Vale Glenn Wheatley
Legendary music producer, talent manager, and champion of Australian music Glenn Wheatley has passed away aged 74.
What you need to know:
- Legendary music producer, talent manager, and champion of Australian music Glenn Wheatley has passed away aged 74.
- He helped forge the careers of John Farnham and Delta Goodrem.
- Australia’s first FM station was founded by Wheatley in 1980 which later became Triple M.
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The Brisbane-born Wheatley enjoyed some time as a bassist in ‘60s rock band The Master Apprentices before moving into management with Little River Band in the ‘70s who became the first Australian-based band to achieve multi-platinum record sales in the states.
Plaudits on Wheatley say his management skills and ability to spot talent were his greatest assets with proof enough being his time with the iconic Australian voice of John Farnham.
You’ve heard of Whispering Jack right? The highest-selling album in Australia by an Australian artist? Yep, that one. Farnham released that in 1986 under Wheatley’s guidance and the two remained close friends and as manager and artist until his death.
Former Little River Band member Glenn Shorrock told the ABC Wheatley would be greatly missed.
“He was a great negotiator and he was a great champion of Australian music, both here and, of course, overseas,” he said.
“He thought Australian musicians were getting a raw deal, and we did get a raw deal in those days.
“He fought for better royalty rates and more money for struggling musicians.”
Wheatley was also responsible for launching the career of Delta Goodrem after discovering her as a teenager, as her debut album Innocent Eyes went on to become one of highest sellers in ARIA history.
As if all of the above wasn’t enough, Wheatley was also a pioneer of commercial radio in Australia, establishing the first FM station, EON, in Melbourne in 1980 which later became Triple M, one of the most successful commercial stations in Australia.
See Glenn Wheatley feature on the Australian Music Vault with Brian Nankervis.