highest chart position #113) 




Like Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Temptations,
Edwin Starr, James Brown and other 60s soul acts,
the Impressions eventually shifted the focus of
their music away from traditional love songs,
choosing to address social issues encompassed
by the Civil Rights Movement. Mayfield and
company made fine recordings during that
phase of their career, yet it's the sweet
soul they recorded early on that remains
near and dear to every Dell rat's heart.
Here's another gentle love song waxed
in 1962, "Grow Closer Together."

"Grow Closer Together" - Impressions 
(February 1962, highest chart position #99) 





 SYLVIA ROBINSON 

The song you are about to hear is NOT the
theme from the Rock Hudson - Doris Day
movie comedy. It's a steamy sizzler from
sultry somnambulist soul sista Sylvia.

(Say THAT five times fast!)

At the beginning of 1957, Sylvia Robinson 
and guitarist Mickey Baker, recording as 
the duo Mickey & Sylvia, had a crossover 
hit with their R&B duet "Love is Strange." 
Sylvia went on to become a producer and 
record company executive, founder of the 
soul label All Platinum Records. In 1973
Sylvia recorded and released a single of
her own, a prototypical early disco number  
called "Pillow Talk" which became a major  
hit and garnered the diva an invite from  
Don Cornelius to perform on Soul Train.

 "Pillow Talk" - Sylvia 
 (June 1973, highest chart position #3 Hot 100
 #2 Cash Box, #1 R&B Singles 



I'm sad to report that Sylvia Robinson
passed away in the fall of 2011.


 LINK WRAY 

 AND HIS RAY MEN 


Ranked #45 on Rolling Stone's list of
The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time,
Link Wray produced the type of bold, macho
music you'd hear during a night of drinking,
dancing and debauchery at One Eyed Jacks,
the fictional brothel and casino in Twin Peaks.


An innovator, Link Wray introduced the
power chord which became a hard rock
staple. He did so in 1958 with "Rumble,"
an instrumental single which also used
the relatively unexplored techniques
of distortion and feedback. Link's tune
became a sizable hit even though it was
banned by some radio stations because
"rumble" was a slang word for gang fight.
(BTW, who killed Laura Palmer?)

"Rumble" - Link Wray & His Ray Men 
(May 1958, highest chart position 
#16 Hot 100, #11 R&B Singles)





 Join me next time 

 for more proof 

 that old school 

 ...is COOL! 



Have a Shady day!

30 comments:

  1. Shady! Welcome back, my friend. I do hope you and Mrs. Shady have been able to take some time in the grieving to start on the healing process, although it's never easy to lose a beloved member of the family.

    What a great post- I actually know Georgy Girl and The Times They Are A Changin'! A great lineup of songs for us today. I enjoyed finding out about the others, like Sylvia Robinson, too. What a voice!

    Thank you for once again getting our mornings off to a terrific start.

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    1. Hello, dear Shelly, and thank you very much for the kind words. Mrs. Shady and I took a trip out of town for a few days and returned last evening. As you might expect the change of scene did us good.

      We had Toto cremated and her ashes are now inside a lovely wooden box that we keep in a place of honor on a table in our living room. Day by day we are adjusting to the new normal.

      Isn't it exhilarating to hear the pure and powerful voices of the Seekers? I don't feature many folk artists on this blog and I thought it was about time to shine the spotlight on this fine Aussie group. I don't remember Seekers records being played at the Dell because they weren't conducive to dancing. Nevertheless, I loved their music and it was an important part of the soundtrack of my youth.

      Thank you once again, kind friend, for your compassion and your thoughtful comments. Have a great week, Shelly!

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  2. Hi Shady! I remember getting into The Seekers after watching the film Georgy Girl and looking for the soundtrack. Once I found out the band's name I ran to the local record shop and was lucky enough to find the single! Link Wray is also a big favourite, a friend played Rumble at the first party I've been when I moved to London so it brings me great memories. Thank you for the amazing post, as always. I'm always happy to read about music I like and get to know new ones (like the Impressions). I hope you're having a good Sunday and have a great week! xxx

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    1. Hi, Ana! I'm very happy to see you again, my dear friend! I remember the splash made by the film Georgy Girl upon its stateside release in the fall of 1966. Unfortunately, the fine accomplished actors Lynn Redgrave, James Mason and Alan Bates have all passed away, leaving only Charlotte Rampling, who played Georgy's flatmate, as the sole survivor among the principal cast members.

      If you've ever seen the Twin Peaks prequel, Fire Walk With Me, I think you'll agree that the sound of Link Wray's "Rumble" would lend itself perfectly to the strobe lit atmosphere of the boozy dance lounge at One Eyed Jacks.

      Ana, you've become a treasured friend and I thank you very much for coming over and enjoying what I have to offer. Have a wonderful Sunday evening and a safe and happy week ahead!

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  3. Hi dear Tom. I knew you said you would be posting on Sunday, so here I am! As Shelly said, I do hope that you and Mrs S are doing okay over there, although I realize that it is very early days yet my friend. Good that you had a break out of town though, and a lovely touch regarding Toto's ashes. I hadn't heard of the other artists, but it was SO good to read about the Seekers and hear their records again. I've actually got I'll Never Find Another You on my jukebox, but my favourite was The Carnival is Over. Didn't they re-form some years later (not the same line up I don't think) as The New Seekers? You're right though, Judith had such a pure voice. Times have indeed changed! Eeeek! Take care my friend.

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    1. Hallo, dear Thisisme, and thank you so much for coming by! Little by little Mrs. Shady and I are coming to accept the loss of our beloved pet and realizing that, in choosing to end her life, we did the right thing at the right time. I very much appreciate your concern and your prayers during this hard time.

      I invite you to view the beautiful color video of the Seekers performing your favorite song of theirs "The Carnival Is Over."

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4ZipKdI1sY

      You're right. In 1968, Judith left the Seekers to begin a solo singing career. The following year, Keith Potger formed a group with a different lineup called the New Seekers which mixed folk music with rock. The New Seekers had several hits in the early 70s including "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing," an adaptation of the famous Coke commercial jingle. The New Seekers disbanded in 1974 but reformed with various lineups well into the new millennium.

      The original lineup of the Seekers including Judith Durham reunited in the early 90s and also performed together into the new millennium.

      Thank you again ever so much, dear Thisisme, for popping in for a look and a listen. I hope the sun was shining brightly over there today and that you and Alfred and your entire family are in good health and in good spirits. I'll talk to you again soon, my dear friend!

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  4. Tom, so glad you're back! I hope you're doing OK. I still don't have my computer back so I can't listen to the cool stuff on this post. Hopefully by tomorrow! I'll be back to listen, enjoy, and report back!

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    1. Hi, YaYa! My goodness, I'm so sorry you're still out of commission. I know how frustrated you must be by now. Hopefully the down time won't last very much longer and you'll be back to full service blogging. Thanks for the poke. Have a great day up your way and I hope to see you again soon, dear friend YaYa!

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  5. I really enjoyed this post, I just love the Seekers and the Impressions. How funny that Link Wray's song was banned, if only the people who banned it could hear what's being played on the radio now! x

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    1. Hi, dear Sarah! I'm so pleased to see you and to find out that you love two of my featured music acts. It is my belief that one cannot feel depressed or entertain evil thoughts while listening to the pure, uplifting voices of the Seekers. I wish more songs like theirs reached the top of the chart in the modern world.

      I agree with your observation about Link Wray's instrumental. Radio stations arbitrarily and unjustly banned many great recordings back then. As I like to put it, gangsta rap was still light years away.

      Thank you very much for delighting me with your visit and comment, dear Sarah. Have a wonderful day over there in England, my friend!

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  6. Old school most definitely is cool Tom! Of course I know Link Wray and his famous Rumble, what a guitarist he was! My mam was a huge fan of the New Seekers formed from the original Seekers back when she was a girl. So I know of them through her.

    I hope you had a nice break from the world of blogging, I was thinking of you hoping you and Mrs Shady were okay. The past few days have been difficult as it was my grandfather's birthday yesterday. As our birthdays are so close together it was always a happy time, but now it is bittersweet. Loss is never easy Tom and my heart is with you and Mrs Shady.

    Hope you had a lovely weekend,

    Emma x

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    1. Hi, dear Emma! You are very sweet for expressing all that. I know you are still gloomy over the loss of your grandfather and it's a shame that sad anniversary falls so close to your birthday celebration.

      The break from blogging was just what I needed to regain my balance. Mrs. Shady and I traveled for three days and the change of scene was beneficial to us both.

      Groups like the Seekers and the New Seekers strove to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. I wish there were more mainstream artists, groups and bands doing the same today.

      Thank you very much for your caring thoughts and words, dear friend Emma, and for your cheery visit today. I wish you a super week ahead and a happy birthday Thursday!

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  7. I so enjoyed hearing 'The Seekers' again! You are right, the "purity of their voices" is wonderful to hear. They were a terrific group. I well remember 'Georgy Girl', both the movie and the song. I just watched Charlotte Rampling on TV the other night. I can't remember what she was in, but I thought of 'Georgy Girl' right away. It was the first movie I ever saw her in.
    I was surprised at how much I liked, 'Pillow Talk'. Sylvia was a beauty too. I'm glad you got away for a few days. It is helpful to do that when you are feeling sad. God bless.

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    1. Hi, dear Belle! In 1980, Charlotte Rampling co-starred in Woody Allen's Stardust Memories, but the performance of hers that had the greatest impact on me was her next film, the powerful courtroom drama The Verdict, in which she played a mysterious seductress who caused struggling lawyer Paul Newman to let down his guard.

      I'm glad you mentioned the late Sylvia Robinson, an artist whose recording career took her from innocent 50s R&B to the slick, sophisticated and sensual sounds of the 70s. Along with her early disco release "Pillow Talk" featured here, Sylvia and her record company All Platinum were responsible for another memorable disco single, "Shame Shame Shame" by Shirley & Company which came close to the top 10 in 1975.

      Thank you very much for stopping in for a visit and for your thoughtful comments, dear friend Belle. Enjoy the rest of your day and week!

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  8. Its so nice to read everyone's comments about The Seekers! How happy to know that their music had penetrated the globe and is now remembered by young and old! I think thanks in part to the movie Georgie Girl, but also because of their clean and upbeat harmonies. Judith Durham recently had a stroke but she is doing better now.
    When you think about it, Link Ray's song is quite suggestive. The slow and twangy (?) guitar would certainly drive girls mad and their mothers to the brink. No wonder they banned it. But Im glad its back now!

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    1. Good morning to you, dear Catherine! You're up bright and early, my friend, and I'm very happy to see you. It's good to know that Judith Durham, one of your national treasures, is on the road to recovery.

      It's hard to decide which was more popular - Georgy Girl the movie or the song but both made a big impact here in the states.

      I agree that Link Ray's "Rumble" is the kind of tough tune that would have made parents of the Fifties want to lock up their daughters to prevent them from falling under its influence. I can't listen to it without thinking of Laura Palmer and Donna Hayward on the dance floor at One Eyed Jacks.

      Thank you very much for coming by, Cat. I wish you a happy Tuesday, dear friend!

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  9. Good Evening Shady, so good to see you. I'm going to have to get down to business with Link Wray! As soon as I started your video, chills ran up my spine...I do, do, and do remember this song, and, even tho an instrumental, it was great!

    And, the Seekers were just as yu said. Judith's voice was so (well, I can't give it a justifiable name), but, it is fantastic!. And, the group as a whole was so tight! Yes, youth, clarity, and happiness ring true with their perfect harmonies! Their body language and stage presence was so natural, seemed effortless! I really like Georgy Girl!

    But, I didn't recognize the tunes from the Impressions...hmmm! I must have been paying more attention to the Temps and James Brown!

    Sylvia Robinson and Mickey were good, but I didn't realize she went on and became a record producer...such a great accomplishment for a woman in those days!

    So, my friend, a cool and informative post! Thanks for the Link Wray memories-what a great sound!

    I hope you and Mrs. Shady are faring some better since your loss. It's so hard, and like you said, you have a 'new' normal life to adjust to. I'm glad the two of you took a break, giving you a chance to regroup. Again, I am so sorry, and, am still keeping you in my thoughts! Welcome back Shady! ♫

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    1. Oh, thank you very much, dear sweet Suzanne! Hour by hour and day by day we are adjusting to life w/o our Toto. As our good friend Thisisme always says, "Onward and upward."

      Can't you just picture a pack of bikers riding into town on their Harleys when you listen to "Rumble." I can also imagine it being played at a burlesque show. As I noted in the post, it's also the type of music David Lynch was fond of using in his dark productions.

      It's funny how "Rumble" was banned by some radio stations in 1958 but 15 years later, nobody seemed worried about Sylvia's steamy "Pillow Talk" record.

      Those two Impressions recordings were known and loved by Dell rats but didn't perform well on the national chart (#113 and #99). That probably explains why they aren't familiar to you.

      I'm delighted you found so much to sink your teeth into, dear friend Suzanne. Thank you very much for coming over for a look and a listen. I hope you and Karo and Scootie are all doing well and that you have a safe and happy week ahead!

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  10. Kathleen Mae SchneiderAugust 12, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    The songs you've brought to us today Tom are truly genuine and authentic! For late, late bloomers like myself, they are so refreshing and full of hope, not just because they remind me of times gone by, but also because they are classics for all times.

    The musicality of the Seekers and Judith Durham's voice, so radiant and rich in tone, prove that special effects aren't needed to achieve perfection. I remember their songs and even her voice but never knew her name. I'm so glad you introduced her to me!

    When in college, I picked up an interest in folk music, and it was a perfect transition from the classical music that dominated my teen years. A lot of the Seekers' harmonies are reminiscent of some of my favorites from Peter, Paul and Mary.

    Wanting to learn more about Judith, I checked out her website and noticed that she began as a classical and ragtime pianist. Such a gifted woman! She also is vegetarian, and follows a lifestyle I admire.

    While I wasn't familiar with the Impressions or Sylvia Robinson, I can imagine the sound of their voices mixed with those of all the couples in the dimly-lit dance hall or under the stars and colored strings of lights outside at the Dell. It must have been such a perfect environment for dancing and the romance that such songs as "Grow Closer Together", "The Minstrel and the Queen" and "Pillow Talk" fostered.

    As for Link Wray, is he ever given the proper credit for his contributions to the world of rock music? Too often, others take such originality and build on it, making it their own. Its creator is soon forgotten. Link is another artist I need to learn more about.

    Wow, have I got a lot of catching up to do! I'm glad it's not too late!

    I found this during my research tonight on these artists and think it is a perfectly-matched theme for SDM&M:

    MUSIC IN OUR HEART BRINGS LOVE TO THE WORLD AND
    MUSIC IN THE WORLD BRINGS LOVE TO OUR HEART
    ~Judith Durham OAM

    Thanks for the summer school lesson, Shady!

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    1. Hello and good morning, dear Kathleen! If the tables are turned and I am teaching you, then this mega comment of yours is the shiniest red apple I have ever received. (I only hope there isn't a tack on my chair when I sit down! :)

      By now you know I have eclectic tastes. Lately I've been tuned in and turned on to heavy metal, albeit only the kind that seeks to empower the individual and fight against social injustice. That said, the rudder always turns eventually and I find myself gravitating back to the pure and simple, the sweet and innocent - songs like "I'll Never Find Another You" and "Queen Majesty."

      I agree that the sound produced by the Judith Durham lineup of Seekers brings to mind Peter, Paul and Mary, the famous folk trio whose recording career paralleled that of the Seekers. Twenty years ago Mrs. Shady and I saw Peter, Paul and Mary in concert here in Florida. It was a marvelous show and I am still saddened by the death of Mary Travers coming up on four years ago.

      I often find that the songs I embed in a current post replay in my mind throughout the week. I hope I have implanted one or to in your mind and that they will serve to brighten your days. Songs can be tools to help or weapons to destroy. We all need to choose wisely which ones fill our hearts and minds each day.

      Thank you very much, Kathleen, for taking the time to visit, read, listen, do some research on the side, collect your thoughts and write an outstanding comment. As a blog host I could never ask for more. Take care, my dear friend!

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  11. welcome back Tom! thanks for your comment on my blog, and for sharing another great post on music. I enjoyed Georgy Girl very much, it reminded me of the music I listened at the Summer Jamboree!
    have a nice week

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    1. Hello, dear Katia, and thank you! "Georgy Girl" has an irresistible melody that can't help but lift the spirits. I'm happy to know you like it as much as I do.

      I wish I could have attended that Jamboree and seen all the vintage automobiles and authentic period clothing styles and listened to the rockabilly music. It sounds like you had lots of fun there and I know you'll want to attend and stay longer next year.

      Thank you again for your visit and kind comments, dear Katia. Good night to you in Italy, my sweet friend!

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  12. The songs that you mentioned were written by Bob Dylan bring a question to mind. How many people/groups have recorded and had hit songs written by Dylan? The other down under female, ONJ, did "If Not For You" and counts as one. The answer to the question must be a high number. Even the Mag Men did Dylan. LOL

    Jerre

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    1. Hi, Jerre! You asked the following question: How many people/groups have recorded and had hit songs written by Bob Dylan?

      The answer, my friend,
      is blowin' in the wind.
      The answer is blowin' in the wind. :)

      It's safe to say there are more hit songs by Dylan than there are grains of sand on all the beaches on earth. To quote Dr. Carl Sagan, there are "billions and billions." :)

      I read that Olivia Newton-John is still actively performing but needed to postpone engagements this year due to the death of her sister.

      I'm very happy to see you here, good buddy. It gives me a chance to tell you to stay tuned for another "doo-wop till you drop record hop" coming soon to station SDMM. Be here or be squeer! Enjoy the rest of your week, Jerre!

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  13. Hallo again dear friend. I did see it a couple of days ago, but thank you so much for putting up the link for The Carnival is Over. I really enjoyed it and have listened to it several times. Emma tells me that Alfred is right as rain again now, so long may it continue ! Take care.

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    1. Thanks a million, dear Thisisme! Usually the word "rain" in your messages is bad news but this rain reference makes me very happy indeed. I hope you are right as rain, too, whilst basking in the Devon sunshine. Blessings, hugs and smooches, dear friend!

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  14. Oh yes. Hubby and I really liked Peter Paul and Mary and had their LP. I'm sure it's probably still up in the loft! I think I know two little people who would probably love Puff the Magic Dragon!!

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    1. That's a wonderful idea, Thisisme! Get that album out and play it for Eli and Ruby next time they visit. I'm sure they'll enjoy those timeless folk songs by PP&M. At the very least you could buy the "Puff" single and install it on your jukebox.

      Thank you for being such a great friend, dear Diane, and have a splendid afternoon!

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  15. Someone might know the answer to the Dylan question, but It Ain't Me Babe!

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