RIP Glenn Wheatley

Music legend Glenn Wheatley has died after contracting COVID-19. He was 74.

From his early years as bass player in the ‘60’s rock band, Masters Apprentices to becoming a music entrepreneur and manager of talent that included Little River Band and John Farnham – he was one of the first to look the part of a businessman up top, wearing a smart jacket, collar and tie above the belt with blue jeans below to denote his rock in trade.

Wheatley was also a pioneer of FM radio in Australia. And although Rod Muir is often credited with being the grandfather of FM, it is Wheatley who can claim ‘line honours’ for getting the first Australian FM station, EON in Melbourne, to air on 11th July 1980.

In 2013 his consortium was the successful bidder for 92.7 MIX FM and 91.9 SEA FM (pictured with CD Rod Brice) on the Sunshine Coast. Mix FM breakfast presenter Caroline Hutchinson remembered her former boss in this heartfelt tribute on this morning’s show, saying he was “adored” by everyone in the radio station.

“We were all star struck, he knew everyone and told us how valued we were… Glenn, you changed all our lives and you will never be forgotten.”

In 2016 Glenn’s consortium bought 2CH for a reported $5.56 million, selling it in the midst of the pandemic for almost double what he and Oceania had paid for it four years ago.

It’s understood he had been in intensive care in a Melbourne hospital over recent weeks before his death.

Wheatley played bass guitar in the Masters Apprentices iconic radio tribute song Turn Up Your Radio.

Comment Form

Your email address will not be published.

Recent comments (3)
Post new comment
Peter McMahon
2 Feb 2022 - 6:45 pm

My condolences to the Wheatley family and his many friends. Thanks for all your great work supporting and helping some of Australia’s greatest talents reach their true potential here and overseas . You were a true visionary. Well done Glenn! Rest in peace.

Wheatley fan
3 Feb 2022 - 8:28 am

He was pretty revolutionary. Remember Stripe radio for mobiles when internet on your phone was in the very early stages? He was ahead of his time.

Catherine Nystrom
5 Feb 2022 - 3:02 pm

I knew Glenn, Johnny Farnham , Ian Meldrum and Darryl Sambell back in the late 60’s when Glenn first joined my favourite band The Masters Apprentices, he replaced the great Peter Tilbrook.

Glenn always had time for a chat, he never made you feel as if your friendship didn’t mean anything to him . Glenn had ambitions back then and it was great to see him achieve so many of them in his life .

He was lucky to find true love with Gaynor, Glenn’s family meant the world to him, they stuck with him thru thick and thin.

So sad to hear of your death, such a loss to so many , and such a shame your time was cut short by this damn covid.

May your next journey bring you as much of a blast as you bought to those who knew you .

I’m sure Jim has a guitar waiting with your name on it up there in the great clouds of rock and roll my old friend.

Thanks for your contributions to the Australian music industry in more ways than many knew you had a hand in helping happen.

Your old friend Cathy (Cass) xo


See all