Australian born Don Spencer was 20 years old and hitch-hiking through Africa when he met up with the legendary Roger Whittaker in Nairobi, Kenya. It was this chance meeting that started Don’s career as a singer/songwriter. The songs he wrote with Roger inspired Don to embark upon a career that has resulted in hundreds of recordings and over 500 published songs, and countless TV, radio and film credits. His gold and platinum albums extend from music he has written for film, TV, Orchestra and many solo performers and groups.
But Don’s career was given a boost in England when his smash hit recording of Fireball XL5 was the theme song for the hit TV series of the same name. Other original recordings followed and Don toured the UK for several years with the Rolling Stones, The Hollies, The Four Seasons and many other world famous artists.
Yet despite his success in the mainstream, it was the impact that Don made within the realm of children’s TV that will forever have a lasting impression. Don has produced numerous children’s TV series for the BBC in the UK including 17 years on Play School, which he also wrote music for, and recorded many albums. At the same time, in Australia Don hosted Play School on ABC TV for 30 years. He is the only person who has presented Play School in England and Australia. His songwriting and recording has resulted in many gold and platinum albums and DVD’s for children including Feathers, Fur or Fins, Don Spencer for Kids, Australian Animal Songs, Walkabout and Musical Times Tables.
In 2002 Don founded the Australian Children’s Music Foundation. The Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that uses the power of music to inspire and enrich the lives of Australian children and youth, particularly the disadvantaged and Indigenous. The ACMF provides free tuition and instruments and has programs in every State in Australia including Juvenile Detention centres, disadvantaged schools in cities and remote areas, Indigenous schools and communities, as well as music therapy in hospitals. The ACMF also conducts the National Songwriting Competition that is open to every school in Australia.
In 2007, Don was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for his service to children’s music and television as a songwriter and performer.
Yet these accolades and awards only herald the success that Don has personally been given. Because it is the impact of his life’s work through TV, radio and music that will continue to leave a lasting impression on kids, parents and grandparents, entire generations for years to come.