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|Keith Leon Potger|
21 March 1941 |
(later Sri Lanka)
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, banjo|
|Associated acts||The Seekers
The New Seekers
Keith Leon Potger, AO (born 21 March 1941), is one of the founding members of the Australian pop-folk group The Seekers. He was born in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and is of Burgher descent. In the Seekers, he played twelve string guitar (a 1967 Maton Special SS200/12), mandolin and banjo, and sang. He has been the vocal, and often instrumental, arranger for the group throughout its career. Potger contributed the song "All I Can Remember" on the Seekers last studio album Seen in Green as well as co-writing (under a pseudonym) the single "Emerald City". On The Seekers studio album Future Road, Potger wrote or co-wrote four songs: "Guardian Angel/Guiding Light", "Circle Of Love", "Forever Isn't Long Enough (For Me)" and "Future Road".
Potger was also the co-founder, in 1969, of the contemporary pop group the New Seekers with his business partner, David Joseph. His solo CDs are SECRETS OF THE HEART, released in 2004, SUNDAY, released in 2007 and SMILE NOW, released in 2010. Six songs on SUNDAY were a collaboration with writer/poet Frank Howson.
Much of the recent past has been taken up with performing concert tours with The Seekers in Australia and the United Kingdom. In addition, Potger has performed solo concerts throughout Australia and the UK and continues this activity with bookings into 2015.
Potger's musical career started well before The Seekers first stormed the UK charts in 1965. He is a self-taught musician, playing the banjo, 6 and 12 string guitars and keyboards. With an eye to a musical future while still at school, he performed in vocal groups which evolved into The Seekers in 1962.
Later that year, Durham joined the group and they focussed on the folk and gospel music boom, accompanying themselves on guitars, banjo and double bass. Keith’s ability to arrange harmonies for the group members was evident from these early days.
He contributed the distinctive 12 string guitar riffs to The Seekers’ chart topping recordings, augmenting the wonderful lead voice of Judith Durham and the boys’ ear-catching harmonies and instrumental talents.
When The Seekers disbanded in 1968, Potger's musical activities turned to songwriting and record production in major recording studios in the UK. He collaborated with leading UK songwriters such as Tony Macaulay and Barry Mason and enjoyed chart success through the 1970s with British and American artists.
Returning to Australia in 1978, Potger wrote and produced television jingles and music tracks as well as performing solo concerts throughout the 1980s. In 1988 he wrote and produced stage musicals for the Australian Bicentenary.
In 1992, Potger reunited with Judith, Athol and Bruce to tour internationally as The Seekers for their Silver Jubilee. In 1997, the group released the Platinum-selling ‘Future Road’, which gave the public the first real chance to hear his song-writing talent on ‘Guardian Angel, Guiding Light’, also co-writing ‘The Circle Of Love’ (with Rick Beresford); ‘Forever Isn’t Long Enough (For Me)’ (with Byron Hill); and the title track, ‘Future Road’ (with Trevor Spencer and Boyd Wilson).
The Seekers have toured extensively as a group since 1993, but Potger continued writing and recording original songs. Keith released his first solo CD ‘Secrets Of The Heart’ in 2004, followed by ‘Sunday’ in 2007, with major solo concerts and festivals around Australia with his "wandering minstrel" style of performance. In 2010, he released his mostly self-penned third solo CD, ‘Smile Now’, yet still enjoying collaboration on some titles with songwriters in Australia, the UK and the USA.
Accompanying himself on his 12 string guitar, Potger's solo performances include material from his solo CDs, Seekers favorites, along with songs and anecdotes from his long career in the music industry.
Involvement with charities has always been important to Potger and he frequently performs at charity concerts within his touring schedule. He was Patron of the renowned children’s charity Variety WA from 2001/2009. Potger was Chair of Support Act Limited Victoria, the music industry benevolent fund with which he is still closely associated, being elected to the Board of Directors.
Potger is a Patron of the Motor Neurone Disease Association of Western Australia and a Celebrity Ambassador for Variety Victoria and Variety International.
In September 2014, along with Judith Durham, Athol Guy and Bruce Woodley, his colleagues in The Seekers, Potger was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).