Barry Crocker is regarded as one of the ‘greats’ of the Australian music and entertainment industry. Born in the suburbs of Geelong, Victoria, Barry has managed to foster a very well respected and impressive career both as an actor and as a musician over several decades. Barry has proven time and time again that he is the consummate entertainer with an extensive recording history, numerous television appearances both in Australia and overseas, and numerous national and international live performances to his name. Barry has managed to do what many artists only dream of doing- transcending the music, television and theatre industry to become a mainstay fixture in today’s entertainment business.
Barry’s humble beginnings in the entertainment industry began when he toured with a theatre group in Melbourne after serving with the RAAF under National Service in 1955. After performing at clubs with his theatre group, Barry partnered up with Dave Clarke (aka Dave Nelson) and began performing overseas in England and the US. Upon returning to Australia, Barry made a number of television appearances and projects, starring in a TV musical sketch comedy called 66 And All That, which later became known as the Barry Crocker Show, airing on Network Ten for two years. His extensive national and international television projects include hosting two Eurovision televisions specials for BBC Television; he became an esteemed collaborator on Britain’s hit show ‘Saturday Variety’ and became a presenter and leading performer on ‘The Sounds of Music TV’ series, which earned him a Gold Logie Award as Australia’s Top Male T.V. Personality in 1969. Barry also enjoyed a wonderful six-year hosting role on ‘Carols in the Domain’ with Network Seven.
Barry’s already impressive long list of acting accolades continues with his numerous lead roles in live theatre and cabaret productions including an acclaimed theatrical performance as lead role Jerry Ryan in America’s ‘See Saw’ alongside Michelle Lee and Tommy Tune, the lead roles in ‘Scapino’ and ‘Mother’s Day’ and the role of Frank in ‘Educating Rita’ with Katy Manning and was the voice of the narrator in the ‘Rocky Horror Show’ in Sydney’s Star City theatre and in 2004 played an integral part in the successful Australian musical ‘Eureka’.
Barry’s contributions to the music industry began in May of 1973 when he released the album Music Makes My Day. Featuring the likes of Australian greats Olivia Newton-John and Pat Carroll on the album, it enjoyed great chart success reaching as high as chart position number 3 in Brisbane and Adelaide. His concert performances numbers in the hundreds comprising of a dynamic four week season at the renowned MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe’s The Sahara Hotel, The Village Barn and The Bonsoir in New York and London’s Palace Theatre. His participation and contribution to the UNICEF concerts are highly valued across various charity companies and perhaps most notably, Barry participated in Jerry Lewis’s telethon alongside the legendary Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Dean Martin.
The number of awards and accolades he has received demonstrates just how naturally talented Barry is. He is honoured with the prestigious ‘Order of Australia’ award in 1987 for his dedicated charity work and contribution to the arts, two ‘Entertainer of the Year’ awards, four ‘Mo’ awards, one ‘Sammy’, a ‘Penguin’ and an outstanding thirty three Gold records. Barry even received the special honour of being the first person to host a national television show in 1973, filmed and televised at the Sydney Opera House before the venue’s official opening.
It is nearly impossible to list all his achievements and unreasonable to define his talent to just one medium but the American entertainment institution Variety sums up Barry Crocker perfectly as “Another hot Australian Export”.