Sydney Radio Legend Bob Rogers Passes Away, Aged 97

30 May 2024 | 11:28 am | Mary Varvaris

In 1964, Bob Rogers became known as the unofficial “fifth Beatle” as he accompanied the music icons on tour.

Bob Rogers

Bob Rogers (Source: 'Long Term Listening' report on YouTube )

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Broadcasting legend Bob Rogers – a constant presence on Sydney radio and television programs – passed away at 97.

According to a report, Rogers died in his Mosman home in Sydney on Wednesday (29 May). Politician Derryn Hinch shared news of his passing, writing that his “brother” in radio died at home surrounded by his family: his wife, Jerry Rogers, and their four daughters.

Rogers spent an incredible 78 years working in the radio industry, beginning his career as a panel operator at Melbourne’s 3XY at just 14 years old. At 17, Rogers had his first job as an announcer at 3MA Mildura.

In 1964, Rogers became known as the unofficial “fifth Beatle”. As part of his role on 2SM, he accompanied the music icons on tours across Europe and Asia, as well as their one and only Australian tour.

Discussing the opportunity to interview all four Beatles – Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald in 2022, Rogers said, “The deal was I would tour with them, and I would have exclusive rights to interview them every two days.”

Nine News also reported that Rogers discovered Michael Bublé “before he was famous”.

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A champion of Australian music, Rogers discovered the Slim Dusty tune Pub With No Beer in 1957. The first DJ to play it in Australia, Pub With No Beer shot to the top of the Singles Chart.

Working up until his 90s, Rogers could be heard on Sydney’s 2CH in recent years. In 2002, he was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame.

In a statement, Hinch wrote, “The words legend and icon are thrown around too easily these days but Bob Rogers was both. As a kid I used to listen to him on my crystal set from across the ditch in New Zealand.

“One of his career highlights was in the 1960s when he accompanied The Beatles on their trip to Australia. He was called ‘the fifth Beatle’.”

In more personal (and funny) anecdotes, Hinch continued, “Bob was a champion tennis player at White City, was one of the first male nude models for Cleo magazine and was an ace poker player.

“I shall be honoured to deliver his eulogy in Sydney next week. Vale, my brother.”

Below, you can read more tributes to Bob Rogers and watch a video of the radio legend discussing his work on air.