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Mike Jackson (Australian entertainer) facts for kids

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For other persons of the same or similar name, see Michael Jackson (disambiguation).
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Mike Jackson
Born 23 November 1946 (1946-11-23) (age 74)
Fishtoft, Lincolnshire, England
Origin Melbourne, Australia
Occupation(s) Children's entertainer, recording artist, songwriter, radio show host
Instruments Anglo concertina; Autoharp; Bandoneon; Bodhran; Bones; Hammered Dulcimer; Harmonica; Hurdy-gurdy; Jaw Harp; Kazoo; Melodeon; Mountain Dulcimer; Ocarina; Spoons; Ukulele; Vocals
Years active 1971–present
Associated acts Mike and Michelle Jackson, Colonial Experience, Pageant, The Higgins Municipal Bush Band, Mike Jackson and Peter Hayes, Mike Jackson and Thom Jackson

Mike Jackson OAM is an Australian children's entertainer, recording artist, songwriter, radio show host, and author. He is perhaps best known for his version of Bananas in Pyjamas and appearances on ABC Television.

Groups/Bands including Jackson

Colonial Experience

In early 1973, Jackson joined the Monaro Folk Music Society's Bush Dance Band Colonial Experience. At that time, there was increased interest in traditional folk dance in Australia so the band played regularly at Woolshed dances and weddings. They never recorded but were among the bands invited to test the acoustics of the Concert Hall in the Sydney Opera House before it was officially opened.


Jackson founded the 6-piece a cappella group Pageant in Canberra, Australia late in 1973, with their first performance taking place at the Wagga Wagga Folk Festival. Originally formed to sing Christmas carols, Pageant rapidly expanded to singing songs gathered from, and inspired by, English bands like Steeleye Span, The Watersons, The Copper Family and others. Pageant recorded one self-titled album (Pageant) in 1975 and played numerous festivals before disbanding after their last performance at the 1976 Australian National Folk Festival.

The Higgins Municipal Bush Band

Jackson's next band, The Higgins Municipal Bush Band, performed on National Television within twenty minutes of their first meeting. As part of the publicity for the 1975 Australian National Folk Festival, the members of the band had arrived separately at the TV studios to dance for another band which failed to show. So, they hastily grabbed their instruments, invented a name and performed as if they were a long established band. Once formed, the band performed together almost weekly for several years despite living in towns spread across 1000 km (Gosford, NSW; Canberra, ACT; Steiglitz, VIC).

Duos featuring Jackson

  • Mike and Michelle Jackson
  • Mike Jackson with Peter Hayes
  • Mike Jackson with Ian Blake
  • Mike Jackson with Rowan Hammond
  • Mike Jackson with Diane Hill
  • Mike Jackson with Thom Jackson


Jackson plays the following instruments: anglo concertina, autoharp, bandoneon, bodhran, bones, hammered dulcimer, harmonica, hurdy-gurdy, jaw harp, kazoo, melodeon, mountain dulcimer, ocarina, spoons, ukulele.

Other performance skills

String games, juggling, storytelling, poetry.



  • Man of the Earth (backing vocals and various instruments)
  • Pageant
  • Revived and Relieved (various instruments)
  • No Man's Land'(backing vocals and various instruments)
  • Patchwork
  • Bunyips, Bunnies and Brumbies (Gold Disk)
  • Playmates (Platinum Disk)
  • The Roaring Days
  • Ain't it Great to be Crazy (Gold Disk)
  • Dances for Little Kids Vol.1 (Gold Disk)
  • Car Tunes
  • Riding Along
  • Who Built the Ark?
  • Sleepytime Songs
  • Afloat in a Boat
  • Rufty Tufty
  • Concert for Little Kids
  • Mulga Bill's Bicycle
  • The Animals Noah Forgot
  • Toy Box Bop
  • Dances for Little Kids Vol.2
  • Waltzing Matilda
  • The Loaded Dog
  • The Man from Snowy River
  • The Old Bark School
  • Bedtime Songs
  • I'm a Nut!!
  • Dr Knickerbocker
  • Uke'n Play Ukulele
  • Singing in the Night Time
  • Uke'n Play Ukulele for Kids
  • Uke'n Play Country Ukulele
  • Uke'n Play Ukulele Supa Easy Ukulele
  • Uke'n Play Ukulele Omnibus Edition
  • Uke'n Play Christmas Ukulele
  • Uke'n Play Ukulele for Teachers
  • Mike Jackson's Best Ever Kids' Songs (Book plus two CDs)
  • Come on and Move Your Body
  • Oopsy Daisy

Books and Book and CD Kits

  • Playmates Songbook
  • Ain't it Great to be Crazy Songbook
  • Bananas in Pyjamas Songbook
  • Musical Instruments to Make and Play
  • Rig-a-Jig-Jig Vol.1
  • Rig-a-Jig-Jig Vol 2
  • String Games for Beginners
  • Bush Dance
  • 101 Children's Songs for Buskers
  • Fipple Fun 1 (Christmas Songs for Recorder)
  • Fipple Fun 2 (Australian Songs for Recorder)
  • Campfire Songbook
  • Social Dance
  • Uke'n Play Ukulele
  • Essential Aussie Kid's Songs
  • Uke'n Play Ukulele for Kids
  • Uke'n Play Ukulele Country Ukulele
  • Uke'n Play Ukulele Supa Easy Ukulele
  • Uke'n Play Ukulele Omnibus Edition
  • Uke'n Play Christmas Ukulele
  • Uke'n Play Ukulele for Teachers
  • Mike Jackson's Best Ever Kids' Songbook



  • Crackers (1998) – Music only


Channel 9
  • Moby Dick (1998) – Billed as Michael Jackson
  • Red Faces ("Hey Hey Its Saturday" segment)
  • Over Ann's Rainbow


  • ABC for Kids Video Recordings: Mike Jackson's Concert for Little Kids

Awards and nominations

ARIA Music Awards

Year Nominated works Award Result Lost to
1993 Rufty Tufty Best Children's Album Nominated ABC Symphony Orchestra - Classic Kids
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Mike Jackson (Australian entertainer) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.