Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Bring on the Wobble Board King

Rolf Harris is to be inducted into the Aria Hall of Fame tonight.

"I got into children's television because I was crash-hot at cartoons," he says. "That was my bread and butter, how I paid the bills."

It was at the Down Under that he first performed Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport.

"Back then, when you did anything Australian, there was a cringe factor," he says.

"Anything Australian was second-rate. You had to sing in an American or English accent.

"I spent seven years trying to be British, impress the Poms, and speak correctly. Suddenly, I could be myself, and sing with an Australian accent. I could sing in my own voice."

When he eventually returned to Perth to record Kangaroo three years later, it would spend four weeks at the top of the Australian charts.

The song launched an extraordinary career that has encompassed multiple rebirths, including guest slots with the Beatles and top 10 hits.

And that's not to mention his achievements in art — his other creative passion — and television.

"Kangaroo was one of the first songs besides Slim Dusty's Pub with No Beer to be number one with an Australian accent," he says. "It was a huge change for Australia."

Onya Rolf

Too bad you missed out on Australias 50 Greatest Albums from the AussieMusic Snobborazzis.

He even sang with the Beatles as backup singers.

Wobble On You Good Aussie.


Jayne said...

We used to play the version with the Beatles on our radio show; it's quite funny!

Colin Campbell said...

You were on the radio? I used to do student radio in Scotland. The only time I am on the radio now is to moan and groan about politicians and to discuss budgies and the like.

Shades said...

I thought his version of "Stairway to Heaven" was good as well.

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