Eve Graham was born Evelyn May Beatson on 19th April 1943 in Auchterarder, Perthshire. She comes from a large family, with a sister who is "a little bit older than me" and three younger brothers. Eve also had another sister who died at six months old.
As a young girl Eve "never thought of singing as a career ... It wasn't really a job option." Her father, however, who was himself a good singer, spotted Eve's talent and encouraged her. Nonetheless, her first job was as a hairdresser. She then worked for her mum in a sub Post Office in Perth. At the age of 18, however, showbiz beckoned. Eve joined a local rock group called The Cyclones, singing with them at the weekends and turning up late for work on Mondays. She then got a job at the Rendez-Vous in Union Street in Dundee, where she was billed as "the singing waitress".
Fate intervened at this point, when one of her brothers saw an ad for a girl singer with the Cyril Stapleton Orchestra. Eve, who describes herself at this time as "twenty going on twelve" was given £20 by her mother and "shoved" on a plane to London. Not quite knowing where she was going, Eve made her way to the Streatham Locano for the audition. She sang the Kathy Kirby song Secret Love and was invited to come back later.
After working with Cyril Stapleton, Eve then worked with Ross Mitchell, first in a group called The Track, and then as a founder member of The Nocturnes, where she later met Lyn Paul. "That was my first experience of singing harmonies and I loved it" she later recalled. (The Reel Blend, BBC Radio Scotland, 20th November 2005)
In 1969 Eve was invited by ex-Seeker Keith Potger to become one of the founding members of his new group, the New Seekers. At her audition she sang the P.P. Arnold hit of the previous year, Angel Of The Morning - it was the only tune she knew that Keith Potger could play on the guitar! Her rendition not only secured her a place in the group but impressed sufficiently for it to be included on the New Seekers' first album.
Just before she joined the New Seekers, Eve had made some recordings with singer-songwriter Roger Cook (recording under the name Roger James Cooke). One of the tracks, Smiling Through My Tears, was released as a single while another titled Is It You That Has The Power? was included on the 1970 album Study. Eve had also been chosen by Cook to record the lead vocal on another of his songs, Melting Pot. When Eve joined the New Seekers instead, Cook teamed up with Madeline Bell to form Blue Mink. Melting Pot (Philips BF 1818) became the first of Blue Mink's four Top 10 hits. The song entered the UK singles chart on 15th November 1969 and peaked at number 3. It appeared that Eve had missed a golden opportunity.
In 1970 when Sally Graham (no relation) left the New Seekers, Eve encouraged Lyn Paul to audition for the group. Lyn was successful and the two were reunited once again.
Eve sang the lead vocal on most of the New Seekers' early singles and on many of their biggest hits - What Have They Done To My Song, Ma; Nickel Song; Good Old Fashioned Music; I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing and Circles. In 1973 a single - Nevertheless (I'm In Love with You) - was released which billed the group as Eve Graham and the New Seekers. An album of popular standards - Thanks for the Memory - was due to follow but never made it off the presses. The demo for the album included Nevertheless and 10 other tracks: Thanks For The Memory, You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby, Guilty, The Object Of My Affection, As Time Goes By, Over The Rainbow, You Made Me Love You, Am I Blue?, Come To Me My Melancholy Baby and Why Don't We Do This More Often?. All of these tracks were eventually released in 2012 as an iTunes album, which also featured two other "hidden gems" - Around The World and Heart Of My Heart, neither of which had been released previously.
and the New Seekers
Nevertheless (I'm In Love With You)
After the New Seekers split up in 1974 Eve went to Los Angeles where she took a break from showbiz. Hampered by contractual obligations, Eve was unable to release any records. However, she made a brief return to the UK in September 1974, following Lyn Paul onto the cabaret circuit with a week of shows at the Fiesta Club in Sheffield (22nd-28th September) and a second week at the Stockton Fiesta. Eve's act opened and closed with medleys of New Seekers' hits and included some of the songs from the never-released Thanks For The Memory album. As an encore Eve sang Over The Rainbow. The audience, according to one reviewer, was "mesmerised by the sheer perfection of her voice." At the end of 1974 Eve appeared on Ring In The New, a Hogmanay variety show for Scottish Television, hosted by Vince Hill. Once again, Eve sang Over The Rainbow. She also duetted with Hill on United We Stand.
Eve rejoined the New Seekers in 1976, singing lead vocal on the group's come-back hit It's So Nice (To Have You Home). She also sang the lead vocal on the follow-up I Wanna Go Back.
Eve Graham and Kathy Ann Rae.
In September 1978 Eve and fellow band member Danny Finn left the New Seekers. At the end of the year Eve appeared on another Hogmanay variety show for Scottish Television. Titled Out With The Old, In With The New, the show was recorded in Glasgow and featured appearances by (among others): Janet Brown, Rikki Fulton, Lulu, Aimi MacDonald and Beryl Reid. In addition to singing the Stevie Wonder hit I Wish, Eve took part in a short comedy sketch with the show's host, Ian Ogilvy (best-known as Roger Moore's replacement in The Saint).
On 1st June the following year, Eve and Danny got married. Their wedding made the front page of the Daily Star and was featured in a number of the other UK tabloids. According to the Daily Mirror: "Eve was a sensation in a peach lace wedding dress." After the ceremony at St. James' Roman Catholic Church in London, Eve and Danny travelled to Eve's family home in Perthshire for a Protestant ceremony.
Eve and Danny sang together as a duo until 1985, releasing two singles along the way - 1979's Ocean And Blue Sky (a catchy song which deserved to have been a hit) and 1981's Yuletide offering, cornily titled Chris Must Stay. In between these singles Eve also released a solo album, Woman Of The World, and a solo single (featuring Danny Finn), Your Love.
In 1981 Eve and Danny toured the Far East for six weeks before playing a Summer Season at the UK's biggest theme park and fun-fair, Alton Towers. They performed three shows a day from 21st July through to the end of August. The shows included some of the New Seekers' greatest hits. The highlight, however, was Danny's rendition of the Nilsson classic Without You.
In 1982 Eve and Danny toured the UK with Gene Pitney. On 27th December that year they were the guests of Rolf Harris on his radio show Rolf's Christmas Walkabout Special (BBC Radio 2, 1.00pm - 2.00pm). In 1983 and '84 they toured with Max Boyce. The tour merchandising included a repackaged version Eve's album Woman Of The World, which was sold as a cassette by Eve Graham & Danny Finn and retitled On The Road.
Danny Finn and Eve Graham
pictured at Alton Towers in 1981.
After 1984 Eve performed as a solo artist. At the end of 1985 she starred in the Christmas pantomime at the Bristol Hippodrome, playing Robin Hood in Babes In The Wood alongside Wyn Calvin, Graham Hamilton and Cannon and Ball (as the good and bad robbers). Eve also provided the vocals for a variety of advertising jingles, including a new version of the Coca-Cola jingle Buy The World A Coke. In 1989 Coca-Cola decided to celebrate the original ad's 20th anniversary by re-recording it with as many of the original cast as they could find. This time Eve not only provided the vocals but also appeared in the ad. She joined the re-assembled cast in Italy for four days of filming, finally meeting up with Linda Neary, who had mimed to Eve's vocals on the original 1971 ad. The new ad was first screened in the USA in time for the Super Bowl of January 1990.
Babes In The Wood programme,
Bristol Hippodrome, 1985.
Although Eve carried on working as a solo artist (a "jobbing singer" as she described it), the offers of work began to dry up and Eve ended up working in a cancer charity shop, then as a shop assistant in a department store. "I was working but it just was not high profile stuff... I needed to do something to pay the bills and get out of the house," (Daily Mail, 16th May 2008). "I was shopping in Debenhams in Colchester when I saw a sign saying 'staff wanted' and I thought: 'I can do that'." (Daily Express, 14th May 2008). Eve's past association with the New Seekers, however, continued to attract attention. In 1993 she was invited to appear on a Scottish Television talk show, Scottish Women, to recall her glory days with the group:
"You never take for granted ... meeting people that you've always considered to be stars ... In those days we would do TV shows like the 'Andy Williams Show' or the 'Sonny and Cher Show'. I met President Nixon, Henry Kissenger - I mean, a great person to meet. I was sitting in my dressing room once with my shoes off and my feet up and Burt Reynolds walked in to say 'hello'."
Asked if she missed the "big, mega stardom", Eve replied:
"No, because I think as you become older there are different things in your life that you want, and I really appreciate ... being able to ... go to the shops ... live a normal life, enjoy my private life. In those days we were so well known that I had people sleeping on the doorstep, so you couldn't get out the door. But that was OK for that time, for that short period of time."
Without wishing to relive the height of her fame, Eve was ready nonetheless to revive her identity as a New Seeker. On 22nd September 1997 she appeared in a "spot the real New Seeker" identity parade on the BBC quiz show Never Mind The Buzzcocks (BBC 2, 10.00pm). Eve also made a video to promote her solo career titled The Story of the New Seekers. Distributed to club owners in the UK, the video featured Eve and a backing band performing songs by the Seekers and the New Seekers.
In 2000 Eve sang on stage for what was thought to be the last time, performing at a show in aid of cancer research with former New Seeker Kathy Ann Rae (now Cathy Logan). She was also one of the celebrity guests at Colchester's oyster feast, along with Terry Waite, television personality Jeremy Spake and Alf Garnett's alter-ego, actor Warren Mitchell. Eve then retired from the music business and settled in Norfolk with her husband Kevin (Danny Finn). In an interview for My Weekly magazine in 2003, not long after her 60th birthday, Eve said: "Nothing would coax me out of retirement now. If I had to make a choice between professional success and being married, settled and having a home, I'd choose the latter." (My Weekly, No. 4678, 9th August 2003)
Famous last words? In 2005, having now moved back to Scotland, Eve Graham returned to the recording studio with producer David Mackay and on 5th September released a three track single featuring a new version of I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing. This was followed in October by a CD / cassette and DVD / video titled The Mountains Welcome Me Home, which featured re-recordings of some of the New Seekers' other hits. During the inevitable round of radio and newspaper interviews, Eve revealed how she'd lost out on her royalties from the New Seekers, and then joked: "If people buy this then they'll hear the old hits - and this time I might even make a bit of money!" (The Sun, 17th September 2005, page 33)
A year later Eve released a second CD - a collection of Christmas songs and other old favourites titled 'Til The Season Comes 'Round Again. The album included cover versions of Slade's Merry Xmas Everybody and Wizzard's I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day.
On 27th April 2007 Eve Graham joined the Glasgow Phoenix Choir for a concert at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. A year later she announced her participation in another show: a 'Rock The Catwalk' charity gig in Perth Concert Hall on 3rd May. "I'm going to be modelling in this show as well as singing," she told the Sunday Post, "so my biggest challenge will be walking in high heels."
Later the same month Eve endorsed an idea to use Coca-Cola's worldwide distribution network to deliver other goods to help the one-in-five children in Africa who die from simple causes - usually diarrhoea. Speaking on iPM (Radio 4, Saturday, 24th May, 5.30pm), she said: "I think they are the best company in the world to be able to get to these places because they've done it already with the product they're trying to sell, so if they showed the same commitment to helping people ... to overcome the poverty and deprivation that they have ... I really feel it would be a big, big, huge step forward." For more information, visit the iPM blog.
In January 2012 Eve Graham announced that she would be sharing the bill with Paper Lace on a 12-date tour of New Zealand. On 7th April, three weeks ahead of the tour, iTunes released two albums from Eve's back catalogue - Thanks For the Memory, a previously unreleased album of standards recorded in 1973, and Evergreen, a re-titled version of Eve's 1980 album Woman Of The World.
2012 New Zealand tour dates:
Saturday, 28th April, Founders Theatre, Hamilton
Sunday, 29th April, Aotea Centre, Auckland
Tuesday, 1st May, Baycourt Theatre, Tauranga
Wednesday, 2nd May, Civic Theatre, Rotorua
Thursday, 3rd May, Hawke's Bay Opera, Hastings
Saturday, 5th May, TSB Theatre, New Plymouth
Sunday, 6th May, Regent on Broadway, Palmerston North
Monday, 7th May, Opera House, Wellington
Wednesday, 9th May, Regent Theatre, Greymouth
Thursday, 10th May, Aurora Centre, Christchurch,
Friday, 11th May, Regent Theatre, Dunedin
Saturday, 12th May, Civic Theatre, Invercargill