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Who Is the Red Wiggle?

Updated on March 4, 2013

Who is the red Wiggle? If you are around small children – sons, daughters, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, you may have noticed that Australian band The Wiggles are very popular with the pre-school set. You may have even wondered about the individual members of the band, particularly, the red Wiggle.

1991-2012: Murray Cook

Since the band’s inception, the red Wiggle has been “Murray Wiggle,” also known as Murray Cook. Murray Cook was born in New South Wales, Australia June 30, 1960. He aspired to a career in music and played guitar with a number of bands in the 1980’s, including Transistor and Finger Guns – as well as Bang Shang a Lang, which remains active in the Sydney music scene.

Despite his involvement with those bands, Cook did not have the success in his music career that he had hoped for. He decided to return to college to pursue a degree in early childhood education at Macquarie University. Over the course of his studies, Cook met Anthony Field and Greg Page, with whom he would form the Wiggles. Jeff Fatt, the purple Wiggle, would join the band later.

Cook, Field, and Page worked together on a class project, which ultimately led to the formation of the Wiggles in its current form in 1991. The group ended up recording an album of children’s songs. From there, the band has worked together to record numerous albums, toured all over the world, and have their own television show. They have grown to become one of the most popular children’s bands, a status they continue to enjoy to this day.

Although he contributes vocals and performs multiple instruments, Cook’s role in the Wiggles is primarily as its guitar player – a role immortalized in the band’s staple, “Play Your Guitar with Murray.” In addition to his musical contributions, he is known as the “intellectual” of the band. Thus role spans “real life” and the Wiggles’ “world.” For the former, he has been reported to help facilitate group decisions, and he was tapped to give a commencement speech at the Australian Catholic University when the band’s members received honorary degrees. For the latter, he has been featured in the group’s television show as cerebrally pondering observed paradoxes in the world around him.

2013 and Onward

Beginning at the end of 2012, the question, “who is the red Wiggle” will have a new answer, as Murray Cook hangs up his “red skivvy” along with founding members Greg Page and Jeff Fatt. (Skivvy is an Australian term for the colored shirts that the band members wear.) The new red wiggle will be Simon Pryce. Pryce has performed with the Wiggles for several years as one of the group’s “Wiggly Dancers,” and, during the band’s transition period, he has already begun to take on a more prominent role.

Cook will remain involved in the Wiggles, both as an owner and as an offstage creative contributor.

The two red Wiggles can be seen side-by-side in the video to the Wiggles’ 2012 song, “Ooey Ooey Allerges” [correct title], which prominently features Simon Pryce (although not as a “skivvied Wiggle”) along with Cook, as always, on the guitar.

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