The morning I was due to call Judith Durham I couldn't get Hey There Georgy Girl out of my head. In fact, I broke into song a couple of times in the office.

I was looking forward to talking to the girl with all the long dark hair, whose incredible voice led the Seekers to fame and fortune in the mid '60s.

She's obviously not a girl anymore, but at 72 Durham is not finished yet.

She's rehearsing for her Farewell New Zealand Tour, a celebration of her incredible five decades in the music industry, which hits Napier on April 30 at the Municipal Theatre.


Durham told me she was very excited about the tour.

"I've had a marvellous long career. I started singing at two years old according to my mother, who told me that I could sing in perfect tune way back then."

She learned to play the piano at 11, encouraged by her parents who were "both musical. I wanted to be an opera singer, but was told I had to wait until I was 18 before I could train so that my voice matured."

Durham started singing traditional jazz when she was 18 and was offered a free trip from Australia to England.

In the middle of the Sixties The Seekers were at the top of the world charts time and time again - often outselling The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. "It was an amazing way to live."

She returned to Australia in August 1968 and appeared solo on television in September. During her solo career she released albums including For Christmas with Love, Gift of Song and Climb Ev'ry Mountain.

In 2000, Durham's album Let Me Find Love, which was a top ten hit on the Australian album charts, was re-released as Hold on to Your Dream, with the addition of Australia Land of Today (which she wrote).

She has performed thousands of times over the years. In 2013 Durham had a brain haemorrhage but this gutsy lady didn't let that stop her from returning to the stage. She says she never gets sick of hearing songs from the Sixties.


The Seekers first performed together in 1962. They became Australia's first international supergroup, topping charts around the world with hits like Georgy Girl The Carnival Is Over and I'll Never Find Another You

Famous for putting Australia on the international pop music map with their unique pop sound, singing in four-part harmony playing six and 12-string acoustic guitars and double bass, The Seekers still hold the record for the biggest concert crowd in the southern hemisphere - 200,000 - in March 1967.

The New Zealand tour, a special matinee series dedicated to her fans, will be the final chance to say goodbye to the real Georgy Girl live on stage.

- Saturday, April 30, 4.30-6.30pm. Tickets from 0800 TICKETEK (842 538).