Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Spencer for hire?

It's only  53* days until:

Continuing on the “telling my readers everything I – a Yank – know about Australia" trek, I bring you the treasure of Don Spencer’s video “Bob the Kelpie.”

This charming ditty entered my consciousness back when the Disney Channel was being programmed to entertain children. Mickey cartoons, kid song videos, and those classic animal movies were the staple material. Why they changed to virtually 100% shows about kids who are smarter than adults I don't know.

(Oh duh. Was it that they were playing to a target audience?)

And because of my intellectual curiosity, I just had to learn that the kelpie is an Australian sheep dog that has been exported throughout the world and are used to muster livestock, primarily sheep, cattle, goats and poultry with little or no command guidance.

And I just love that the song makes reference to how Bob "likes to ride in the back of the Ute." "Ute" is Aussie slang for a utility vehicle, or pick-up truck. Yes, it's nerdy to think this way, but I just love learning stuff like that.

Don Spencer, OAM (that's like Australian knighthood), is a children's television performer and musician. He's considered a bit of an Australian national treasure.

Once you hear this, you're going to spend days just wanting to "give a whistle, and call for Bob the Kelpie." Have some serious enjoyment.

Maybe I need to create a new list of people who amazing and inexplicably occupy a pivot spot in my quest to to understand the universe though the eyes of Budding Ventriloquist.  Don Spencer seems need only 3 or 3 1/2 degrees of separation for me, so he would definitely head the list.

First of all, his first "hit song" was the theme tune to Fireball XL5 in 1962, reaching #32 on the UK Singles Chart. Fireball XL5, though not a ventriloquist show per see, was this really cool puppet science fiction show that made me want to change my name to Colonel Steve Zodiac. See the November 11, 2009 post if you don't believe me. Colonel would be such a cool first name.

In many ways, it is what put the puppet/ventriloquist idea in my head at a very young age.

As you watch the opening segment, sing along! And gents, if you have someone special in your heart (especially a sci-fi fan), this is serenading material for sure:

Fireball XL5
I wish I was a space man.
The fastest guy alive.
I'd fly you round the universe,
In Fireball XL-5.
Way out in space together,
Compass of the sky,
My heart would be a fireball,
A fireball,
Every time I gazed into your starry eyes.

We'd take the path to Jupiter,
And maybe very soon.
We'd cruise along the Milky Way,
And land upon the moon.
To our wonderland of stardust,
We'll zoom our way to Mars,
My heart would be a fireball,
A fireball,
If you would be my Venus of the stars.

You're going to love this.


The second amazing connection between Don Spencer and this budding ventriloquist is that he is the father-in-law of Russell Crowe, Yes, the same Russell Crowe that I first dissed (Stop Croweing Now), then realized the prudence of kowtowing to (See footnote to Building a better billabong).

Don's daughter is Danielle, who is also an actress.  Here's a picture of Danielle and Russell.  Please note that Russell seems to be snearing at me, getting read to pummel.

What? Please tell me - what did I do?

53 is a prime number. I like this "doing things on prime numbers" thing.  It's so totally unconventional. It feels like stickin' it to the Man.

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