The Wiggles (Band)

The Wiggles (Band)

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The Wiggles
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The self-proclaimed #1 pre-school band in the world got its start as a graduate student project at Macquarie University in Australia, when students Anthony Field, Murray Cook, and Greg Page, were working on their degrees in Early Childhood Education. Anthony asked Jeff Fatt to join the band as…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • The Wiggles started touring in Asia in August 1996 whereas in March 1998, they began touring in New Zealand.

    • The Wiggles usually perform songs on "Carols in the Domain" every year before Christmas such as "Go Santa Go" as the song was released in 1996.

    • According to a Sydney Morning Herald article published in 2002, the Wiggles filmed a TV pilot in the mid-1990s for the ABC but the project never got off the ground due to irreconcilable artistic differences. Another time, they tried wearing shorts and caps instead trademark colourful skivvies and black trousers as shown in a photo.

    • In 1997, an Australian pay TV channel called The Disney Channel screened The Wiggles' regular TV segments on a daily program called "Let's Wiggle" where it was made up of short segments from existed Wiggles videos. The first half of the intro is from their concert video: "Wiggledance".

    • The Wiggles do their Starlight Foundation Video Month ad on a 1997 VHS tape called "Beverly Hills Ninjas".

    • During the first part of 1997, the Wiggles first wore the updated logos on their shirts but not on their belts yet. They were first seen as photos on a photo gallery of their TV Series released in 2005.

    • The Wiggles made their first television appearance on Red Nose Day in August of 1991.

    • On December 12, 2012, Leanne Shelton from Achieve Australia uploaded a video on YouTube where the original 5 Wiggles and Anthony's brother, John were performing at Crowle Home taped in 1991.

    • The Wiggles produced their first documentary about their 15th birthday narrated by Dorothy the Dinosaur but an earlier documentary called "The Wiggles Take on the World" was taped in 2002 and 2003 and wasn't premiered until Christmas 2006.

    • In 1992, The Wiggles appeared in an Australia Broadcasting Company's "Play School" episode where they performed at a kindergarten.

    • On an episode of Spicks and Specks in November 2008, The Wiggles covered U2's song Angel of Harlem.

    • According to a Sydney Morning Herald article, two of their earliest songs initially had different names.
      Hot Potato was originally Hot Tamale.
      Wiggle Bay was originally Moonlight Bay.

    • The Wiggles made their concert debut at a childcare center in Randwick in front of 20 kids.

      Their first tour following their eponymous album was around the different Westfield shopping mall areas in Sydney.

    • The Wiggles and Kylie Minogue teamed up in 2009 to record the song Monkey Man. The song appears on the Wiggles' release, The Wiggles Go Bananas.

    • As UNICEF Ambassadors, The Wiggles announced they are supporting Global Handwashing Day on October 15, 2008. They even wrote a song called "Wash your hands!" that was done to the tune of Frere Jacques. However in 1995, they performed a Christmas song "Have a Very Merry Christmas" which was later released on the Wiggly, Wiggly Christmas album and video.

    • The Wiggles have sponsored a scholarship to their alma mater Macquarie University for indigenous students majoring in Early Childhood Education.

    • The Wiggles created a new logo in 1996, and debuted it in December for their concert video, "Wiggledance!" released in June 1997. They then made some minor changes to the logo, resizing the background splotch, and removing the black outlines, and started publicizing it in "Wiggly, Wiggly Christmas" where they use it on their shirts for the first time. They also used it in all other merchandise such as books and "The Wiggles Movie".

    • In 2007, the Wiggles produced a video for the Mandarin Chinese speaking market called Lights, Camera, Action, Wiggles.. This features four new Asian Wiggles:
      Arthur the Yellow Wiggle (guitar)
      Samuel the Blue Wiggle (drums)
      Danny the Purple Wiggle (plays guitar, falls asleep, and lead singer)
      Vivi the Red Wiggle (Vivi is a girl, plays keyboard/accordion)
      The video was filmed in the same Wiggles studio in Australia where they film the other Wiggles TV series and videos, and feature the same Wiggly dancers. They sing and speak in Mandarin Chinese, and mix in English phrases such as their names, the mascots, and common phrases "Ahoy there, Captain Feathersword" and "Get Ready to Wiggle".

      The Mandarin Wiggles have had their own official Wiggles TV series since 2002.

    • Several Wiggles tunes are based on songs from their former band The Cockroaches:

      Get Ready to Wiggle is from Mr. Wiggles Back in Town.
      Dorothy the Dinosaur is from Another Saturday Night (single, 1989).
      The Monkey Dance is from Do the Monkey (Best Of album, 1999)
      Caveland is from Caveman (Fingertips album, 1988)
      I Want to Wear That jacket is from I want a Leather Jacket (single, 1980).
      Sorry Again is from Sorry Again (Fingertips album, 1988).
      Bit By Bit (We're Building a Set) is from Bit By Bit, Little By Little (Positive Album, 1991).

    • Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) awards

      Best Children's Album – Winner
      2010 - Let's Eat!
      2009 - The Wiggles Go Bananas
      2008 - You Make Me Feel Like Dancing
      2007 - Pop Go The Wiggles!
      2006 – Racing to the Rainbow
      2005 – Live! Hot Potatoes
      1998 – Toot Toot
      1996 – Wake Up Jeff
      1995 – Big Red Car

      Best Children's Album – Nominated
      2004 – Top of the Tots
      2003 – Go To Sleep Jeff and Whoo Hoo! Wiggly Gremlins
      2002 – Wiggly Safari
      2001 – Hoop-Dee-Doo. It's a Wiggly Party
      2000 – It's a Wiggly Wiggly World

    • Greg Page, the yellow Wiggle, has been diagnosed with orthostatic intolerance and retired from the Wiggles in November 2006.

    • The Wiggles have their own amusement park attraction area at Dreamworld which is located near Gold Coast, Australia.

      The Wiggles opened a show and attraction area called Wiggles World at the Six Flags Great Adventure theme park located in New Jersey. Rides include: Big Red Cars, Big Red Plane, Bouncing with Wags, Dorothy's Racing to the Rainbow balloon ride, Henry's Splish Splash Fountain, Yummy Yummy café, and Captain Feathersword's ship.

    • According to the Business Weekly Review article, 60% of their income in 2004 came from concerts and live performances. That leaves only 40% from the TV, records, and merchandise.

    • The Wiggles' had spun off another pre-school TV Show in Australia called The Dorothy the Dinosaur show.

    • The music at the Wiggles concerts is a combination of pre-recorded and live tracks, but the Wiggles do sing all their songs live.

    • There are plans to launch a Spanish version of The Wiggles.

    • The Wiggles were awarded an honorary doctorate from Australian Catholic University in April 2006.

    • The Wiggles are big fans of Elvis Presley. They do his hip swinging dance and don Elvis clothes in the song Shaky Shaky. They also do a lot of Elvis impressions and use the phrases "thank you very much" and "uh-hunh".

    • The choreographer for the current Wiggles seasons and concert tours is Leeanne Ashley.

    • The choreography for the early Wiggles shows was done by Leanne Halloran of the Halloran Dance Studio in New South Wales.

    • The band's producer, Paul Field, is the brother of Anthony, the Blue Wiggle.

    • Anthony Field, Jeff Fatt, and their producer Paul Field were members of a popular Australian band called The Cockroaches. It is from this relationship that Jeff joined The Wiggles as a founding member.

    • The Wiggles album, Wake Up, Jeff! was one of their first albums to achieve gold status.

    • In the early videos, Anthony Field, the Blue Wiggle, wore a green polo shirt, and also played Captain Feathersword. He changed from green to blue so as to not to get him confused with Dorothy the Dinosaur while Paul Paddick played Captain Feathersword.

    • The Wiggles were the richest entertainer out of Australia in 2004 with earnings estimated at AUS$45 million, besting Nicole Kidman at AUS$40 million, and Russell Crowe at AUS$27 million.

    • According to Business Review Weekly, The Wiggles were the richest entertainer out of Australia in 2005 with earnings estimated at AUS$50 million ($35.5 million US).

    • The "wiggle", or pointing and shaking of the fingers, was inspired by watching some guys bowling on TV.

    • According to Anthony Field, the origin of The Wiggles name is from Mr. Wiggles Back In Town, a song by their former band, The Cockroaches. This song was changed up to become their early hit, Get Ready to Wiggle.

    • Five of The Wiggles albums have gone platinum in Australia.

    • When The Wiggles started touring with HIT Entertainment, they were an opening act for Barney the Dinosaur.

    • It is estimated that one out of every two toddlers in Australia has been to a Wiggles concert, or have a Wiggles video.

  • Quotes

  • ummmmmmmmm a 100 words min ok I'v got an artcle here somwere......

    Child's play

    The Observer

    They sing about fruit salad, drive a big red car on stage and are the most popular band in the whole wide world for three-year-olds (and their parents, including Alex James and Jerry Seinfeld). Johnny Davis meets the Wiggles Sunday March 18, 2007

    Outside ice hockey season, Philadelphia's Wachovia Spectrum sports arena sometimes puts on rock concerts. Pink Floyd played two nights here on their 1977 Animals tour, a mishap with pain###ers inspiring Roger Waters to write 'Comfortably Numb' about the second. Springsteen blew through to promote his ###s & Dust albm while another American inst-tution were practically the house band; amid the adverts for Dunkin' Donuts, SuperPretzel and Pepsi hangs a sign celebrating their ageless rock: GRATEFUL DEAD - 53 SPECTRUM SELL-OUTS.

    Child's play

    They sing about fruit salad, drive a big red car on stage and are the most popular band in the whole wide world for three-year-olds (and their parents, including Alex James and Jerry Seinfeld). Johnny Davis meets the Wiggles Sunday March 18, 2007

    The Observer Outside ice hockey season, Philadelphia's Wachovia Spectrum sports arena sometimes puts on rock concerts. Pink Floyd played two nights here on their 1977 Animals tour, a mishap with pain###ers inspiring Roger Waters to write 'Comfortably Numb' about the second. Springsteen blew through to promote his ###s & Dust albm while another American inst-tution were practically the house band; amid the adverts for Dunkin' Donuts, SuperPretzel and Pepsi hangs a sign celebrating their ageless rock: GRATEFUL DEAD - 53 SPECTRUM SELL-OUTS. This afternoon, for the first of four consecutive sell-outs, the world's number one pre-school band will launch into a show greeted every bit as rapturously as any by rock's grizzly greats. 'We want everyone to have a safe and fun Wiggles experience,' thunders a voice, over a PA system on loan from Metallica. 'Are you ready to Wiggle?' The band enters stage right driving the Big Red Car - an outsized, electric-powered take on the VW Beetle - and introduce themselves. 'Hi everyone, we're the Wiggles! I'm Greg! ... I'm Murray! ... I'm Jeff! ... and I'm Anthony!' As usual, the Australians are dressed in primary-coloured T-shirts. They wave, beam and give the audience the big thumbs-up. The catchy eight-bar pop of 'Toot Toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car' fills the arena as they lead the singalong: Murray playing his guitar on the back seat with Jeff, Greg at the wheel and Anthony in the pasenger seat, tucking into a bowl of fruit salad. 'Toot toot, chugga chugga, big red car,' they sing. 'We'll travel near, and we'll travel far. Toot toot, chugga chugga, big red car. We're going to drive the whole day long.' The song ends abruptly - no Wiggles song lasts more than a couple of minutes - and they bounce out of the vehicle. 'It's great to be in Philadelphia,' announces Anthony. 'We drove all the way from Australia, in the Big Red Car.' Then it's straight into the next number. 'Walking is great fun,' says Greg, via his mouthpiece. 'But when you go out walking, you want to make sure you are very careful.' During 'Look Both Ways', giant screens show the Wiggles following basic, choreographed moves to illustrate road safety; actions mirrored by the agog audience, a rolling tide of three- and four-year-olds waving foyer-fresh Wiggles merchandise. It's a pattern replicated with no respite over the next 70 minutes, through 'The Monkey Dance', 'Hot Potato', and the Wiggles' very own 'Born to Run' - 'Fruit Salad'. There are appearances by costumed mascots Dorothy the Dinosaur, Wags the Dog and Henry the Octopus, plus 'friendly pirate' Captain Feathersword, notorious throughout the seven seas for his sword made of feathers. Several thousand children and, judging by the number up and dancing, many of their parents have the time of their lives. 'He watches their DVDs from morning to night,' says Dawn Smyth of four-year-old Jake, after the show. Dawn and Jake drove down from New York this morning. 'He loves the music, he loves the wiggling, he loves the adventure. They're way more educational than cartoons.' To say that the Wiggles are the world's most successful children's entertainers is to ~ them with the faintest of praise. In the year ending June 2006, the former schoolteachers, rock band members and owners of 100 per cent of the Wiggles brand amased £23m from their catalogue of CDs, DVDs, TV shows, toys, apparel, furniture, books and a touring itinerary that finds them playing two shows a day, 200 days a year. They recently completed 12 shows at New York's Madison Square Garden, a run which prompted Coldplay's Chris Martin to say: 'We played a few nights there that sold out really fast. So we were like, "OK. We're really the big boys." Then we got told the Wiggles had sold it out for a week, playing three times a day.' In the US, the Wiggles have sold more than 12 million DVDs with t-tles like Wiggledancing, Wiggly Play Time and Hoop-Dee-Doo! It's a Wiggly Party (Britney Spears's last albm, by comparison, shifted one million). According to Twentieth Century Fox, in Australia one in every two children owns a Wiggles CD or DVD. Australia's Business Review Weekly aserts that last year the Wiggles earned more than Nicole Kidman and Kylie Minogue, and more than Russell Crowe and AC/DC combined. In 2005, that country's biggest export was steel. In 2006, it was the Wiggles. In January this year, Bindi Irwin, eight-year-old daughter of former Crocodile Hunter Steve, performed with the Wiggles alongside Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette and Olivia Newton-John on a tour promoting Australia to America, t-tled G'Day USA. 'We got a plaque,' Murray Cook (46, the red Wiggle) told me when we first met at the Australian High Commission in London last June, when the Wiggles had been named Exporter of the Year. 'It's pretty amazing.' 'To beat AC/DC is mind-blowing,' agreed Anthony Field (43, blue). 'They've got the same tour manager as us. He filmed Feathersword doing a version of his quack quack song ["Captain Feathersword Fell Asleep on His Pirate Ship (Quack Quack)"] and sent it over. Instead of "You Shook Me All Night Long", he sang "You Quacked Me All Night Long".' AC/DC are in good company: the list of the Wiggles' famous fans is impressive. Robert De Niro, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld and Sarah Jessica Parker have brought their offspring along to shows, while a minor sporting brouhaha erupted when Shaquille O'Neal was apparently too injured to play basketball for Miami Heat but fit enough to join the Wiggles onstage for 'Hot Potato' ('Hot potato/ Cold spaghetti/ Mashed banana'). 'Shaquille's manager came to the side of the stage and said to Murray, "Shaq wants on,"' recalled Anthony. 'He was already wearing his red skivvie [T-shirt], he's that much of a fan. Every sports station in America ran the story.' Another evening, the band were unnerved to look into the audience and see Metallica's James Hetfield glaring back. 'He was doing the horns,' Anthony said. 'All the way through, the heavy metal sign.' Where adults are fans, children are fanatical. As well as being short and almost insufferably catchy, Wiggles songs are custom-built to be kiddie catnip. As three-quarters of the group met studying early-childhood education, everything the Wiggles do is geared towards understanding how very young children think. They know they love copying repet-tive actions, dancing, and enjoy being given tasks to do. Wiggles songs focus on activities such as eating, pointing and getting dressed. 'You've got to hold children's attention,' said Murray. 'On our TV show, we do lots of talking down the camera. You're involving them. They respond a bit more than they might do with Pixar movies, for example. We're not disparaging that. But it is different.' Even if resistance is surely futile, in the UK the Wiggles are so far not quite as thunderously successful as they are elsewhere on the planet. Consequently, on the London leg of their last UK tour they made do with just the four shows at the Hammersmith Apollo. Before showtime, amid the disembodied heads of dinosaur Dorothy and dog Wags, a man known as Doctor Damage put Anthony through his paces. Bald, buff and possessed of a stare that could buckle wood, Damage trains the Australian cricket XI. He's also Team Wiggles' resident fitness #. Even for those performers not wearing a 30lb -animal head, the Wiggles' twice daily, all-singing, all-dancing show is physically punishing. 'This one is the spine extender,' Damage barked, as Anthony did chin-ups on the Apollo's lighting ladder. 'A 43-year-old man should not be doing this,' Anthony grunted. At the end of one matinee, Rolf Harris joined the Wiggles onstage for 'Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport' and presented them with a platinum disc for sales of the It's a Wiggly Wiggly World DVD. Backstage, Harris held court. 'I've been rushing about like a blue-faced baboon,' he explained. What's Rolf's take on the Wiggles' success? 'They relate to the kids. They do the songs and the kids do the actions. It's so nice to see children have decent role models.' He thinks about this. 'But it's an Australian att-tude. Which is, "I can do anything." Do it. And succeed.' Together they conspired to offer an alternative to nursery rhymes: new songs pre-school clases might find fun. Recruiting Jeff Fatt, and with the help of Anthony's brother, John, they rewrote the Cockroaches' songbook to focus on singing, dancing and fruit salad. One Cockroaches' song, 'Get Ready to Wiggle', already seemed to encapsulate how toddlers danced. In 1991, that was the name they adapted for their first CD. Since Murray had noted that children respond better to puppets than teachers, when they performed at shopping centres they added costumed characters Dorothy the Dinosaur and Captain Feathersword. In 1993, the Wiggles made a 13-episode TV show which they sold to Disney. Then they struck a deal with a company that was taken over by Hit Entertainment, overseers of Bob the Builder and Barney and Friends. A support slot with Barney followed and the Wiggles were off, releasing nine DVDs in three years. The Wiggles' success is resolutely old school. They put their faith in human interaction; in singing and dancing. Plus, they're sk i l led songwriters. In their vast songbook it's possible to detect more than an echo of White Albm Lennon, of Motown and of the bubblegum of the Monkees or the 1910 Fruitgum Company. 'I wrote "Fruit Salad",' says Anthony. 'I got the "yummy, yummy" from "Yummy, yummy, yummy/ I've got love in my tummy" [the 1967 Ohio Express hit "Yummy Yummy Yummy"].' 'They're really good songs,' said Blur's Alex James, whose three sons are devotees. 'There's something slightly indie about them. I've spent more on the Wiggles than on the Smiths or New Order. I went to America and they had, like, 20 DVDs and CDs. Which is a bargain for an extra hour in bed for the past two years. They're just cool.' 'It's not like, "Oh, we'd rather be singing great rock songs but instead we've got to sing 'Hot potato, mashed banana',"' tutted Greg. 'It's not something we do because we couldn't succeed at something else. It comes from a genuine love of children and entertaining.' 'This is so much more fun than being in a rock band,' said Anthony. 'It's more creative. ' After today's final performance, there's a problem. The Philadelphia Phillies baseball team have invited the group to throw the first pitch in a match against the Washington Nationals (in US tradition, celebrities of all stripes often open games). The stadium is 10 minutes drive away and the arena has laid on a golf buggy as transport, but not everyone will fit. Anthony has the solution: 'We'll take the Big Red Car.' So it comes to pas that, having been complicit in the notion that the Wiggles travel the world in a giant electric car, thousands of children leaving today's show with their parents get an extra treat. They get to see the Wiggles waving and smiling as they drive the Big Red Car out of the stadium and onto the freeway. You can't help but think any Englishman condemned to dress like he was in Star Trek while singing 'Crunchy Munchy Honey Cakes' 400 times a year would crack and punch Wags the Dog. Yet three Wiggles are happily married with young families. 'We're pretty boring,' said Murray. 'Our rider is just water.' 'We've got an espresso machine,' added Anthony. Perhaps they think of the cash. As one dad in the London audience put it: 'They're having the last laugh. For a few million I'd dress up as whatever you wanted.' Merchandising to children is its own Hot Potato. Feathersword swords (£6), Dorothy tails (£6), Wiggles mugs (£10), Feathersword hats (£12), various DVDs (£14) and Wiggly Guitars (£26) are just some of the items on sale before shows (afterwards, they've all but sold out). Not everyone's happy. 'Six quid for a balloon is too much,' complains Kate Hickman, at a London show with her family. 'It's disgusting. It cost us 80 quid to get in in the first place, and another 20 quid for balloons.' (They're good quality balloons, but still.) 'My feeling is, we should try and make this a brand, not just a band,' says Mike Conway, the group's business affairs manager. 'The Wiggly Guitar is one of the top-selling toys in America but the philosophy we have is: what would you feel comfortable allowing your child to have? We don't do confectionery. We don't do soft drinks.' Indeed, as anyone who has tried to extricate 'Fruit Salad' from their brains will attest, the message is asuredly one of healthy eating. But that doesn't mean there's not still money to be made. In America, Yoplait printed up 1.5 million yoghurt cartons featuring the band's faces. Motts, the food behemoth, has followed with 500,000 juice products. 'But it's important we're not driven by consumer products,' says Mike, continuing the dairy theme: 'That's just the cream at the end.' You might think the Wiggles can't carry on forever. You'd be wrong. In 2006 they launched a global franchise with a Taiwanese Wiggles and a Latin American Wiggles, new primary-coloured foursomes for the Mandarin and Spanish-speaking markets. (One Spanish Wiggle is female. Murray: 'Really, for early childhood, it's a bit more appropriate.') A Japanese Wiggles is on the way. Meanwhile, Dorothy the Dinosaur's off on a solo tour, targeting 'remote territories'. And the band recently opened Wiggles World, in Australia's biggest theme park. 'Like the Stones, the Wiggles have got plenty of years left in them,' said Conway. 'Children don't see a grey hair or two. But a theme park is a sustainable solution. It makes it permanent.' And if that doesn't cement their legacy, they have proposed doing what the Pet Shop Boys once suggested: hand the coloured skivvies down to younger subst-tutes. Then, last November, it really happened. Following months of on-off illness, Greg was diagnosed with orthostatic intolerance - a blood pressure anomaly that means standing upright makes him nauseous and fatigued. He could no longer perform as a Wiggle. In a sober video posted on the Wiggles website, Greg - atypically wearing a regular black top - symbolically handed over his yellow skivvy to Sam Moran, his understudy. 'I'll miss being part of the Wiggles very much, but this is the right decision because it will allow me to focus on managing my health,' he explained. Moran undertook his first US tour with the group this year. 'Kids accept change much better than adults do,' Sam told me earler this month. 'The way we're going to deal with it is not pretend that I'm Greg, by any means. We start the show with Greg's farewell video and use it to explain to the children that just as children get sick, the Wiggles get sick, too.' He said that, so far, there have been no tears before bedtime to report. 'Well, some of the younger ones don't really understand it. Because I'm roughly the same height as Greg. They say "Greg, have you had a haircut?"' The real Greg, meanwhile, is 'still up and down. But he seems to be managing. At least he knows what his illness is now.' And Greg will continue to get royalties from the back catalogue. Sam's already started writing songs. Meanwhile, there are three US tours, three new DVDs and a new TV show to film this year. Seemingly nothing can halt the Big Red Car as it drives the Wiggles inexorably onward to world domination. Well, almost nothing. There is one pressing snag with the Taiwanese Wiggles. 'Culturally, they don't have an equivalent for mashed banana,' said Murray. 'We're going to have to find some new lyrics to "Hot Potato".'moreless