For more than 30 years, Graham Simpson has been one of Australia’s best-known music writers and historians.
His music journalism career began in earnest in 1977 when he was appointed Editor of Juke, then Australia’s only weekly rock magazine. In print, he went on to roles as Editor of The Video Age and On Video, and in the mid-90s he wrote a weekly column – Suitably Simpson – for Melbourne’s Herald-Sun.
He worked as Australian correspondent for the Hong Kong Standard and for London’s World Entertainment News Network. His articles on popular music have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines worldwide.
Graham spent several years as a radio commentator on top-rating Melbourne radio stations 3DB and 3XY, before joining the Austereo Network (later mcm entertainment) as a scriptwriter. He has written many of Australia’s most popular syndicated radio programs: the award-winning Take 40 Australia and My Generation; The Hot Hits and Planet Rock; Three of Graham’s specialist radio series were nominated for radio awards … Australian Rock ‘n Roll – The Early Years; American Rock ‘n Roll – The Early Years and British Rock ‘n Roll – The Early Years.
Among his achievements in television, Graham was co-writer of the Seven Network’s top-rating TV special Five Decades Of Laughs And Legends.
In 1994, Graham’s best-selling biography – The Judith Durham Story – Colours Of My Life –was published for the first time by Random House Australia. It was reprinted in paperback in 1998 and 2001. In 2003, the biography was published by Virgin Books in the UK, USA and Canada, in hardback and later in paperback.
Graham later edited From The Word Go – 40 Years Of Ten Melbourne, a book by legendary newsreader Mal Walden tracing the history of the television network.
Graham met Judith Durham for the first time in the early 1970s, having followed her career closely by then for several years. His professional association with Judith began when he worked on The Seekers’ reunion in 1993, creating and designing several tour programmes, including their 1998 30th Year Commemorative Yearbook and ‘The Golden Jubilee Tour’ souvenir programme in 2013, as well as the Souvenir Book for Judith’s ‘Colours Of My Life’ tour in 2012.
His lively interview with The Seekers was included in the group’s 1997 CD box set Treasure Chest, which was certified gold, and he has compiled and written liner notes for The Seekers Complete 5 CD box set, 2005’s The Ultimate Collection, as well as the video and DVD releases The Seekers At Home And Down Under, The World Of The Seekers and The 1968 BBC Farewell Spectacular. Recently he wrote liner notes for the EMI UK 4 CD set All Bound For Morningtown, featuring all the 1960s Abbey Road recordings of The Seekers and Judith Durham solo, as well as ‘The Golden Jubilee Album’ for The Seekers’ 50th anniversary in 2012.
His liner notes have appeared in several Judith Durham albums, including Hold On To Your Dream, Epiphany, The Hottest Band In Town Collection, Colours Of My Life, and Judith’s 70th Birthday compilation CD, released 2013.
Additionally, Graham scripted Olivia Newton-John’s narrative for the TV cut-down of The Seekers 25 Year Reunion Celebration – Live In Concert, and was consultant on the episode of the Nine Network’s This Is Your Life honouring Judith Durham.
In 2007, after 30 years as a journalist, Graham made the decision to work with Judith on a fulltime basis, and in addition to his role as General Manager of Musicoast, he has unexpectedly discovered his own burgeoning songwriting skills in collaboration with Judith.
With his immense knowledge of music facts and trivia, Graham is available to answer any questions you may have about Judith or The Seekers, or indeed anything to do with pop culture from the Sixties to the present day.
If you’ve looked everywhere else and can’t find the answer, Graham Simpson can solve the problem! He’s even prepared to share the ingredients of his famous Napoli Sauce. All you have to do is … askgrahamsimpson
Graham married Melbourne writer Jacqui Johnson in 1984 and they live in Melbourne with their daughter, television presenter Mahlia Simpson. In his spare time, Graham likes to cook (because his wife can’t!) and clean the house (because his daughter won’t!).
“Graham Simpson’s splendid biography of the `Australian nightingale’ … documents events in Judith Durham’s career in an extraordinarily detailed way – before, during and after the zenith Seeker years … Simpson’s book will be treasured by her fans.” (Dr. Lee Chumbley, Hamburg)
“Although this biography will of course be of interest to fans of Judith Durham or The Seekers, it merits a much broader readership. This is the moving story of a life richly lived despite chronic health problems, the financial and emotional challenges of a life as an artist, and the triumphs and tragedies of great love found and lost. The subject is a fascinating person, and author Graham Simpson’s writing is fluid and clear.” (Zugzwanged)
“I have been a fan of Judith and the Seekers since they started. This book is a precious part of my library.” (J. Reich, Pacific Northwest)
“A well engineered, detailed book which chronicles the life of one of the greatest voices in pop music.” (Donald R. Freeman, Knoxville)
“This is a very good read.” (William J. Truax, Cleveland, Ohio)
“I simply could not put down “The Judith Durham Story: Colours of My Life”. What an interesting life Judith Durham has led. There are so many highs and lows, so many twists and turns. Graham Simpson has done a wonderful job in chronicling all of it.” (Paul Tognetti, Cranston, Rhode Island)
“This book serves as biography, travelogue and music history lesson. But most importantly, it serves as an inspiration. Despite a lifelong condition causing limited lung capacity, Judith’s voice rings strong and clear, now in her sixth decade. By sharing with us her joys and triumphs as well as her heartache and loss, Judith imparts a sense of purpose and zest for life, both in her songs and in her book.” (Starfisherman, St Louis, Missouri)
Excerpt from foreword by Sarah, Duchess Of York
“ … It is an honour to write this foreword to The Judith Durham Story: Colours of My Life. It is a wonderful book, which tells the story of a courageous woman who has faced both triumph and disaster in her life but throughout has remained steadfast in her beliefs. I am delighted that the book is now being published in the UK so that many more people can read the compelling story of Judith’s life.”
– Sarah, Duchess of York
The press …
“ … contains genuine – and genuinely interesting – insights into Durham, her history and her relationship with the band” …
– Inside Melbourne, 16 February, 1998
“ … an inspiring story of love and triumph …”
– Illawarra Mercury, 14 February, 1998
“ … This straightforward and sympathetic biography of The Seekers’ singer is surprisingly interesting and moving …”
– Sunday Age, Melbourne, 22 February, 1998
“ … There are still millions of fans who will delight in this look at the life, loves, joys and disappointments of a home-grown heroine …”
– Cairns Post, 12 June, 1998
“ … Durham’s quite amazing story is told warmly and readably by Simpson …”
– Sunday Age, 5 February, 1995
“ … a moving and factual account of the life of the girl who took Australia by storm and then shocked an entire country when she quit our most successful export …”
– West Australian, 6 December, 1994