With a mix of songs that went from slow crooners to louder rockers, the Little River Band earned a following and a ton of radio airplay during their biggest commercial peak in the ’70s. The group will play on May 27 and 28 at the Nugget Casino Resort.
The best-known current member of Little River Band is bassist and singer Wayne Nelson. He was a vocalist on two of the band’s biggest ’80s hits, including “The Night Owls” and “Take it Easy on Me.” Other current members include Greg Hind on guitar (with the band since 2000), guitarist Rich Herring (since 2006), keyboard player Chris Marion (since 2004) and drummer Ryan Ricks (since 2012).
This means that the current Little River Band has no members from when the band started in 1975 in Australia. Then lead singer Glenn Shorrock led the original group through success in the clubs in its native country before signing to EMI Records and releasing its self-titled debut that same year. One of the songs from that album, “It’s a Long Way There,” received airplay in the U.S., eventually reaching the top 40 pop charts.
While Little River Band’s debut album was only a modest success in the U.S., its American follow-up, “Diamantia Cockail,” in 1977 proved to be a breakthrough. Containing songs from their second and third Australian albums, “Cocktail” went gold in the U.S. and spawned the group’s first two hits, “Help is On the Way” and “Happy Anniversary.”
Little River Band then became a staple on pop and rock radio in the late ’70s and early ’80s, earning many top 10 hits including “Reminiscing” in 1978, “Lonesome Loser” in 1979 and “The Night Owls” in 1981. The band’s other best known songs include “Lady” “Cool Change” and “The Other Guy.” The publishing company BMI noted that Little River Band reached five million radio airplays with “Reminiscing” and four million with “Lady,” according to the band’s official website.
One high-water mark for the group was “Time Exposure,” its 1981 album which was created with famed Beatles producer George Martin and reached the top 20 on the Billboard chart. It was after that album, though, that Shorrock left the group to pursue a solo career. His replacement, John Farnham, scored two additional top 20 hits with the band “The Other Guy” and “We Two.” Shorrock did rejoin the group after Farnham left in the late ’80s but then again in 1996. The band’s last album release of new material was “Cuts Like a Diamond” in 2013.
The group tours often in the U.S., where all of the members now live. The band often plays at casinos, and in 2015 the group was named as Casino Musical Entertainer of the Year at the Global Gaming Awards in Las Vegas.