From 1969 through to the present day the New Seekers have been through many line-ups. As one journalist put it: "Over the years, the group have seen more changes to their line-up than the Chelsea football team". The glory years came between 1970-74 and the line-ups that people remember most fondly are those that featured Lyn Paul, Peter Doyle, Peter Oliver and Eve Graham.
To find out more about each incarnation of the group click on the years listed in the table below.
Tell Me was one of the entries in the 1980Song For Europe contest and was favourite to win. However, the New Seekers had been spotted performing the song on another television programme before the contest (something not allowed by the rules) and the group was forced to withdraw. Victory went to Love Enough For Two, a song performed by ex-New Seeker Danny Finn and his group Prima Donna. In fourth place came I Want To Be Me by Pussyfoot, a group fronted by Donna Jones, who had sung with the New Seekers for a short while in 1979 and who would soon become a permanent member of the group.
The New Seekers continued to perform at cabaret venues across the UK and appeared on TV programmes such as The Basil Brush Show (15th December 1979, 5.15pm, BBC1) Rolf On Saturday OK? (12th April 1980, 5.25pm, BBC1 and 10th May, 5.50pm, BBC1), Cheggers Plays Pop (12th May, 4.20pm, BBC1) and The Big Top Variety Show (Thames Television). In addition to these the New Seekers recorded a 15 minute show for regional TV, Sounds of ... New Seekers, which was broadcast by Southern Television on 2nd February 1980 at 3.45pm and repeated in the Tyne Tees region on 24th March 1982 at 3.30pm.
Members of the group also found time for other projects - Caitriona topped the Irish Singles Chart with Viva Il Papa, a song to celebrate the Pope's visit to Ireland; Nicola and Caitriona recorded backing vocals for a Johnny Logan album and Brian wrote two songs for The Muppet Show.
Caitriona Walsh and Nicola Kerr (pictured above) departed the New Seekers in August 1980 amid newspaper headlines of a "cash row". In September Nicola began a new job as a TV presenter, hosting a show called Hot Shot for Ulster Television. Donna Jones stepped back into the breach and this time stayed for good. Kathy Ann Rae also returned to the line-up, but only on a part-time basis. In February 1981 she went to Finland to take up an engagement at the Hilton Hotel.
Pictured (left to right): Marty Kristian, Kathy Ann Rae, Donna Jones, Brian Engel and Paul Layton.
The New Seekers took the opportunity of a changed line-up to make a few changes to their live act. Added to their repertoire was a cover version of Crystal Gayle'sWhy Have You Left The One You Left Me For? and I Want To Be Me, the song Donna Jones had sung with Pussyfoot in the 1980 Song For Europe. Following the murder of John Lennon the group also added a Lennon tribute - a medley of Imagine and Give Peace A Chance.
On 6th April 1981 the New Seekers began a six-week tour of Russia. The tour (53 dates in all) took the group to Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and Baku. Marty Kristian stayed behind in the UK for ten days to be with his wife Carol and their new son Jamie. Mick Flinn took Marty's place until he arrived and can be heard on the live recording of the New Seekers' concert in Moscow. This was released in the USSR later in 1981 as an album, Live In Moscow. Another album of studio recordings, Tell Me, was released in the USSR the following year.
In 1981 Marty, Mick and Brian set up their own record label, Megaphone, and recorded a single together as The News. The trio's single, Boomerang (MEGA 1), was distributed to DJs but was never released.
Pictured (left to right): Paul Layton, Mick Flinn (back), Donna Jones (front) and Marty Kristian.
And then there were four! With Brian Engel spending more and more time in Los Angeles, Mick Flinn began to stand in for him at New Seekers' gigs. The New Seekers performed in the UK as a foursome, with Kathy Ann Rae joining the group for Christmas / New Year engagements in Singapore and Bangkok in 1982 / 83.
At the end of 1981 the New Seekers dropped Circles and Why Have You Left The One You Left Me For? from their live act, adding in their place the Peggy Lee number Woman and Kirsty MacColl'sThere's A Guy Works Down The Chipshop Swears He's Elvis. Early in 1982 a Rod Stewart Medley was added to the act, featuring Marty and Donna singing I Don't Want To Talk About It and First Cut Is The Deepest. Later in the year the Tammy Wynette hit, Stand By Your Man was also added (Donna and Mick had previously performed this song with Springfield Revival).
In 1983 one of Marty Kristian's songs, Love On Your Mind, was selected as an entry for the Song For Europe contest. Co-written with Trevor Spencer, the song was performed by Audio and featured Kathy Ann Rae on lead vocal. The contest, which was held on 24th March, was won by Sweet Dreams singing I'm Never Giving Up.
In August 1983 the New Seekers recorded an appearance on the Channel 4 pop programme Unforgettable. The programme was eventually broadcast on 8th March 1986.
Pictured (left to right): Donna Jones, Paul Layton, Mick Flinn
and Marty Kristian.
In April 1984Kathy Ann Rae was pregnant and unable to accompany the other members of the group on a trip to Kuala Lumpa. Jilly Franklin, who had previously sung with a group called Lips, took Kathy's place for these shows.
The New Seekers continued for the most part as a foursome. On 23rd June they appeared at a charity concert to celebrate the NSPCC's 100th anniversary. The concert was held at the Brighton Centre in the presence of Princess Margaret. "Her smile rarely disappeared", reported the Daily Mirror, "in fact, it grew even wider when she led the clapalong cabaret by the New Seekers. Princess Margaret was on her feet, hands high above her head as soon as the group asked the audience to join in".
During 1984 the New Seekers released an album in the UK, 15 Great Hits, which featured re-recordings of their hits from the '70s. The album also included four newer recordings - Forever On My Mind, Runaway, Shambala and Star. A double cassette, Greatest Hits ... Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, was also released featuring these recordings, with room for six more of the group's newer songs - The Father, The Son And The Undermined Magician, Hello, It Won't Be The Same, Moving Sensation, The Power Of Love and Stay. In Australia they released a double album with The Seekers, Something Old, Something New, which included one LP of songs by The Seekers and another LP of songs by the New Seekers. In 1985 Marty, Paul, Mick and Donna released a Christmas single called Let The Bells Ring Out Forever.
In March 1987 the New Seekers joined a host of other stars on the Ferry Aid charity single Let It Be. The single was produced by Stock, Aitken and Waterman. It entered the UK Singles Chart on 4th April 1987 and spent seven weeks in the Top 75, including 3 weeks at number 1. Proceeds from the sale of the single were donated to families affected by the Zeebrugge ferry disaster. In 1987 the New Seekers also appeared on a TV programme hosted by Roger Whittaker. Filmed at the Ulster Hall, Belfast and produced for Ulster Television, the broadcast featured Paul, Donna, Marty and Mick backed by the Grosvenor High School Choir and five male voice choirs. The group performed Walking In Jerusalem and Tom Paxton'sPeace Will Come, and were then joined by Roger Whittaker for the finalé, Rock Of Ages.
During the 1980s a group calling itself the New Seekers played at venues in the USA, performing the hits of The Seekers and other vocal harmony groups. The group released an album We're Teaching The World To Sing (Tralen NS 1001). At the time the album was recorded the seven-strong line-up was comprised of three women and four men: Pam DeWitt, Nancy Meunier and Shari Trent; Greg Frantz, Dan Hayes, Rich Hudson and Joe Morgan. Imitation may well be the sincerest form of flattery but, as the Coke commercial says, you can't beat the real thing!
We're Teaching The World To Sing
Side 1: Mamas and Papas Medley: Dancin' In The Streets / Go Where You Wanna Go | Mini Seekers Medley: Another You / (We'll Build) A World Of Our Own | Peter, Paul and Mary Tribute: 500 Miles / Puff The Magic Dragon / Blowin' In The Wind / If I Had A Hammer | Celebration Package: Free Ride / Celebration / Celebrate Side 2: Kingston Trio Salute: Greenback Dollar / Little Maggie / Worried Man | That Cat Is High | (Never Thought) I Could Feel This Way Again | Seekers Gold Overture | The Devil Went Down To Georgia
Executive Producer: Leonard A. Urso Produced by: Daniel S. Hixon and Leonard A. Urso Engineered by: Mark MacLean Recorded at: Sunset Recording in Countryside, Illinois