Barry Crocker

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Barry Crocker
Born (1935-11-04) 4 November 1935 (age 78)
Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Other names Bazza
Occupation Singer,
Film actor,
Television actor
Partner(s) Katy Manning (1990–2010)
Children One son, four daughters – 11 grandchildren

Barry Hugh Crocker (AM) (born 4 November 1935, in Geelong, Victoria,[1] Australia) is a popular Australian singer, with a crooning vocal style known for singing the theme tune to the popular Australian soap opera Neighbours and a Gold Logie winning character actor and television personality.

Biography[edit]

After undergoing National Service with the RAAF in 1955, Crocker toured with a theatre group and did the club circuit in Melbourne, followed by a partnership with David Clark (aka Dave Nelson), and performed in England and the United States. He returned to Australia to star in a TV musical comedy show called 66 And All That, which became The Barry Crocker Show (1966–67)[2] on Network Ten.

Barry went on to become the presenter and leading performer on The Sound of Music TV series, which earned him a Gold Logie in 1970 as Australia's top (male) TV personality. His singing talents eventually earned him over 30 gold records.

Barry made his acting debut on a 1969 episode of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.

Music career[edit]

In May 1973, he released the album "Music Makes My Day", featuring an updated version of Robin Luke's "Susie Darlin" on the Festival label. The recording featured Olivia Newton-John and Pat Carroll on backup vocals and enjoyed chart success, reaching Number 25 in Sydney, Number 7 in Melbourne, Number 3 in Brisbane and Adelaide.[3][4][5][6]

He sang the original recording of the theme song for the soap opera Neighbours.

He wrote and recorded the theme song for the Geelong Aussie Rules Football Club, entitled Come on the Cats.[1]

Acting career[edit]

Barry Crocker has also had a successful career as an actor, most notably starring alongside Barry Humphries in the title role of Bruce Beresford's The Adventures of Barry McKenzie and its sequel, Barry McKenzie Holds His Own. The character of Barry McKenzie gave rise to Crocker recording such ribald songs as "My One Eyed Trouser Snake".

Barry Crocker was Beresford's first choice as lead actor when it came to the filming of David Williamson's popular play Don's Party, but serious back problems curtailed Crocker's screen career at this point, opening the way for John Hargreaves to achieve film success in the coveted role of Don.

Nevertheless, Barry Crocker was crowned Melbourne's King of Moomba in 1976.[7]

He had the lead role as Governor Alan Smith in the short-lived prison drama Punishment (1981). He guest starred on two episodes of the Australian satirical black comedy series Review with Myles Barlow. More recent TV roles have included parts in Pizza, Swift'N'Shift, and Housos for SBS and the Strange Calls, an ABC2 comedy series.

In 1994, Bazza appeared as himself in the world-wide record-breaking film Muriel's Wedding. Barry proved his acting/comedy credentials once again as the retro-disco-host Donny Destry in the smash-hit movie Razzle Dazzle in 2009. Crocker also features prominently in the yet-to-be-released Australian feature film Ricky! the movie.

Barry also appeared as Charles "Hoot" Russell, Greg Russell's father in the Hey Dad..! episode "Hoot's Boots". This was the second-to-last episode of the show, which spanned 14 seasons.

His stage roles are almost too numerous to mention, but he was chosen by the legendary Topol to co-star as his nemesis in a long-running Australian season of the musical Fiddler on the Roof. Barry also featured in the role of The Lecturer in the 2008 Australian premiere of the stage musical Reefer Madness.[citation needed]. A versatile actor, Barry will take on any type of role, be it musical, comedic or dramatic. His unending talents have kept him in demand by stage, TV and film producers for over fifty years.

Barry has recounted the early part of his incredible life in a best-selling autobiography called Bazza, published by Pan MacMillan in 2003, but he has since produced an even more important document entitled BARRY CROCKER – LAST OF THE ENTERTAINERS, filled with dramatic, sad and hilarious experiences, and profusely illustrated with fifty-odd years of Australian showbiz people and events. The book was designed by Reno Design and is to be published early in 2014.

Barry now presents the Australian version of Behind Mansion Walls on the Crime and Investigation network on Foxtel in Australia. His enchanting and enticing performance has garnered critical acclaim in Australia and abroad.

Other appearances[edit]

In 2005, Crocker was featured on the Nine Network program This Is Your Life. It was a rare accolade, as Barry had already been the subject of this prestigious TV program 25 years earlier. Barry was caught by surprise when Mike Munro and the TV production team arrived, after a lot of careful planning by his long-term partner, Katy Manning, the popular English actress.

Barry also performs his self-created long-running one-man show Barry Crocker's Banjo on a regular basis, bringing the true-life story of A B "Banjo" Paterson to Australian audiences young and old.

In popular culture[edit]

During the 1990s, the rhyming slang expression, "Barry Crocker" or simply "Barry" or "Baz" emerged in Australian English, to mean a "shocker", as in "very poor".[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b About Official Barry Crocker website
  2. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0259759/
  3. ^ Susie Darlin' – BARRY CROCKER 1973 Pop Archives
  4. ^ Albums by Barry Crocker Rate Your Music
  5. ^ Music Makes My Day by Barry Crocker: Reviews and Rating Rate Your Music
  6. ^ Barry Crocker Discography BarryCrocker.net
  7. ^ Craig Bellamy, Gordon Chisholm, Hilary Eriksen (17 February 2006) Moomba: A festival for the people PDF pp 17–22
  8. ^ "OzWords: When People Become Words" (pdf). Australian National Dictionary Centre, Australian National University. October 2005. Retrieved 20 February 2010. 

External links[edit]