The New Seekers were ‘manufactured’ on the break-up of The Seekers in 1970 by Keith Potger and consisted of Eve Graham, Lyn Paul, Peter Doyle, Marty Kristian (born Martin Vanags) and Paul Layton.
The girls had previously been in an unsuccessful Manchester group called The Nocturne. The men (an Australian, a German and a Briton) took very much a back seat to the beautiful girls on whose charms the group sold records by the bucketful.
They had their first hit with Never Ending Song Of Love which reached the UK #1 in July 1971.
In January 1972 they made the UK’s first million-seller for three years with I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing, which also became the most successful advertising jingle ever at the hands of the Coca-Cola corporation, re-titled I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke.
The band represented Britain in the Eurovision Song Contest with Beg, Steal or Borrow in 1972. They were expected to win but came second, losing out by one point.
Peter Doyle left the group in 1973 and was replaced by Southampton-born Peter Oliver, who was chosen as Doyle’s replacement from around 200 people who auditioned for the job.
They were a hit machine but couldn’t stay together. Lead singer Eve Graham (born Evelyn May Beatson) wanted to leave and Lyn Paul (born Lynda Susan Belcher) wanted her share of the limelight. Eve “disappeared” and the New Seekers bowed out in 1974 after another massive hit, You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me.
They returned to British stages in 1976 with the single It’s So Nice (To Have You Back) which they followed up with I Wanna Go Back. The new New Seekers now comprised original members Graham, Kristian, Layton and newcomers Kathy Ann Rae and Danny Finn.
Peter Doyle died in Australia of throat cancer on 13 October 2001. He was 52. Paul Layton still performs as The New Seekers (with four non-original members) on the cabaret circuit.