The New Seekers were a British / German / Australian pop group, formed in 1969 by Keith Potger after the break-up of his group, The Seekers. The idea was that the New Seekers would appeal to the same market as the original Seekers, but their music had rock as well as folk influences.
The most familiar line-up included Eve Graham, Lyn Paul, Marty Kristian, Peter Doyle and Paul Layton. In addition to having several big hits, the group represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest 1972, finishing in second place. Author & Historian John Kennedy O'Connor notes in The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History, that they got the biggest cheer of the night from the live audience in Edinburgh. They were hot favourites to represent the UK again in 1980 (albeit with only Paul & Marty still in the line up) with the song "Tell Me" but it was disqualified shortly before the televised final of A Song for Europe. Had they appeared in the 1980 UK contest, the group would have been up against their former lead singer Danny Finn who had recently married Eve Graham and was now the lead singer of the winning group Prima Donna. In addition, Mick Flynn and Donna Jones, two members of the current (2007) line up of The New Seekers were also in the field, competing under the group name Pussyfoot.
Their hit single "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing", adapted from an advertising jingle for Coca-Cola, appeared 81st on the list of the UK's best-selling singles issued in 2002. It sold just under one million copies in the United Kingdom alone. The version used in the Coca-Cola television commercials was credited to The Hillside Singers, as many people of various backgrounds and cultures sang the song, holding Coca-Cola bottles on a hillside in the commercial. "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" was so firmly connected with the Coca-Cola product that it eventually became known as "The Coke Song". The song was relaunched in Coca-Cola commercials in 2005.
Other hit singles by The New Seekers included "Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma", "Beautiful People" and "The Nickel Song", all of which were written by Melanie Safka. The New Seekers went on to sell over 35 million records worldwide, equalling the eight UK Top Twenty entries by The Seekers. Indeed, they released four albums during 1972 alone.
They also performed the title track to the now-legendary Marlo Thomas television special, "Free to Be… You and Me", a landmark program designed to teach kids how to express themselves and be independent through a series of vignettes which was rebroadcast on the cable network TV Land in late 2006 as a special add-on to their initial run of the classic series, THAT GIRL. Since the special was first broadcast in 1973 the song itself has since become a pop cult classic in its own right.
The New Seekers have continued to perform over the decades with an inevitable personnel changes which included Peter Oliver, Danny Finn, Caitriona Walsh, Nicola Kerr and Vikki James. The New Seekers toured in 2006 and 2007 with the established line up of: Paul Layton, Donna Jones, Francine Rees, Mick Flynn and Mark Hankins. A CD of the 2006 tour was released which includes all of the group's hits along with covers of 'Reflections', 'Run to Me' and 'Strangest Dream'. 2006 was completed with a Royal Variety performance at St. James Palace, London for HRH Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and an appearance on ITV's This Morning. The group are currently managed by Nic Culverwell.
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