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The Wiggles

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The Wiggles
History15

First Appearance

Wiggle Time

Last Appearance

N/A

"The Wiggles" are a children's group that formed in the year 1991, after Anthony Field 'had the idea to make a children's album'. The first line-up was Anthony Field, Murray Cook, Greg Page, Jeff Fatt and Phillip Wilcher (nicknamed the fifth and first Wiggle). Phillip Wilcher was forced to leave the group soon after the release of their first album. In 2006, Greg as forced to leave the group due to an illness called Orthostatic intolerance and as replaced by his long-time understudy Sam Moran, until 2012. In 2013, Murray, Jeff, and Greg, were replaced by Simon, Emma and Lachy.

Before The Wiggles

Originally, Field and Fatt were in the pop 80's band called The Cockroaches. One day, Anthony Field dropped off his sister to Macquarie University and decided it looked good, so he could sign up as well. He talked to Greg Page, who was currently a roadie for The Cockroaches and convinced him to come and have a look too. This is where they met Murray Cook and Phillip Wilcher. They studied Early Childhood Teaching.

Starting The Wiggles

One day, Anthony had the idea to record an album of children's music, so the four guys, and a man called Philip Wilcher, recorded and released the album in 1991.

Phillip Wilcher was employed by Macquarie University as an assistant to the Early Childhood Music program in which Field had enrolled as a student. Wilcher had previously been employed as Assistant Editor for the Classical/Educational Division of the Sydney based music publishing house of J Albert and Sons Pty Ltd as well as having worked for the ABC. Field first approached Wilcher requesting he write for the debut abum. Wilcher also contributed the most financially to the project. The album as to afford the Wiggles a contract ith the ABC for to further recordings but Wilcher soon found himself dumped by Field after the debut album appeared.

Wilcher states he had a verbal agreement to write for subsequent albums and whilst a document was drawn up for Phillip Wilcher agreeing that he would just stay behind the scenes as a writer and not be classified as a performer it was never officially acted upon. Wilcher did however appear in the film clip for Dorothy the Dinsosaur at the request of Anthony Field some months after initially leaving the group as a performer. According to Greg Page's autobiogrpahy, it would seem none of the other members of the group knew he had been asked back to be in the clip. In May 1992 went to the US to perform at celebrations honouring the legendary showman/pianist Liberace, whose family and friends Wilcher knew well, and when he came back to Australia he could not get in any contact with Anthony Field or any other of The Wiggles. Eventually, he was told that the album was recorded without him and he was no longer needed. Wilcher was in the States no longer than three weeks. Greg Page states in his book "Now and Then" that they had a three week deadline by which to record the second album "Here Comes A Song" , a deadline Wilcher was apparently unaware of and one which coincides with the exact dates he was performing in the States.Although he had already written nearly the whole album by himself, he later released a children's album of sheet music independently involving those songs which has received favourbale critical acclaim from several early childhood music experts.

Characters

The Wiggles' first character was Mischief the Monkey which was based on one of Wilcher's songs on the debut album, but he soon got cancelled out of the show. They have involved other characters into their shows such as Captain Feathersword, Dorothy The Dinosaur, Henry The Octopus and Wags The Dog. There have been other minor characters such as Zardo Zap, Officer Beaples and Professor Singalotta Songa. The Wiggles have a group of backup dances called The Wiggly Dancers which have changed throughout the past 10 years. They tour with them and appear on the CD's, DVDs and television programs.

Articles

Two interesing articles have appeared in recent years about Wilcher's involvemnet with the Wiggles : "A Life Less Wiggly" by Steve Dow and "Becoming A Top Pre School Band was No Child's Play For Wiggles" by journalist Nick March writing for Abu Dhabi's The National.

Touring Around The World

The Wiggles have released close to fifty albums and video's and toured relentlessly, not just in Australia, but in the USA, Canada, Europe, Asia and many other places. They have one numerous amounts of awards and have been named the most successful children's act of all time.

Becoming Disney

As of 2002, The Wiggles did an American TV series named "Wiggles World" on Playhouse Disney with the TV rating. The pilot episode was "Wiggle Food".

The Wiggles

Former

  • Sam - The Yellow Wiggle that filled in for Greg from 2006 - 2012
  • Phillip - 5th Wiggle from 1991-1992
  • Jeff - Original Wiggle
  • Greg - Original Wiggle
  • Murray - Original Wiggle

Wiggles logo
JackbillyAdded by Jackbilly

The first Wiggles logo was first designed in 1991 printed on the 1991 original album cover.

In 1996, the logo was redesigned with wiggly letters out of colours and with a yellow background. Which is the one that is showing here.

The word 'The' is colored red, the dot on top of the 'i' is green, the 'L' is purple and leaving the other letters blue.

Timeline

Here is a timeline of The Wiggles' history: 1991 - Present

Phillip Wilcher

PhillipWiggle
Phillip Wilcher the 5th Wiggle.
In 1991, Wilcher worked with the early childhood music program at Macquarie University. Anton Field, a childhood development student, approached him about a music group Field was contemplating. Wilcher joined Greg Page, Jeff Fatt, Murray Cook, and Field from its earliest days through the production of the CD The Wiggles. Wilcher claims to have "contributed the most musically to the debut album."

"Get Ready to Wiggle" and "Dorothy the Dinosaur" were the only music videos that featured him and were only seen on ABC For Kids Video Hits and ABC For Kids Video Hits 2.

In 1992, Wilcher travelled to the United States. When he returned he was informed that the group did not need him, and that a second album had been taped while he was overseas. Wilcher says he has no idea as to why he was kicked out of the group. The Wiggles, however, dispute this account. Dianna O'Neill, the group's spokeswoman, states that Wilcher wrote a letter of resignation. "There is no story. There was no fight, no fallout. Wilcher was just not so much into children's music, he was more into classical music."

Over the years, Wilcher's involvement with the group has been essentially deleted. The debut CD has been re-recorded, renamed Wiggle Time and re-released with all of Wilcher's contributions canceled. Wilcher indicates that he was too "reclusive" to be a Wiggle.

The Wiggles TV Series

main article: The Wiggles TV series

The Wiggles aired on TV in 1992 for the airing of the pilot. It takes place at a pre-school tour. In 1994, they released another pilot episode for their "Yummy Yummy" video. They started airing latest episodes in 1998.

Each TV Series has a name:

TV Series 1 - Let's Wiggle

TV Series 2 - Wiggles World

TV Series 3 - Lights, Camera, Action Wiggles!

TV Series 4 - The Wiggles Show

TV Series 5 - The Wiggles Show

TV Series 6 - Wiggle and Learn

TV Series 7 - Ready, Steady, Wiggle!

Gallery

See here

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