Thursday, August 02, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The New Seekers

Artist:The New Seekers
Song:I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing
Album:It's Been Too Long...The Greatest Hits & More

This song started out as a Coke commercial and it became a top ten hit for The New Seekers in 1971. It was their biggest hit in the US but they were a bigger deal in England. When The Seekers split up in 1968, guitarist Keith Potger formed The New Seekers thinking they would appeal to the same audience. He hired singers led by Eve Graham and Marty Kristian. After recording one single, Potger became the group manager and three singers left and were replaced by Aussie pop singer Peter Doyle along with Lyn Paul and Paul Layton. Their first single was Melanie Safka's Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma. It was a top twenty hit in the US. Their version of Delaney & Bonnie's Never Ending Song Of Love was a top five hit in England. Meanwhile, Coca Cola's ad agency McCann Erickson exec Bill Backer and staff songwriter Roquel "Billy" Davis were meeting with British songwriters Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway. While waiting in an airport lounge, Backer noticed that everyone was drinking Coke and wrote "I'd Like To Buy The World A Coke" on a napkin. He showed it to Greenaway and Cook. They wrote the music. Davis wrote the lyrics. Davis wrote songs with Berry Gordy before Gordy started Motown. Cook was a member of the 60s group David & Jonathan and has written many hits with Greenaway including The Fortunes' You've Got Your Troubles. Backer wanted The New Seekers to record the song for the commercial. But they were on tour and said they were too busy. So Davis contacted veteran jingle producer Al Ham and he put together a group of singers including his wife and daughter. The TV commercial was so popular that folks called radio stations wanting to hear the whole song. Of course there was no complete song. Davis removed the Coke references and lengthened the song. And he got Ham to have his singers record the song. They were called The Hillside Singers because the commercial was shot on a hillside. This recording reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971. Once it was a hit, The New Seekers recorded I'd Like Teach The World To Sing and it reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. Coke has continued to use the song, most recently in a 2010 NASCAR themed commercial. The New Seekers continued to have chart success in England until they split up in 1974. You can get all their hits on this comp. The New Seekers have reformed occasionally and Paul Layton currently leads a version of the group. Peter Doyle died in 2001. Eve Graham toured with her husband for several years and retired in 2000. She currently fits bras in a department store. Marty Kristian released a CD of demo recordings last year. I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing proves that one never knows where that next hit will come from. Here's The New Seekers performing I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing on The Mike Douglas Show 1973.

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