Donnie Sutherland

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Donald "Donnie" Sutherland OAM (born 1946) is an Australian radio and television presenter, best known for being the host of Sounds on Australian television between 1975 and 1987. Sutherland has also worked extensively as a television producer and music journalist, and he is closely associated with the Australian greyhound racing industry.

Biography and Career[edit]

Sutherland was born in Fairfield, NSW in 1946. He commenced an apprenticeship as a horse jockey in the early 1960s but increasing weight and an increasing interest in music ended this career after four years. Between the mid and the late 1960s Sutherland completed numerous recordings[clarification needed] with various ensembles. He released his first solo single entitled "Fairy Land" in 1969; this recording was notable for being one of the first stereo singles to be recorded in Australia.

In the early 1970s Sutherland began his career as a radio disc-jockey with 2UW in Sydney. Around the same time Sutherland began writing for the influential music magazine Go-Set magazine, where Molly Meldrum was a colleague.

In 1975 Sutherland was engaged as the presenter of the Channel 7 Sydney music show Sounds Unlimited (later shortened to Sounds); Sutherland took over from original host (and former radio DJ) Graham Webb, who was also the show's producer. This show was broadcast every Saturday morning for twelve years until 1987, and was the only successful competitor during that period to the ABC's Countdown. During the early years of its run Sounds was seen only in Sydney, but later in the series, when it was relayed nationally, the first hour (9am-10am) was seen in Sydney only, mainly due to time zone differences, and the following two hours (10-12) were seen nationwide.

During the middle years of Sounds, Sutherland also hosted the late-night music and chat show After Dark,[1] which ran from 1982 to 1985 and was noted for its 'relaxed' style. This featured chat segments with Australian and overseas music and entertainment identities, interspersed with music videos; on occasions when Sutherland was unavailable, it was guest-hosted by music personalities Stuart Coupe or Glenn A. Baker. Notable international guests on the show included Steve Marriott, John Cooper Clark, Ramones and Jello Biafra.

From 1978 Sutherland also hosted five hours of disco music presented on Sydney radio station 2UW on Saturday nights from 7pm to midnight which lasted a year.

Sutherland also appeared in the 1983 film At Last... Bullamakanka: The Motion Picture.

At the conclusion of his tenure with Sounds, Sutherland worked with the emerging Sky Channel until 1991.

In December 2014, it was reported in the media that Sutherland has a recurrence of throat cancer and the now aggressive cancer will require his voice box being removed in December 2014.[2][3]


In 2000, Sutherland was awarded the Order of Australia for his services to the Entertainment industries and for his charity work.[4]


  1. ^ Debbie Kruger - Australian Music Media
  2. ^ Calligeros, Marissa (10 December 2014). "Donnie Sutherland to have voice box removed after throat cancer returns". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Te Koha, Nui (10 December 2014). "Donnie Sutherland to undergo surgery to remove voice box in throat cancer battle". Herald Sun. News Ltd. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "Medal of the Order of Australia Donnie Sutherland". It's an Honour. Australian Government. 26 January 2000. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 

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