VALE GLENN WHEATLEY
The Australian music industry is shocked and saddened this morning to hear that legendary musician, manager and entrepreneur Glenn Wheatley has died due to complications from Covid-19.
Glenn started his career in music as bass player for 60s rock band The Masters Apprentices, a band which had a string of chart hits including; Turn Up Your Radio, Because I Love You and Think About Tomorrow Today.
In the 70’s Glenn took Australian music to the world as manager of Little River Band, signing a huge deal with Capitol Records, paving the way for the band to enjoy international success with multiple charting singles in America and around the globe.
In the 80s, Wheatley took on the management of John Farnham, who at the time had been a forgotten pop star from the 60s. Glenn relaunched Farnham’s career and was instrumental in finding the perfect tracks to complete John’s groundbreaking album Whispering Jack.
Wheatley also managed and helped to launch Delta Goodrem’s music career.
The ever-innovative Wheatley was also an Australian FM radio pioneer, co-founding Melbourne radio station EON-FM, which in 1986 was sold to Triple M Sydney, owned by Hoyts.
Glenn’s son Tim has gone on to enjoy a recording and performing career too. Glenn was often seen taking on roadie duties for his son, always there to give him encouragement.
Tributes have begun to pour in for Glenn, including one from his former band mates from The Masters Apprentices:
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Glenn Wheatley. Glenn joined Masters Apprentices in 1968. Glenn recorded hits such as ‘Bridgette’, ‘5:10 Man’, ‘Think About Tomorrow Today’, ‘Turn Up Your Radio’ and ‘Because I Love You’. He recognised that the band should be getting much higher fees for drawing huge crowds and fought for a fairer share of concert revenue. After Glenn left The Masters Apprentices in 1972 he went into band management and conquered the world with the likes of Little River Band, Australian Crawl, Moving Pictures, John Farnham and many others. He pioneered FM radio in Australia and organised the Hay Mate fundraiser concert appeals. He has left his mark forever on Australian Music.
Glenn would often reunite with The Masters Apprentices, dusting off his bass on special occasions, most recently the Thebarton Theatre 90th Birthday Spectacular in 2018. We will miss him greatly. Our deepest sympathies to his wife Gaynor, son Tim and daughters Samantha and Kara.
Always a Masters Apprentice!
With thoughts, memories and love – Brian, Mick, Gavin, Rick, Craig and Bill.”
Singer songwriter Peter Cupples added his thoughts on Facebook:
“I’m shocked and deeply saddened to hear the news that my old manager and an icon of the music industry Glenn Wheatley has passed away, to Gaynor and all of Glenn’s family and friends my deepest condolences, I won’t woffle on as there’s much I could say about the incredible passion, vision and drive he had and gave to our industry, totally responsible for Stylus being the first white band signed to Motown, my heart goes out to my old friend John and Jill who will be devastated along with Lisa Lindsay and the rest of the band, a massive hole has been left in our hearts and the heart of our industry…vale Glenn… gone but never forgotten RIP.”
Australian Musician extends our heartfelt thoughts and condolences to Glenn’s wife Gaynor and family.
- Dom DiSisto