Did you know Barry Crocker worked with Tom Jones on his very first show in Connecticut, USA, in 1965? Tom is the Welsh legend who is still seen performing, promoting his classic hits such as “Sex Bomb” and “It’s Not Unusual”. Barry now has his entire catalogue on his revamped webiste, and is still the darling of the over 50’s around all the clubs and pubs of Australia. Seems the two lads will still have plenty to talk about!
Both have aged extremely well, sporting the natural ‘lived in and laid back’ look- the glory days look like they haven’t passed at all, and that’s partially because the pair of them are still holding their own and bringing in the patrons to their performances!
Barry Crocker may be better remembered to UK readers as Barry Mackenzie, nephew of Dame Edna Everage, the awful (depending on whether you bat for Oz or England) Aussie Ocker in the movie ‘Barry Mackenzie Holds His Own’ (referring to his beer, I hasten to add).
Now here I have to stop and confess that I have never heard of this sequel, made in 1974, because we emigrated to Aus in 1972 and with a tiny baby and two and half year-old, plus no telly for the first year or so because my husband was on nightshift (long story), I missed out on that part of my education.
There was not the time to go to the drive-in where these movies were being shown near Singleton, NSW. ‘The Adventures of Barry Mackenzie’ premiered in that year, so by the time we had settled in to our new home and stopped driving around looking at the fantastic scenery and getting burnt on the beaches, the film was history, and not forgotten history as any trawl through Google will tell you.
I did hear Barry singing on the radio at that time, and his music was the stuff a tired mother could sit down and sigh to. However, Barry Crocker had been a pop star in Oz while I was going to see Jimi Hendrix, Englebert Humperdink and the guy who sang ‘Matthew and Son’ (then changed his name), in Chesterfield, England, when they were all on the same programme doing their first big hits.
The music scene was very different in Australia at that time, and Barry was one of the pathfinders who took Aussie music to Europe and began the music revolution that saw original Australian music command respect overseas. He was in the Rolf Harris mould – no, I correct that, they broke the mould for Rolf Harris…
Barry was one of those versatile entertainers who could turn their hands to anything, and with his engaging personality and the personality of Barry Mackenzie looking over his shoulder, he became a big star on the same scale as Engebert and the others. Unlike many stars though, he also made his name in the US, as previously mentioned.
However, I had left the UK by the time ‘The Bazz’ hit the shores. and so I missed all the action, except that we had become ‘the Pommie Bastards’ that the film referred to! I suppose you could call it a ‘cultural exchange’; one Scot and one Yorkshireman for one Barry Crocker!
When we did get a TV I found out he was also very good-looking, on just about every programme, and a right comedian. When pop music changed, Barry had developed his own style, and this carried him through the years as all his fans matured into Mums, then Grannies. So to us he is still as young as we are, and his latest concerts have been getting great newspaper reviews, well one anyway that I have seen!!
His music is still selling and now being rediscovered all over again on iTunes and Spotify. On his last album ‘Reflections’, he has included four of his own tracks.
Barry says he chose that title because:
’Each song on the CD means something to me, emotionally, at some point in my life, even the ones I’ve written. For instance, the first track ‘And I loved you then’ explains that at this time in my life, I wanted to take the chance to look back over the romances, and the women involved in them, and say in musical form, “Thank you for being a part of my life.” Some, sadly have already passed on, so I felt I better write this song before it’s too late! But basically the reason for the album is explained in the lyrics. That’s my favourite song on the CD, but “Laura” comes close.’
’I cant think of any song that I am singing that I hate to sing. There are several tunes I don’t like, but I choose not to sing them!’
Barry is best known outside of Oz for his film roles.
As Barry says: ’I’m always looking for acting roles. I appeared in two plays in 2008:”The Hat Pin” (CD available) and “Reefer Madness”. Each one was very enjoyable. Currently I’m up to 2006 in my second Autobiography. The first was called ‘The Adventures of Barry Crocker’, after the film title. I guess there are a few things I would change in my life, if I had the chance to go back – but then again I’m pretty happy today, and if I’d changed them, who knows where I’d be?
The biggest celeb I’ve ever met & chatted with would have to be Frank Sinatra (stories in the new book!) The most real (apart from family & friends) celeb, would have to be Topol (famous for Fiddler on the Roof). We worked together over a two-year period, and I found him to be made of the earth, a real mans man! (once again in the book).’
Something that has affected Barry’s life was the main subject of his films in some ways, but:
’I don’t drink any more – or as Dean Martin said: –“But I don’t drink any less!” I gave up complicating my life about 12 or 13 years ago, and am much better for it. My favourite dish, (which I’m having tonight) is chicken’.
Barry Crocker’s life has changed over the years and he says,
’I’ve found as I’ve gotten older that I have to work harder at learning new material (nose down –bum up!) but other things are easier. I still enjoy them all immensely, whatever they may be! I pray that my health will hold, and I can keep doing what I’m doing for some time to come.’
Barry is one of the most down to earth stars we have.
‘I certainly don’t consider myself anything like a genius, that’s Barry Humphries territory, but I don’t know what I’d do with myself if I couldn’t work – maybe just sit around on Facebook all day!’
The internet is indeed an absorbing place- which is why it’s fortunate that Bazza’s website is all polished up and ready to go! It has the entirety of his catalogue available, and said catalogue is also available now on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, and all other major retailers!
On his website you can find his bio, details about him and his work, his musical catalogue, and more! Fans of Australian entertainment, you owe it to yourselves to go over there and check it out. We suggest starting here, with his catalogue/discography!
Or if his book and visual media are more your cup of tea, how about his merchandise?
You’re bound to enjoy yourself by taking a dive in and discovering some of the greatest talent Australia has to offer!
Indeed, 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”.
Barry Crocker is a DJ Central Records and Blue Pie Records USA artist. Barry is published by Blue Pie Records (APRA) and Blue Pie Publishing USA (ASCAP)
Check out the official links below for more information on Barry:
We hope you like these clips on YouTube: