Christmas Kangaroo by Jewel Blanch with the Kanga-Rollers
'Christmas Kangaroo' was released in 1964 by the Australian travelling country music family The Blanches. The song was written by Arthur and Bernice and performed by their daughter, Jewel.
This song is as cute as any child-performed novelty song can be, helped along by Jewel’s inability to pronounce ‘R’s so we have ‘Brodoulph’ deliver toys this Christmas. Jewel’s vocal is strong with a snappy confidence which is understandable as she began performing with her parents at the age of three. The Kanga-rollers provide backing vocals and give the record balance and professionalism as they are, without doubt, session singers with a tight harmonic sound.
A track obviously written as a vehicle to cement the family’s career in the United States, the lyrics are a mix of Australiana and Hollywood landmarks such as ‘Boom boom boom down Beverly Boulevard and we’ll hop hop the Hollywood Freeway too’. The Blanch family throws caution to the wind with the lines ‘Dinka mumma kanga’ and ‘A bonza little joey in his pouch’. To reinforce the song’s international flavor, the record label proclaims ‘Produced in Hollywood’.
Jewel Blanch and her family lived between Australia and Nashville as their respected careers spanned decades. Jewel also ventured into television appearing in well-known American drama series such as Lassie, Bonanza and Mod Squad; in Australia Jewel appeared in six episodes of the Grundy’s drama Young Doctors.
In 1984 Jewel co- founded the Ten Ten Music Group in Nashville with then husband, New Zealand-born Barry Coburn. Her years of songwriting, recording and performing held her in good stead to spot up and coming artists, one of which was a young Australian trying his luck in Nashville. Jewel signed Keith Urban to Ten Ten and helped shape his career for 12 years. She is also a member of the Nashville publishing group Chicks with Hits.