In a country of 22 million people, John Farnham is the one Australian artist who stages arena-sized concerts whenever he tours to satisfy the demand. He is, without challenge, Australia’s most successful solo artist, on-stage and on record. His Whispering Jack album was the first album to sell over a million copies in Australia alone.
John Farnham is undoubtedly one of Australia’s top performing artists with a career spanning more than five decades.
Born in Essex, England, John immigrated to Australia in 1959 at the age of 10. As a young man John played in
bands and was an apprentice plumber until approached by Darryl Sambell. Under his watch he recorded ‘Sadie the Cleaning Lady’ in 1967 and decided to a pursue a career in entertainment as a result of this songs huge success.
John reigned as King of Pop from 1969-1973 releasing 12 singles and six albums all achieving Gold status.
During this period he also appeared on stage in the theatrical production of Charlie Girl and explored his comedic talent on television winning a Logie for his effort.
In 1975 John hosted the first colour transmission of ABC ‘s Countdown.
In 1980 he formed his own band Farnham and Friends.
John also sang the Beatles classic ‘Help’ at a Royal Command Performance Concert to critical acclaim.
With new manager Glenn Wheatley, John was invited to front The Little River Band and toured extensively in the US. But it was after leaving LRB that John truly came into his own.
In 1986 he released his first solo album in six years called ‘Whispering Jack’.
This phenomenal album continues to be Australia’s biggest selling album of all time and for which he was awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award by A.R.I.A. In addition to local success ‘Whispering Jack’ and its famous single ‘You’re the Voice’ was a chart topping hit throughout Europe, England and Canada.
To cap off this wonderfully successful time in John’s career the multi award winning singer was then named Australian of the Year in 1988.
John’s next album ‘Age of Reason’ was also hugely successful after debuting at number one. The national tour of the same name was extended to Scandinavia, Germany and the UK.
In 1989 John was invited to launch Greenpeace’s ‘Rainbow Warriors’ Album in Moscow and in the same year he performed ‘Rocking with the Royals’ for HRH Princess Dianna and HRH Prince Charles at the concert Hall in Melbourne.
In 1990 his next album ‘Chain Reaction’ was released and it followed its predecessors and debuted at number one with the tour breaking attendance records across the country.
In 1992, John sang the part of Jesus in the Australian recording of Jesus Christ Superstar. He then performed the role in the arena version of the musical.
On Australia Day 1996 he was honoured with an AO Order of Australia for services to Music and Charity.
The rest of the decade saw ‘Full House’ ‘Then Again…’ and ‘Romeo’s Heart ‘. A celebration of John’s career in the release of ‘Anthology 1, 2 and 3’ and not surprisingly he was recognised as the most Broadcast Australian Recording Artist by PPCA.
In 1998 he toured with Olivia Newton John and Anthony Warlow in The Main Event, accompanied by the Farnham Band and a 40 piece orchestra. The Main Event CD reached quadruple platinum status within weeks of release.
John then celebrated his 50th Birthday with the ‘I Can’t believe he’s 50 Tour ‘ and a live album.
John celebrated that Christmas by performing for the INTERFET Troops in Dili with Kylie Minogue and The Living End.
In 2000 John and Olivia Newton John were reunited during the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics when the performed ‘Dare to Dream’.
2002 saw John tour the country in what could have been ‘The Last Time Tour’ but thankfully was not.
It was the 7th highest grossing touring in the world that year.
In 2003 in another career highlight John was inducted into the Australian Music Industry’s A.R.I.A Hall of Fame by long time friend and manager and fellow inductee Glenn Wheatley (Masters Apprentices)
In 2005 John did a series of concerts with Tom Jones then came a cameo in Grease and a tour with Stevie Nicks. After a phone call from Chris Martin of Coldplay John sang ‘You’re the Voice’ with them to open Sound Relief a bushfire benefit concert in 2009.
2010 saw John release his first studio album in 5 years called ‘Jack’. More performances ensued and John played the first ever ‘Day on The Green’ shows.
A co-headlining tour with Lionel Ritchie across Australia and New Zealand followed by a ‘Two Strong Hearts Tour’ with Olivia and the first of many Electric Day Concerts brings us to the close of 2015.
Olivia and John come together again to record a Christmas Album for 2016.
The next year sees more ‘Day on the Green’ shows and ‘One Electric Day’ .The ‘By the C’ shows, the initial ‘Red
Hot Summer’ dates with ‘The Red Hot Bash’ in Birdsville and a ‘Tropical Day’ in Darwin have maintained John’s Frequent Flyer status.
In 2018 John joins Celine Dion onstage for an amazing rendition of ‘You’re the Voice’.
John lent his support to help the farmers by performing to raise money to buy hay to feed livestock all over the country ravaged by drought.
Two ‘Hay Mate’ concerts organised by Glenn Wheatley and staged by Duane McDonald from ‘Red Hot
Summer’ raised over 8 million dollars.
An inspired collaboration with Client Liason had John performing to a large, much younger crowd yet they sang along and gave him a standing ovation.
Popular Falls Festival was also a highlight. John was the oldest artist to ever perform but everyone would agree he put on a show in keeping with his status as a ‘Legend’.
John’s last performance to date in 2020 was to close the ‘Fire Fight’ a concert for national bushfire relief.
A stadium of 65,000 and a national audience of millions for a great cause was a fitting stage to pause on.
Premier Artists are John Farnham booking agents. To enquire about booking John Farnham for your next event, fill out the booking enquiry form.