|Judith Durham — So Much More (June 29th, 2018)|
Judith Durham — So Much More (June 29th, 2018)
Birth name: Judith Mavis Cock
Born: July 3, 1943 in Essendon, Victoria, Australia
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Album release: June 29th, 2018
Record Label: Decca/Universal
01 It Takes What It Takes 3:59
02 You Are My Star 4:13
03 Time Has Come to Part 5:00
04 Bluer Than Blue 4:15
05 We’re Back Together Again 3:47
06 Follow Me 2:52
07 Anchor of My Life 3:35
08 Seven Bridges Road 3:51
09 Walk On 4:47
10 Under the Southern Cross 4:02
11 Come On Over to Our House 3:40
12 I Never Knew My Daddy 3:06
13 All You Have to Do 4:04
14 So Much More 2:16
℗ 2018 Musicoast Pty Ltd, under exclusive licence to Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd
ANDREW MCMILLEN, The Australian, 12:00 AM June 30, 2018.
→ Just the other day, Judith Durham received a letter from a young fan who singled out a song named Sister Kate (I Wish I Could Shimmy Like) as his favourite. Durham covered the track, which was first published in 1919, on a 1974 album of traditional jazz numbers named The Hottest Band in Town Collection.
→ Yet here was a boy near the start of his life, taking the time to thank one of Australia’s greatest artists for a stirring vocal performance captured on record more than four decades earlier. Durham relates this story with a smile, tickled to her bones at the way in which great music, words and melodies can leap between generations, as if no time at all has passed between then and now.
→ “He was writing me to say he absolutely loves it. I know I’ve loved it; I’ve danced around the room with Ron when the album was first being recorded,” says Durham, referring to her husband and musical director Ron Edgeworth, who died in 1994.
→ “That’s a whole chapter of my life, but to think that a 10 year~old is discovering those records? It’s the most mind~boggling thrill. Here I am, at nearly 75, and I still don’t know who my actual audience is.”
→ There’s something deeply funny about this remark, for her audience is, essentially, everyone.
→ As the singer of folk group the Seekers, Durham was among Australia’s first pop stars. After forming the group in Melbourne, Durham and her three bandmates travelled to Britain, where they performed incessantly, recorded six albums, periodically outsold the likes of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and became the first Australian group to achieve a No 1 hit in the US with Georgy Girl — all in the space of six remarkable years.
→ Durham called time on her role in the group in 1968 and pursued a successful solo career. In 1993, the group reunited for a silver jubilee tour to celebrate 25 years since their final performance. In 2013, their golden jubilee tour celebrated 50 years since the four members began playing music together in December 1962.
→ Now, on the eve of her own diamond jubilee — 75 years since the birth of a girl gifted with what Elton John once described as “the purest voice in popular music” — Durham has released So Much More, a collection of 14 songs, some of whose origins date back decades.
→ As many creative people can attest, deadlines can be extraordinarily helpful — so long as the time constraints do not compromise the quality of the outcome, of course.
→ That was the case here, too, as her upcoming birthday gave her the impetus for revisiting and revising the material. The title track, for instance, had been gathering proverbial dust in a bottom drawer since it was first recorded in 1967 but never released.
→ “It’s quite incredible that the 75th birthday has been the catalyst for it having to be finished, if it’s ever going to have a life,” says Durham. “I was always doing other projects, and never quite got back to this material. The Seekers toured, Judith toured, broken hips — God knows what. It’s amazing I’m still alive. There’s always too much to do. I just can’t keep track because it’s a very creative life.”
→ Durham is a sharp conversationalist and enjoys casting her mind back through a life in music. On the rare occasions that her memory fails her during an hour~long chat with Review, it is only for a moment, and it comes with a caveat: “This is a girl with a brain haemorrhage, you’ve got to realise!” she says with the laugh of one who has been tested, and passed with flying colours.
→ That frightful event occurred in May 2013, just hours after the first show of the golden jubilee tour in Melbourne. Music fans held their collective breath as she recuperated and the Australian shows were rescheduled for November, followed by a run of British dates.
→ Five years later, Durham is not only still here but also thriving. “My heart is full of music and lyrics, both,” she says.
→ Still, that transition from singer to singer~songwriter has been the cause of severe doubt during her career.
→ “The very first song I ever wrote on my own was called Let Me Find Love,” she says. “I’d been to a meeting, which was inspirational. I woke up the next morning with the idea of what the meeting had been all about.
→ “I had the melody and words in my head, and I said to my husband: ‘Have you ever heard this before?’ I sang it to him, and he said he hadn’t. I thought: ‘Oh, well, maybe I’ve written a song.’ ”
→ “I had no confidence,” she adds. “All I knew was that I was coming up with songs. After I’d written about 12, I said to Ron: ‘Do you think maybe I’m a songwriter?’ ”
→ She laughs. “It’s just peculiar how life takes me. I’ve always been very insecure.”
→ “Other people have given me the reassurance to continue because other people have enjoyed what I’m doing. I’m just so thrilled to have been of value in my life, that I have this purpose — to create and sing music.”
→ As shown on the new collection — a sparkling set that includes songs co~written with Edgeworth, who died of motor neurone disease, in the track All You Have to Do, as well as her Seekers bandmate Keith Potger in We’re Back Together Again — her value has not diminished in the slightest.
→ And on Tuesday Durham will celebrate 75 years of life, her heart still full of music and lyrics, both. ■♠■ https://www.theaustralian.com.au/
About Judith Durham
■♠■ Judith Durham is best known internationally for the four years she spent in the 1960s as the lead singer for the Seekers, the Australian~spawned folk quartet that, at one point, rivalled the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in chart records. Her own taste in music, before and since her involvement with the Seekers, however, runs more toward old~time jazz and big~band blues — left to her own devices, Durham showed herself more attuned to the work of Bessie Smith or Billie Holiday, or Helen Morgan, than Mary Travers or Joan Baez, and she also knows how to write a good song, and what made the best songs of the 1920s and ‘30s tick — in an ideal world, she would’ve been in (and on the soundtracks of) the TV version of Pennies from Heaven or The Singing Detective. Her solo albums are few and far between, although they have begun appearing on compact disc, and she still records anew in the 1990s. ~ Bruce Eder
Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks
Published 12:11 p.m. UTC Nov 17, 2017
|Judith Durham — So Much More (June 29th, 2018)|