Judith Durham Never Had a Wardrobe Malfunction



Judith Durham, Linda Ronstadt, Judith Durham Never Had a Wardrobe Malfunction

That’s what the title to this little soiree was supposed to look like, but I still can’t get this *~%/{|=&%< word processor to see things my way.

Judith Durham was my first choice to represent what I remember from my youth that was good , talented and wholesome in the music business, or at least as much as such qualities  are to be found in that field. Fear that the lead singer from the 60’s Australian folk group, The Seekers, might not be so well-known among younger people led me to settle on Ms. Ronstadt instead. The American Pop Icon and diva would surely be known to a larger audience, and her amazing performance as ‘Mabel’ in a production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s ‘Pirates of Penzance’  would rank her as one of the great voices of my book. But, having grown more cautious in the selection of my examples, I thought it might be prudent to see if Ms. Ronstadt had ever suffered a wardrobe malfunction before investing my hopes in her, and came upon this anecdote from  Leonard Cohen ;

As told by Penny Lane, hairstylist on The Johnny Cash Show

“At rehearsal, June [Carter Cash] noticed that Linda didn’t have any panties on, so she came running back to the dressing room, [saying], ‘Somebody get down the street and buy her some bloomers, she’s out there showing herself!’,” Lane claims. “When Linda was told she would have to wear underwear, she was very upset. She said, ‘I sing better bare-butted.’” June’s response at the time? “Not in front of my Johnny!”

While this might not be, strictly speaking a ‘Wardrobe Malfunction’, I think it eliminates Ms. Ronstadt as my example, so,


<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/MsgXbSUMzR4″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

The lead vocalist with the Australian group ‘The Seekers’, from their beginning in 1962 to her departure in 1968, Judith Durham was a classically trained pianist and vocalist with a pure, clear and pleasant soprano voice. She recorded in all genres; from jazz, folk, pop, gospel and ragtime.
The group got its big break and Judith’s voice began gathering its worldwide fan base with their recording of ‘Georgy Girl’, a lively tune from the movie of the same name.
On stage she almost always wore full length dresses and moved to the music with a very natural, unconscious sway that did not seem calculated or plotted to arouse but rather expressed a feel for the music and lyrics without detracting from them. With long auburn hair past her shoulders and bangs she was the personification of ‘The Girl Next Door’ you could bring home to mother.
With a string of hits in the first half of the decade;  A World of Our Own,  I’ll Never Find Another You, Morningtown Ride, The Carnival is Over, the group often placed at the top of the charts; one album bumped the Beatles out of first place.  But the Seekers spanned the period from bands that still wore suits to the Music as Rebellion period and came to be looked on as ‘Square’, a death sentence of that time.  One critic of that period described them as; “concentrated on a bright, uptempo sound, although they were too pop to be considered strictly folk and too folk to be rock.”
Here is a good example of the bands work;


I’ve always thought that claiming  anyone  has “The Greatest Voice in the World” is specious. The most beautiful female voice on earth is probably somewhere on the far side of N. Dakota singing to the horses. Having a good singing voice and being able to stand on a stage in front of thousands of strangers and perform to a high standard of quality are two different things.
Judith Durham had a very pleasing, distinctive voice that was instantly recognizable, you could not mistake her for anyone else. She could share that gift with an audience without the gimmicks and distractions that seem to be necessary to so many “Singers” today. She did not need ‘Wardrobe Malfunctions’ to hold your attention, she could do that  with melody and rhyme and the beauty of her voice.
And if that isn’t enough, the 45s were $0.98 and the albums $3.50.

P.S. At absolutely no extra charge, here’s a clip from a 1993 reunion, to see how well Ms. Durham ages.
Like fine wine.

P.P.S. I’ve noticed that a lot of searches that lead to this page are; ‘Judith Durham height’  The google results page for Judith Durham lists her height as 3’5″ which is surely an error of transposition, getting your numbers backwards. Judging from the photographs of Ms. Durham I would say 5’3″ looks about right.


Posted on October 21, 2012, in Where This Road Goes and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I agree fully. Judith Durham was, and still is, one of the greatest voices of all time. She is also a lady of class and a performer who achieved success while maintaining her status as a lady. Her parents and late husband would have been proud of who she has become.


  2. Masterful! That’s one I hadn’t heard before, and it ranks right up there with the Abbey Road studio session, where they recorded “I’ll Never Find Another You.”

    As for Judith, she’s my secret love from the ’60s — naturally sensuous without being overtly sexual, like a cat on the roof in moonlight.


  3. I did not know Judith Durham is a hobbit. But since she is near New Zealand, I should have guessed.


  4. more input….NEED MORE INPUT..INPUT…INPUT!!!


  5. This lady is absolutely amazing. I hope she gets well soon.


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