Sunday Music – Allentown Jail

Posted on Sun 06/05/2011 by


Today’s music video is ‘Allentown Jail’ from the Australian band The Seekers.

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This video was posted to You Tube by seekersarchive

If there could ever be a female singer with such a pure voice, then it must be Judith Durham.

The band The Seekers formed in the early 1960’s and were the first Australian band to make it into the big time in the UK, the traditional choice of destinations for Australian singers and bands.

Their first major hit was with Tom Springfield’s ‘I’ll Never Find Another You’. While the band still did not have a record contract, that single made it to Number One in the UK, as well as in Australia, and at the same time as it was a huge hit in those two Countries, it made it to Number 4 in the U.S. This first hit of theirs went on to sell more than one and three quarter million records, and their success was assured. Two more Tom Springfield hits followed both also going to the top of the charts in the UK and Australia.

They had numerous hits over the years and are one of Australia’s most successful recording artists.

This song is from an album hurriedly released in Australia around the time their first song was becoming such a huge hit. They didn’t have enough material of their own for an album, so all the songs on that album were written by other songwriters.

That album is still in my collection of LP records, and has the distinction of being the first album I purchased with my own money, way back in early 1966.

This song ‘Allentown Jail’ was written by Irving Gordon. It was made into a hit in 151 by Jo Stafford, and has been recorded by numerous artists over the years.

It is a folk oriented song about a young girl’s feelings for a young man who stole a diamond ring for her, and is now in Jail for theft. Allentown Jail is in Pennsylvania.

However, this version of that popular song is my favourite, not only because of the distinctive voice of Judith Durham, but also for the acoustic guitar treatment given to the arrangement by Keith Potger and Bruce Woodley.

I have featured songs by The Seekers in three other Posts at the following links.

Sunday Music – The Times They Are A Changin’

Sunday Music – Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right

26th January – Australia Day

Posted in: Music, Videos