EVE GRAHAM is the voice on Coca – Cola’s famous ‘Hilltop’ commercial, the most successful TV advertising campaign of all time. The song ‘I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing’ subsequently became a world-wide number one hit and earned her group, The New Seekers, a coveted Grammy nomination. In a U.K. poll in 2005, the song was voted the best song ever for a television commercial.

In 1990, Eve, now a successful solo artiste, was invited by Coca-Cola to record the ‘Hilltop Re-union’ commercial, this time also appearing in vision, thus endorsing the fact that Eve was undoubtedly ‘The Voice Of The New Seekers’. Eve’s distinctive voice is easily recognisable on the original recordings of such hits as ‘LOOK WHAT THEY’VE DONE TO MY SONG, MA’, ‘NICKEL SONG’ ‘BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE’, ‘CIRCLES, ‘NEVER ENDING SONG OF LOVE’, ‘THE GREATEST SONG I’VE EVER HEARD’, ‘IT’S SO NICE’, ‘I WANNA GO BACK’ and many more, including the most successful of all, ‘I’D LIKE TO TEACH THE WORLD TO SING’.


FROM THE BEGINNING

Eve was born near Auchterarder in Scotland, close to the world-famous Gleneagles Golf Course, and shared her father’s love of music from an early age. By the time she was fifteen, she had formed a three-girl harmony group with friends from her school, Perth Academy. Two years later she joined a local group, The Cyclones, well known in Scotland, who recruited the girl singer in order to join the procession of British bands, including the then little-known Beatles, to find fame in the prestigious German Nightclub scene. Later, after a spell in a nightspot in Dundee, her professional career began in earnest when she left Scotland to join The Cyril Stapleton Orchestra in London. Here she enjoyed the opportunity to sing for strict tempo dancing, and had a chance to perform standards and jazz, as well as pop and rock- and-roll. Eve’s first radio broadcasts were with the orchestra in 1964. 

The offer to join a group whose accent was on singing harmonies took her into The Nocturnes, a four boy, two girl group, based in Manchester, Her counterpart was Sandra Stevens, who later joined ‘Brotherhood of Man’. When Sandra left The Nocturnes, she was replaced by Lyn Paul, so  completing the line-up that recorded several well-received albums and singles, one of which achieved a top ten position in Switzerland! Both Lyn and Eve were delighted with their achievement, never realising at the time the greater success that was to come when they met up again several years later, when Lyn replaced Sally Graham (no relation to Eve) in The New Seekers.

The Nocturnes were the resident band in the nightspot, ‘Tiffany’s’, in central Manchester, and gained a reputation, so much so that visiting celebrities would drop in to see them perform. Two such people were Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway, who were so impressed with Eve’s voice that they asked her to record with them. It was during one of those sessions that Eve and Roger recorded the duet, ‘Smiling Through My Tears’, later released as a single, and another track featured on Roger’s solo album, ‘Study’. Of course their paths were to cross again later when Cook and Greenaway wrote the world-famous ‘I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing’, on which Coca-cola insisted that Eve sang lead for their most successful advertising campaign ever.

As well as singing six nights a week in the nightclub, from 7.30pm till 2am, Eve, at that time professionally-known as Eve Eden, sang as the featured vocalist with the Northern Dance Orchestra on the popular lunchtime radio show, ‘Pop North’, and also sang as a backing vocalist on ‘The Simon Dee Show’, and several other radio and TV shows produced in Manchester during those years. Eve’s capacity for hard work served her well when she was called upon for the formation of the New Seekers in 1969.

THE NEW SEEKERS

After their initial success in Europe with their first release, on which Eve sang lead vocal, it was evident to the record company that Eve should take the role of lead singer, and with the release of  ‘What Have They Done To My Song, Ma’, that decision led to a string of hits. Over the next few years, sell-out tours and regular television appearances in all of the major territories throughout the world followed, and when Coca-Cola made the commercial which is to this day their most successful ever, they asked that The New Seekers should perform the sound track, using Eve’s distinctive voice on the lead vocal. The song on the soundtrack was of course, ‘I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing’ which went on to become the group’s biggest hit all round the world. The Eurovision Song Contest followed in the spring of 1972, further ensuring the group’s popularity in Europe, and the tour that followed brought fan adulation the likes of which had not been seen since ‘Beatlemania’ in the sixties.

In America, the group appeared more than once on the legendary ‘Ed Sullivan Show’, ‘The Tonight Show’ with Johnny Carson, Dick Clark’s ‘American Bandstand’, ‘The Dinah Shore Show’, ‘The Andy Williams Show’, and others, as well as taking part in comedy sketches on both ‘The Sonny and Cher Show’ and with Cliff Richard in the UK.

There were regular appearances on top TV shows in Britain, such as ‘Top Of The Pops’ and guest spots with ‘The Two Ronnies’, ‘Morcambe and Wise’, Cliff and Lulu.

Other highlights in the USA included tours with Liza Minnelli, Neil Diamond and Dionne Warwick, appearances in Las Vegas, and the pleasure of being backed by none less than The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, and Arthur Feidler and The Boston Pops Orchestra.

A Royal Command Performance, and performing at the inauguration of the President of the United States are two notable events in this amazing success story. In 1974, however, the pressure of work became too much, and the group split. 

After two years of living mainly in California, and deliberately keeping a low profile, Eve returned to Britain, feeling ready to work again. Marty and Paul now owned the New Seekers name, and in an attempt to regain past glory, they asked Eve to rejoin the group. But times had changed, and other new groups had stepped into the vacuum they left when they disbanded. Abba were firmly established in the top spot, although The New Seekers were still capable of achieving chart placings, with Eve singing lead on their first two hits. New to the line-up was Danny Finn, replacing Peter Doyle, and it was his lead vocal on ‘Anthem (One Day In Every Week)’, which enriched the most memorable track from this period in the group’s history.

In 1978, Eve and Danny finally left, and were married the following year

Eve and Danny recorded their first single together with the producer of the early hits, David Mackay, but their new record company were unable to release the product until the pair were released from their agreement with The New Seekers. Having given proper notice that they were to quit the group, according to the terms of their contract, Eve and Danny were frustrated by this apparent attempt to crush their career. As a result, their relationship with Marty and Paul never recovered. By the time the single was released, eight months later, the record company had lost the motivation to get behind the duo.

They spent the next several years touring, enjoying frequent trips to the Far East, the Middle East and Canada, and performing concert and club dates throughout Britain and Europe. Danny also sang the winning song ‘Love Enough For Two’ in the Song for Europe in 1980 with the group, Prima Donna, and went on to come third in the Eurovision Song Contest in The Hague.

Danny, reverting to his real name of Kevin, wrote music for theme park shows, and through this, became involved in designing and building rides and visitor attractions for the leisure industry, while Eve continued to work as a solo artiste. She toured, often supporting Max Boyce, Gene Pitney and other major artistes in concert, as well as recording advertising jingles, often with her husband, and sound tracks and character voices for his animated shows.

During this time she released the album ‘Woman Of The World’, but the record company were unable to meet their commitments and although demand was high, pressing was halted. In 1985, she made her only appearance in Pantomime, playing principal boy Robin Hood, with Cannon and Ball as the robbers, in the record-breaking ‘Babes In The Wood’ at Bristol’s Hippodrome Theatre.

For the remake of the Coca-Cola Hilltop commercial in 1990, the backing vocals were recorded by session singers in the U.S.A., and then the company recorded Eve’s lead vocal in London. This time, Eve was flown to Rome to appear in vision. The following years involved more solo appearances, and studio work, including singing backing vocals on sessions for David Mackay, giving Eve and Kevin the chance to indulge in their love of harmonies.

The association with David continued as Eve embarked on the next stage of her career, when the two teamed up once again to re-record the hits which David had produced and arranged more than thirty years before.

In 2004, Eve returned to Scotland to live, and subsequently teamed up with the highly-respected and successful record company Scotdisc, who were keen to release Eve’s new album. The songs were then filmed on location in the breathtaking Scottish Highlands and the album has now been released both as a CD and DVD in the UK and USA.

Eve has been widely respected in the music business over the years as a “singer’s singer”, admired by rock stars, jazz singers and folk singers. Her wealth of experience makes Eve a unique entertainer, enjoying a special relationship with her audience, whether she’s on stage, in front of a camera or in conversation, or making an after-dinner speech!

To quote the legendary songwriter and performer Tom Paxton – “Eve relates to her audience and makes them her friends…allow me to move over and make room for you in her Fan Club!”