The Wombles

Hugely popular for awhile in the U.K., the Wombles are creatures whose whole mission is to help clean up the world, carrying their "tidy bags" with them wherever they go, picking up the trash left behind by humans, and reusing it. Created in the late '60s by children's book author Elisabeth Berseford, the Wombles books caught on and were translated into several languages. In the '70s, the furry, pointy snouted characters then became the star of their own live-action (instead of animated) children's television series, and added music-making to their list of talents. The show featured the music of the multi-talented composer and musician Mike Batt, who garnered his first eight hit singles with his Wombles' music. With the amount of Wombles music released in the '70s -- six albums and over a dozen singles in the U.K., and an album and a handful of singles making their way to Canada and the U.S. -- compilations of Wombles material have been periodically surfacing ever since, intriguing collectors with a wide array of musical styles and catchy tunes, including "Remember You're a Womble," and "Non Stop Wombling Summer Party." Some of the more recent compilations include Columbia's The Best Wombles Album So Far, Vol. 1 (1998), and The Wombles Collection, a double-disc set released in 2000 on Dramatico. The Wombles television show was also revived for a brief time in the late '90s, when over a dozen new episodes aired. ~ Joslyn Layne

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