Music industry

Australian music industry legend Glenn Wheatley dies aged 74

Glenn Wheatley, the former Masters Apprentices bassist and who went on to lead the Little River Band and John Farnham careers and run a media empire, has died aged 74.

Noise11 understands Glenn contracted Covid over the Christmas period and had been in intensive care.

Glenn joined The Masters Apprentices in 1968 and performed on two of their best known songs “Turn Up Your Radio” and “Because I Love You”.

Later, as manager of Little River Band, Glenn brokered a deal with Capitol Records in Los Angeles that made the band one of the biggest rock bands in the world in the late 70s.

He then took over the career of John Farnham who had been one of the biggest Australian pop groups of the 1960s but were forgotten in the 1970s. Under Glenn’s guidance, Farnham made a comeback with the album ” Uncovered” (1980) produced by Graeham Goble of LRB who also wrote most of the songs on the album, except for the Beatles’ “Help”.

Farnham then joined Little River Band as lead singer for three albums before going solo and recording “Whispering Jack”. It is still Australia’s best-selling album of all time. He also built the career of Delta Goodrem.

Wheatley became involved in the media in 1980 as co-founder of Melbourne rock radio station EON-FM. More recently it has purchased radio stations on the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. In 2017 he took over Sydney’s 2CH, only recently selling the station.

On a personal note, Glenn was a good friend and big supporter of Noise11. To his wife Gaynor, son Tim and family, your loss will be felt around the world today. Glenn was a great man.

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