Bruce Woodley

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1987 saw Bruce involved in the preparations for the Australian Bicentenary, and the release of an Australian-themed double album, songbook and cassette tape, featuring covers of traditional songs and some of Bruce's own compositions. The set was called I Am Australian, after a jingle that he wrote to tie together the various threads of the project, tapping into the need he perceived for a national song in which people could take pride. One of his colleagues on the project was Dobe Newton of the Bushwackers, who helped compose the words of the title song; another was noted folk singer Rose Bygrave. The recordings also featured a children's choir including Claire Woodley.

The following year he reunited with The Seekers, this time featuring Julie Anthony as the lead vocalist, to perform "The Carnival is Over" at Expo '88 and a musical about the Seekers' journey. This line-up released an album in 1989; "Live On", the title track, was composed by Bruce, as were many of the other new tracks like "The Streets of Serenade" (which charted the story of the Seekers rather more blatantly than his '70s composition "Reunion"), "One Step Forward, Two Steps Back", "How Can a Love So Wrong Be So Right" and "Taking My Chances With You". When Julie left to have a baby (daughter Tamara), former Young Talent Time singer Karen Knowles joined the group. The only studio recordings by this line-up are the Bruce Woodley written songs "Fools Tonight" and "Bright Star", sold as a cassingle at concerts. "Bright Star", originally written for Julie's voice, was also performed by both the Julie- and Karen-led Seekers at Carols by Candlelight.
When original vocalist Judith Durham returned to the Seekers fold in late 1992 for the group's 25 Year Silver Jubilee, the theme song and CD-Single of the reunion was Bruce's composition "Keep A Dream in Your Pocket". A 1993 live album and DVD followed, featuring many of the group's hits and a song which would become one of their best known, Woodley's "I Am Australian".

The success of "I Am Australian" took Woodley completely by surprise. In 1991 he performed it with Karen and the Australian Children's Choir on a televised drought appeal, featuring a new, drought themed verse which has not appeared on other recordings. "I Am Australian" has featured in all Woodley's solo tours and all Seekers tours since the reunion with Judith Durham; in 2000 the Seekers performed a condensed version at the televised Australia Day concert. Many artists have covered the song; in 1997 Judith Durham released a version with Russell Hitchcock and Mandawuy Yunupingu which entered the Australian charts. For many[vague] , it has become the unofficial anthem, and is a staple performed at many national events, by such artists as Jon Stevens, Delta Goodrem and naturally Bruce and the Seekers. At the 2001 celebrations for the Centenary of Federation Woodley performed the song with daughter Claire (now known for performing the song solo at many events herself) and co-writer Dobe Newton.

He recorded a CD in 2001 called, once again, "I am Australian". He has since recorded an ANZAC themed version of "I am Australian", titled "The Anzac Song", and appeared on Melbourne radio advertising the release of a CD-Single several weeks before Anzac Day in 2005. Apparently due to production difficulties, it never eventuated. In 2005 Bruce was interviewed by music journalist Debbie Kruger for a new book entitled Songwriters Speak, focusing on influential and successful Australian singer-songwriters.
 

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