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Peter Doyle

Peter Doyle

Peter Doyle
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Famous Deaths:
13th October

Famous Deaths:

Peter Doyle

Peter Doyle

Peter Doyle

New Seekers

New Seekers

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New Seekers: Peter Doyle

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This page is presented as a tribute to the late, great Peter Doyle, a member of the New Seekers from 1970-73.

Peter died from cancer on 13th October 2001. His funeral was held on Monday, 22nd October 2001 at 2.00pm at the E.J. Thompson Memorial Parlour, 123 Moyston Street, Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia. Peter is buried at Muckleford Cemetery.

When news of Peter's death reached his fans many sent e-mail messages to the Lyn Paul website to express their sorrow at his passing. Peter's wife, Jane Doyle, sent a message in response, in which she said: "I would like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts at this time."

If you would like to honour Peter's life donations can be made to “The Cancer Council Victoria”

The Cancer Council Victoria,
1 Rathdowne Street,
Carlton South,
3053 Victoria,

Telephone: (03) 9279 1111


For more information about Peter's life and music follow the links below:

Fans' Favourites
In Memoriam
Photo Album
Further Reading
Heroes and Hand-me-downs
This and That


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In Memoriam

I am always grieved when a man of real talent dies, for the world needs such men more than heaven does.
Georg Christopher Lichtenberg

What we do for ourselves dies with us;
what we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.
Albert Pike

Milesago Obituaries: Peter Doyle


I think Peter, with his rock star voice and looks, did so much for the group's credibility. His range was awesome. I am a singer but I could not get close to a lot of what he did. His humour also seemed most real.

Steve Bagnall

There was so much left to do - the songs we now cannot write, the shows that will never be performed. Entertainment has lost one of its kindest, most gentle souls. I have lost my friend.

John Cartwright (ex-Playboys)

Peter Doyle was one of the greatest male singing voices of the 70's. His unique vocal style and tone quality undoubtedly helped the New Seekers to become one of the UK's most successful bands of the 70's. His voice was powerful and his writing style extremely well crafted and I believe under appreciated.

Brad Church

Behind Peter's boyish charm and kindheartedness lay a restless spirit that was always striving to conquer new horizons. Yet in his short life he achieved more than many in the music world could ever dream of. His wonderful voice, coupled with an extraordinary musical talent, has left an indelible mark on us all. I, for one, will miss you, Peter.

Colin Cook

As a little girl living in Melbourne in the late 1950s I remember looking forward to every Saturday night at about 6.00pm when Swallows Juniors would come on with Brian Taylor. I will never forget when Peter Doyle joined and I remember him clearly singing I've Gotta Travel On. I thought he was the best looking boy I had ever seen and his voice was fantastic. After seeing him the first night I never missed Swallows Juniors and looked forward every Saturday night to seeing him. Many years later when I found out he was in the New Seekers, I was thrilled to come across an old flame again. Tonight, playing on the computer and looking up the New Seekers, I feel very sad in finding out about Peter's death. Although I never ever saw him, he is part of my past and I will never forget him. Sincere condolences to his family and all of his friends

Judy Ferguson (Wednesday, 5th November 2003)

I rediscovered Peter Doyle and the New Seekers again earlier this year, in a record store in Cologne. The German Phillips' Greatest Hits album has several of Peter's early songs, as well as Sweet Louise (in my opinion one of his best vocal performances). It prompted me to dig out the records I started collecting at the age of 12 and I realised that Peter had actually been my stepping stone from pop to rock.

From 12 to 14 I heard the New Seekers on the radio, saw them on TV and in concert a few times; more importantly I bought their albums and heard Peter's own songs, on which he was clearly trying to push at the boundaries of what the group was supposed to be doing. His voice had that raw edge that's so essential in rock, and his songs were closer to those of the classic singer-songwriters of the time than to pop. I remember at the time reading somewhere that Eve (or perhaps more likely, the group's PR Managers) thought he would one day become as well respected as Neil Young. Sadly, that never happened and we lost sight of Peter.

The New Seekers lost an essential part of the mix when Peter left (and in my opinion only really came close to achieving what they were capable of when they worked again with David Mackay on Anthem). I picked up both Friday On My Mind and the Skin Deep album in the late '70s, and still enjoy them, though by then (as now) my musical needs were being satisfied by bands such as The Moody Blues, Eagles etc. Perhaps I would have got there anyway, but the New Seekers taught me to love harmony and Peter taught me to love sensitive, well crafted songs. I felt a great sense of loss on reading about his death. I was particularly sad that he should have lost his voice during his long illness; Peter's voice opened my ears.

Mike Holland

The New Seekers and especially Peter Doyle played a very special part in my life. I have so many treasured memories of Peter and I would like to say - "Peter, you'll always have a place in my heart. I'll never forget you or your music. God bless."

Judy Illing

Very recently found out about Peter Doyle's death and I was devastated. During the early to mid '70s he was the real "love of my life" and I have often wondered what he was doing and where he was. What a loss to the music business and especially to all his family and friends. I feel a great sense of loss even though I never knew him - the nearest I got was handing him a Christmas card through a car window at the Hammersmith Odeon (I was one who didn't get into the Hammersmith Apollo in 1972!!). I did meet the group after he left and was able to ask Marty about Peter then.

I recently found one of the rubbishy poems I used to write when I was a young teenager - they meant something to me anyway:

My mum is always nagging,
She goes on all day long,
And I can never see the point
Of her boring little song.
She really gets so heated,
Almost fit to boil,
Just 'cos I keep talking
About Peter - Peter Doyle."

Never to be forgotten.

Jan Kelsey

Although I never met Peter, he and Lyn and the other New Seekers were such a big part of my teenage years that I feel real sorrow at his passing. Peter wrote some fantastic songs - I Can Say You're Beautiful and Sailor Man are the two I most often find myself humming. And that voice - just amazing! With his passing a part of my own life has also been lost. Just keep on sailing, Sailor Man ...

Steve Liddle

I have enjoyed Peter's music for the past 30 years. I only saw him live with the New Seekers in England but sensed he was a really sensitive, beautiful person ... I will always remember him. The New Seekers were the first group I saw live and the first band I followed. Their music and his voice will always be with me - songs like When There's No Love Left, Beg Steal Or Borrow, Pinball Wizard and his humourous When I Was Small.

Alan Lucas

Peter's illness spanned a period of two years. He went from the depths, to hope and then no hope. The preceding three years were just great. I re-formed the Virgil Brothers for a series of concerts, finally culminating in a huge show at the Glass House, where Peter performed to his fans and his peer group, firstly as one of the Virgil Brothers and then in his own right as one of the great legends of the Sixties. I have never heard him sing better and the applause was deafening. Peter Doyle was much loved as a singer but, above all, he was a brilliant guitarist. It's hard to believe he's gone at the age of 52.

Greg Lynch (film-maker, historian and Peter's friend)

I first met Peter in 1975 ... I rang him up and asked if I could possibly have a signed picture and he asked me instead to come around for tea!!!! Tea turned out to be a picnic on his lawn with the introduction to my first beer! ... Over the years I visited him often on his houseboat in Kingston and he was always generous with his time. He was always good humoured and generally loved talking about music of all kinds ... This, when you're a gawky teenager growing up, means a great deal, so I do feel I have lost a big influence on my youth ... I never did get his autograph. In the end he seemed much too normal to even ask for such a thing!!!!!!

Janna Nillsen

He was my idol from the age of nine and together with Judy Garland was the greatest influence on my professional life of anybody, ever. I'm working on my first CD and already have two tracks absolutely devoted to Peter Doyle... One and Tonight. He was the greatest talent of his day and shamefully unexploited; although, perhaps that may have been simply because he held "fame" in such wonderfully low esteem! I feel sad for his family and friends and for Lyn, Eve and the other members of the band. My heart go out to them. Oh dear, this is terrible.

Jonny Peterson

I was extremely sorry to learn of Peter's death. I was a fan of his when he was with the New Seekers and then afterwards. I enjoyed his music and I hope he had a happy life and that he found fulfilment.

Adrian Renshaw

Why is it that it takes someone’s death before we put into words the things we should have said years ago? I never knew Peter personally, but I have loved his music for nearly 30 years. When I started thinking of Peter’s songs that I loved the most, I didn’t draw breath before jotting down 12 songs, and that was just for starters!

The man had the talent in the New Seekers that stood out, regardless of the many "versions" of the New Seekers the definitive will always be to me, the line-up with Peter Doyle.

His unique voice on songs like Reap What You Sow added another dimension to what most people consider New Seekers’ music. His humour seen on the video and heard on the LP of the group’s Albert Hall concert showed a fun side to the serious songwriter who penned such lovely songs as Unwithered Rose, And So In Life and the poignant Move Me Lord.

More recent recordings that come to mind are the gutsy rendition (and best to me) of Do You Wanna Make Love, backed with the surely tongue in cheek, self penned Wake Up With Me.

I am glad that I have a part of Peter that will never die. His wonderful legacy of his music.

My thoughts are with his loved ones at this time whose loss is immeasurable compared to any of his fans. My only regret is, as I mentioned firstly, I never got the chance to thank Peter for his gift to us all.

Move me Lord, to calmer water
Move me Lord home to you
Move me Lord, to calmer water
Lord won’t you move me home.

Susan Shanley

It was an awful shock to learn the news that Peter had passed away. I always thought he never had the chance to contribute to the music world his vast talents as a songwriter and a brilliant vocalist. His work with the New Seekers just scratched the surface. I'm certain he could have achieved more. To this day, I have rarely heard a singer sing with the power and feeling that Peter could. May he rest in peace.

Paula Spooner

I found your website a few months ago when browsing around trying to take my mind off the fact that the library where I work had just been destroyed by arsonists. It was something of a consolation to find some solid information about the New Seekers in general and Peter Doyle in particular.

I loved his songs and his voice but once he left the New Seekers I found it almost impossible to follow his career. It was a real treat then to know he was "still singing". Today I have been stunned to hear the news of his death.

I only knew the man through his music and always regretted I had missed out on so much of that. I always felt he was very underrated. Amazing, powerful, sensitive are just a few of the words I could use to describe his singing, his playing, his songs and all would be totally inadequate. His lyrics were sheer poetry. His music has been a comfort, an inspiration and a joy to me over the years.

Gwyneth Taylor

I have just spent a fantastic weekend reminiscing with the delights of the New Seekers Live at the Albert Hall DVD. I have sang my heart out and fondly remembered the concert I went to in the Usher Hall Edinburgh. I got back stage to meet you all and have my concert programme signed (several times), it truly was a very special moment.

Listening to the DVD recreated all the feelings I had back then when I was only 9 years old. Peter was my hero, and I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to his fantastic voice once again, I'd forgotten just how great his voice was and how much I thoroughly enjoyed all your songs. I only recently visited your site and was very sad to hear of Peter's passing. The world was a better place with him in it, and he will always have a special place in my heart. Thanks for the good times

Jackie Urquhart (10th February 2005)

Peter Doyle's headstone in Muckleford cemetery.

Peter Doyle's headstone in Muckleford Cemetery.

Photo courtesy of Carol's Headstone Photographs,
Judkins and Steel Family History.

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Who said that?

Peter Doyle

They had a cleverness and a musical intelligence that you wouldn't get with other bands of the day like the Bay City Rollers, and a lot of that is due to Peter Doyle.
Tony Barrow, The Independent, 18th October 2001.

The trouble is that people think of him as a pop star. If only they listened to him sing, they'd realise that he has one of the most fantastic natural voices in the country.
Ronnie Burns, Go-Set, Wednesday, 20th March 1968, page 6.

I think he's got one of the best voices in the country, and I hope that people will appreciate it one day!
Johnny Farnham, Go-Set, Wednesday, 20th March 1968, page 6.

He was promoted as a pop star, and did little poppy numbers, when his voice is easily mature enough for better things. His voice is far too good for schmaltz.
Malcolm McGee, Go-Set, Wednesday, 20th March 1968, page 6.

Peter Doyle was actually the voice of the New Seekers... He was just such an easy-going, lovely character... It made life very easy for everybody.
Lyn Paul,
'From The Bottom To The Top', Capital Gold
(interview recorded on 20th July 2006).

I'm quite convinced that Peter can sing the pants off almost any young vocalist in the country today. Peter's talent has been sadly wasted and neglected by too many people in the last three years.
Stan Rofe, Go-Set, Wednesday, 20th March 1968, page 6.

As The Librettos we backed Peter on many occasions. The first time we saw him we were completely knocked out by his fantastic voice and stage act, and he's improved all the time. He's got one of the best voices on the pop scene, with incredible range and control.
Rod Stone and Brian Peacock, Go-Set, Wednesday, 20th March 1968, page 6.

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Sound and Vision

Compilation Albums
Song By Song

Collectors' Items
Fan Clubs
Top Of The Pops
Videos / DVDs


Vivien Banks
Chris Barrington
Peter Doyle
Brian Engel
Danny Finn
Mick Flinn
Eve Graham
Sally Graham
Mark Hankins
Laurie Heath

Vikki James
Donna Jones
Nicola Kerr
Marty Kristian
Paul Layton
Peter Oliver
Keith Potger
Kathy Ann Rae
Francine Rees
Caitriona Walsh


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