Little River Band was the first Australian band to successfully conquer foreign markets from an Australian base.
Within eight months of their birth, LRB had already scored three Australian Top 20 singles and two Top Ten albums. In 1976, after their self-titled debut album was released in the USA, the long grind of 13 US tours in eight years had begun.
By 1982 they became the only act – from anywhere – to have a top ten US single for six consecutive years.
Headlining their own major shows in America, and touring internationally with the likes of the Doobie Brothers, Supertramp, America, and the Eagles was a huge learning curve that honed LRB into one of the finest live bands in the world.
Record success ran alongside – total record sales around the world have eclipsed the 25 million mark. 16 hit singles by 1985, as well as gold, platinum, and multi-platinum album sales awards. All-told LRB have notched up eight top 10 singles in the US, where just two of their songs, Reminiscing and Lady, have more than 8 million radio plays between them.
Through the years LRB has thrived as a highly respected and constantly in-demand outfit, going about their craft with a dedication to excellence and professionalism that few, if any, can match.
The Little River Band of 2007 is as strong as ever. There is a new fusion of spontaneity, rock and roll, and blues, anchored by American bass player Wayne Nelson, who began his LRB career in 1980. The following year Wayne debuted as lead vocalist on the top ten hits "The Night Owls" and "Take It Easy On Me", and continues in that role today. Wayne has been part of LRB’s scrapbook for over 28 years, and relishes his link to the band’s history.
Guitarist/vocalist Greg Hind has been an integral part of the bands current sound since 2000. Before joining LRB Greg played and sang with many well-known artists including Thelma Houston, Kylie Minogue, and Bachelor Girl. Greg shares lead vocal duty, and is instrumental in looking for ways to keep the band’s arrangements fresh and current.
Chris Marion (keyboards and vocals) was born on Elvis’ 27th birthday.
After college, Chris moved to Nashville and began his playing career, garnering nominations for 4 Dove awards from the Gospel Music Assoc. In 1992, he joined with partner Danny Myrick to form Western Flyer and later worked with artists such as Garth Brooks and The Oak Ridge Boys. In early 2005, he entered the Little River Band family, and has recorded 3 CDs with the band since then.
In 2006, Nashville-based Rich Herring joined the band as lead guitarist while Stephen Housden took a well-deserved break from touring. With him came extensive studio experience, not only as a player, but also as an engineer and producer. The 2006 live CD “Standing Room Only”, and the band’s current project, “We Call It Christmas”, were both mixed by Rich at his Nashville studio.
Drummer Mel Watts was born an army brat, living in Okinawa, Japan, Belgium, and Germany. After high school, he joined the Dave Perkins Band and toured with The Allman Brothers, Charley Daniels, Little Feat, The Hooters, Badfinger, and Bonnie Bramlett. He came home to Nashville to join Earl Thomas Conley, where he played on 3 number one Country Hits. He joined the LRB tour in 2007, bringing his brand of “muscle” to the rhythm section.
Nelson remarks of the changes after 27 years, the prospect of breaking in new American musicians to be part of LRB was daunting. We all have the utmost respect for the history of the band, and for what Little River Band songs mean to our fans…but we always look for a way to bring something new to the stage. We're having a lot of fun exploring new ways to deliver the songs - still recognizable and powerful, but with new twists that will delight those fans who like to listen deep and analyze.
As we look forward to another year of touring, there is no doubt that new ideas for some of the band’s songs that aren’t as well know as the hits will come forward. And there are already new grooves happening at sound check which will eventually send us back to the studio. Capacity crowds across America and beyond continue to attest the enduring appeal of Little River Band…on CD and in concert. As we approach our 35th anniversary, each year promises to be a very special one for a band that really has withstood the test of time