NotesSkivvy created by Maria Petrozzi and pants created by Adamo for The Wiggles International Pty Limited, Sydney, Australia, 2012-2020.
The Wiggles began performing for children in 1991, with their origins in Sydney rock band The Cockroaches, popular in the 1980s. While touring with The Cockroaches, a tragic event prompted Anthony Field to return to his studies, ‘Bernadette Field, my baby niece, died of cot death on September 2 . That a happy little seven-month-old girl, healthy and beautiful, could die for no apparent reason was incomprehensible. Suddenly I felt that there was more to life than what I was doing. I remember being on tour with the guys later that year and saying to them that I was going back to finish what I’d started. Looking back, I see Bernadette’s death as a real turning point.’ 
Three of the original Wiggles members, Anthony Field, Greg Page and Murray Cook studied early childhood education together at Macquarie University in Sydney. Anthony had the idea of playing music appropriate to children’s development. The three began writing children’s songs as one of their music projects and decided to make a one-off album. Anthony called Cockroaches band mate Jeff Fatt, asking him to help out with keyboards. The Wiggles got their name from a Cockroaches song called ‘Everybody Wiggle’ which became ‘Get Ready to Wiggle’. Wiggling seemed to describe the way children dance, and the name was fun and light.
The first album was recorded in February 1991 at Tracking Station Recording Studio, a small demo recording studio. The Wiggles took the finished tape to meet Meryl Gross at ABC Music, known for producing quality children’s TV entertainment. They brought along a treatise they had prepared about their educational philosophy. Gross thought they would have appeal to children and families, as they were enthusiastic, identified and connected with their audience, had the music and loved children. She signed the band to a distribution deal for albums and videos, saying if they sell 5000 copies of the first album, the ABC could pick up the rights for two more albums.
They began busking in locations such as Chatswood Mall and Circular Quay in Sydney, with Murray playing bass guitar, Anthony playing bagpipes and tin whistle, and Jeff on piano accordion. They released their self-titled album in August 1991, dedicated to the memory of Bernadette Marie Field. It contained traditional children’s songs and their original music.
The Wiggles started wearing coloured cotton long sleeved skivvies, as having different coloured shirts was thought to be sound early childhood practice - good for recognition and may also assist children learning about colour. It also meant The Wiggles would not have to think about what to wear when performing.
They spent the first year performing at childcare centres and birthday parties. Greg would take his PA (public address) system in his station wagon and Jeff would take the stage gear and props in his Hi-Ace van. They made their own sets, set up the stage, the lights and the PA. Greg looked after the mixing desk at the side of the stage. Merchandising consisted of Jeff’s Globite suitcase full of cassettes and, later, t-shirts, which he would sell after their shows. At the start of 1993, Anthony Field, Greg Page and Murray Cook decided to see if they could make a living performing full-time instead of teaching. Soon they were performing at Melbourne’s Arts Centre, the Sydney Opera House and the Powerhouse Museum, and taking their show around Australia. They toured constantly and for a time, were performing four shows a day, six days a week.
By 1995 the Wiggles were the ABC’s most successful music and video act. They had sold 130,000 CDs and tapes and more than 100,000 videos, unprecedented figures in the children’s music market. The popularity of The Wiggles continued to rise and they released more albums and videos, as well as television series and ‘The Wiggles Movie’ in 1997. From this time they also started touring overseas, including to Hong Kong, New Zealand, USA and UK. In 2003 they set a record when they performed twelve consecutive sold out shows in five days in the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York, USA. When chronic illness forced Greg to stop performing, Sam Moran took over the yellow skivvy from 2006-2012.
In 2006 The Wiggles were awarded honorary Doctorates from the Australian Catholic University in recognition for their contribution to early childhood education and in 2009 Macquarie University also awarded The Wiggles honorary Doctorates for their work in early childhood education. In 2008 The Wiggles were named Ambassadors for UNICEF Australia as well as supporting many children’s charities internationally. In 2011 The Wiggles were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, along with Kylie Minogue.
In 2012 Murray, Jeff and Greg decided to pass their skivvies to younger Wiggles and Anthony was joined by Simon Pryce, Lachlan Gillespie and Emma Watkins. The new line-up began touring in early 2013. People who grew up listening to The Wiggles now take their own children along to their concerts. The success of The Wiggles has continued and they remain the world’s most popular children’s entertainment group, performing for hundreds of thousands of children and adults all over the world each year.
 Anthony Field, quoted in Datelines, 'Sydney Morning Herald', 19 July 1997