Music is her food of love
By Derek Mead
I am fully convinced that one day soon, I will find a new door within my house that, when opened, will give me direct immediate access back to the year 1965 unquestionably the finest in the popular music era.
In particular, 1965 is the year in which Judith Durham and The Seekers arrived in my home town of Bournemouth for a summer season at the Pavilion Theatre. During that summer, my eyes and ears absorbed a style and sound of music and song that was to remain with me for the next 52 years.
The music was, of course, to supplement the greatest ever female singing voice in popular music – that of Judith Durham. She sang a mixture of gospel jazz and modern folk, which I cannot define precisely, except to say that the world loved it, and more importantly, loved Judith.
I was privileged to first meet her in that wonderful year, and although Judith is quite small in stature, she surrounded me and many others with her sound, her personality and her pure happiness, so that I could not escape, and have never looked elsewhere for my music. She did not remain in Bournemouth for very long but left to conquer the world, and as best I could, I followed her travels attending as many concerts as possible. I collected theatre programmes, magazines, photographs, books and ephemera, which I will always treasure and while doing so, I became aware of an ‘army’ of similarly-minded people moving in the same direction.
Obviously, I also collected her music, and that collection allows me to have Judith Durham concerts at home with just myself in the audience, selecting the menu of songs, and while in my car, travelling Europe for my sports reporting assignments, Judith is always with me.
I have left CDs in many European countries, particularly
Poland and the Netherlands, for the local population to enjoy. The albums I most frequently listen to are from Judith ‘Gift of Song’ and ‘Epiphany’, and from The Seekers ‘Future Road’ and ‘World of our Own’.
The two songs I love the most are ‘Far Shore’ and ‘Shores of Avalon’. I firmly believe ‘Future Road’ is the finest album produced by any group. For me, all of this is no obsession but merely a way of enjoying my musical life to the full, while at the same time letting Judith know of my total admiration for all she has achieved, and also my complete respect for her.
Thank God she came to England!
To add to her music output, and needless to say to my music collection, in late 2016 she released a most unusual and personal album called ‘An A CAPPELLA experience’, with a CD presenting ‘Songs recorded in a studio setting on Sunday mornings’, and a DVD ‘Up Close and Personal’ with songs and poems recorded live at the Melbourne Recital Centre.
The way to listen to and watch this album is in a comfortable chair in a quiet room and then Judith is in that room with you. It is a wonderful achievement for her to have produced such a remarkable selection of songs and poems, many of her own, and it is essential that all of her worldwide fans are in possession of a copy.
So this is my personal Judith Durham story which has given me so much pleasure in life. How wonderful it would be to find the door and pass through it back to 1965, and then start the entire sequence of events all over again with Judith and The Seekers arriving and setting new musical heights.
If this were to happen, I would not change one single item on the journey.