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Australian group Mississippi began life in 1972 as a trio, comprising Graham Goble, John Mower and Russ Johnson, augmented by session musicians, Barry Sullivan (bass), Peter Jones (piano), Graeme Lyall (flute) and Geoff Cox (drums).

The group specialised in soft and up-tempo easy listening ballads stacked with brilliant harmonising and orchestration.

They hit the Australian Top 40 in 1972 with their single Kings of the World from their self-titled debut album and shortly afterwards were joined by Beeb Birtles (ex-Zoot) on guitar and vocals, Colin DeLuca on bass and Derek Pellicci on drums.

This line-up released the single Mr Moondog in December and appeared at the Sunbury Pop Festival in January 1973. Further line-up changes saw Russ Johnson replaced briefly by Kerryn Tolhurst and then by (future Sherbet guitarist) Harvey James a month later.


The single Early Morning was released in July, peaking at #56 and the band supported the Jackson Five on the Australian leg of their world tour in October of that year.

DeLuca and Mower then left and were replaced by Andre Santos (bass, vocals). Santos was then replaced two months later by Charlie Tumahai. In 1974, they appeared at the Sunbury Festival again and their next single, Will I? peaked at #31.

Mississippi departed for the United Kingdom in 1974 but broke up while over there.

Birtles, Goble and Pellici met up in London with former Masters Apprentices bass guitarist, Glenn Wheatley, who agreed to become their manager, and with vocalist Glenn Shorrock (ex-The Twilights and Axiom) who returned to Australia with them to re-form Mississippi (with the addition of Graham Davidge on lead guitar and Dave Orams on bass).

After a few concerts, the band decided to change their name to the Little River Band – and the rest is history.

John Mower
Graham Goble
Guitar, vocals
Russ Johnson
Guitar, vocals
Beeb Birtles
Guitar, vocals
Colin DeLuca
Derek Pellici
Harvey James
Andre Santos
Bass, vocals
Charlie Tumahai
Bass, vocals