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New Seekers 1970 line-up: Marty, Lyn, Peter, Eve and Paul in LondonWhen Peter joined the New Seekers the group had already been working together for several months.  The first line up was formed in 1969 and consisted of Keith Potger of the original Seekers, Eve Graham, Sally Graham, Chris Barrington, Laurie Heath and Marty Kristian.  Their intention was to carry on where the old Seekers had left off but it soon became obvious that the group was travelling a different road.  Sally, Chris and Laurie left to form their own group, Milkwood, and their places were taken in early 1970 by Lyn Paul, with whom Eve had previously worked in the Nocturnes, Peter Doyle and Paul Layton.

 

Eve Graham 1972This line-up brought their own individual talents to the group and they were soon established as a successful stage and cabaret act with their blend of music, singing, dancing and comedy.  Before long, Keith Potger dropped out of the group to concentrate on the management side of things.

In April and May of 1970 the New Seekers were appearing at both the Savoy Hotel and London Palladium and went on to a summer season in Great Yarmouth.  

 

Marty KristianThis was followed by a trip to the States to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show. Their single, What Have They Done to My Song Ma? achieved a moderate success in the UK but became a big hit in the US.  Before the end of the year the New Seekers returned to America for a second appearance with Ed Sullivan and also played on the Andy Williams Show.  This paved the way for a US concert tour between February and April in 1971.

Back in Britain they supported Neil Diamond at London's Royal Festival Hall and topped the bill at the London Palladium.

Peter, Marty, Eve, Lyn and PaulNever Ending Song of Love was a big summer hit for the group in 1971, reaching No. 2 on the BBC charts and staying there for 6 weeks.

On the 15th November the New Seekers took part in the Royal Variety Show and performed for the Queen.

Paul LaytonThey were enlisted to join the long list of acts who had made jingles for Coca-Cola and a number were made, three of them destined to become songs for New Seeker members.  The World I Wish For You found its way on to one of the group’s LPs.  It Ought to Sell a Million became a single for Lyn with Peter singing the backing in 1975 but I’d Like to Teach The World To Sing gave the New Seekers their biggest ever hit and at the end of 1971 it rocketed around the world!

 

Lyn PaulThe New Seekers were still enjoying this success when they took part in the Eurovision Song Contest.  This involved them in appearances on the Cliff Richard Show, where they sang the selection of entries for the viewers to choose and also took part in sketches.  The chosen entry was Beg, Steal or Borrow with Peter and Lyn singing the lead parts.  The contest was held in Edinburgh before an estimated world wide TV audience of 43 million and the New Seekers entry took second place and provided the New Seekers with another highly successful single.

The New Seekers at the Royal Albert Hall in 1972The contest was followed by a major British Tour including an appearance at the Royal Albert Hall which provided the group’s Live Album and was also recorded for television.  In recent years this has been released in both video and DVD format.

By now the New Seekers were collecting awards and gold and silver discs by the armful.  They returned to the States to make a TV series called “WOW!” to be shown whilst the Sonny  and Cher Show took a summer break and then it was back to the UK for a month’s cabaret and to release their next single Circles which went to no 4 in the UK charts.

 

This was followed by tours in Germany and the States when they also had their first American recording sessions and a return to Britain in time to take part in the BBC's 50th Birthday celebrations in October.  Different performers represented the different decades and the New Seekers sang a medley of songs from the 1950's.

Then it was back to the States for more appearances.  November saw them touring in New Zealand and Australia and Christmas saw them return to the States for a season in Disneyland.  At the beginning of 1973 they performed at President Nixon's inaugural ball.

Peter DoyleThe individual talents of the group started to be showcased in the release of singles featuring firstly Marty on Come Softly to Me and then Eve on Nevertheless.  Their next release proved to be another change of direction and Pinball Wizard/See Me, Feel Me provided them with another hit.

 

 

The New Seekers had a heavy schedule and were living in a goldfish bowl of publicity it was no wonder then that the pressures started to show.  Peter had often admitted to feeling restless whilst with the group and at the end of the next British tour in May 1973 he announced that he was leaving.

Peter Oliver was chosen to replace him and Peter Doyle appeared for the last time with the New Seekers on 15th June at Disneyland in Los Angeles.

 

Kathy Ann Rae

Twelve months later the group broke up but reformed again in 1976.  The new line-up included Eve Graham, Marty Kristian and Paul Layton.  They were joined by Danny Finn and Kathy Ann Rae.  Eve and Danny left in 1978 to get married and continued to sing sometimes as a duo and sometimes separately until Eve retired in 2000.  The group carried on and has continued to do so with various personnel changes, some members leaving but making occasional later appearances with the group.

 

Danny FinnKathy (now Cathy Logan) is one such singer who has sung with the New Seekers as recently as 2002 and Marty announced his retirement early in 2003.  Paul is the last remaining New Seeker working with the group from Peter Doyle’s years.  Lyn Paul is currently enjoying a career revival with parts in various stage musicals and Peter Oliver continues to perform with bands under his first name, Larry Oliver.

 

 

 

Updated 23.06.2009

 

Copyright © G. Taylor 2002 - 2011