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01 February - Normie Rowe, "Que Sera Sera"

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01 February - Normie Rowe, "Que Sera Sera"

Unread postby Max ADU » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:05 pm

Australian Birthday Today
1st February

** 2 interesting videos in article below.

Norman John "Normie" Rowe AM

was born 1 February 1947, Melbourne Victoria, was a major male solo performer of Australian pop music in the 1960s.

Singing was in his blood
He was drawn to music early in life. He began singing with his local church choir in Melbourne while at primary school.

He concentrated on singing and made his first stage appearance as a lead vocalist in a music school concert, aged 14.

When I was just aspiring to be a singer, only nine years of age, Col was my idol. He was the boy next door that I could identify with, not the wild JOK. In fact it was as my first concert, at the Lou Toppano Music School end of the year concert in 1959 or '60, that I sang Col's Rock 'n' Rollin' Clementine. I still have the trophy I received for that show. It reads: "The Best Performance of the Night".

Get a haircut or find another job
Rowe had joined the PMG (the Commonwealth telecommunications General department in 1963 later split into Telstra and Australia Post) as a trainee technician.

In late 1964 his long hair became an issue with his employers and, in the face of a "cut it or quit" ultimatum, he left the PMG to become a professional entertainer.

Normie hits the big time
Rowe's first single, released
in April 1965, was a brooding "beat" arrangement of Gershwin's It Ain't Necessarily So.

It was a Top Ten hit in most capitals (No. 6 in Sydney, No. 1 in Melbourne, No. 3 in Brisbane, No, 5 in Adelaide), even though Sydney pop station 2SM (then owned by the Catholic Church) banned it because of its supposedly sacrilegious lyrics.

Known for his bright and edgy tenor voice and dynamic stage presence, Rowe Rowe's double-sided hit Que Sera Sera / Shakin' All Over was one of the most successful Australian singles of the 1960s.

Watch on youtube.com

Normie became a popular attraction on variety programs like The Don Lane Show and The Mike Walsh Show.

Vietnam kills his dreams
Between 1965 and 1967 Rowe was Australia's most popular male star but his career was cut short when he was drafted for compulsory military service in late 1967.

His subsequent tour of duty in Vietnam effectively ended his pop career and he was never able to recapture the success he enjoyed at his peak.

TV's Mini War *see video below
During a forum in 1991 on republicanism on the Midday Show with Ray Martin he was involved in an on-air melée with Sydney talkback radio host Ron Casey.

Notorious for his highly controversial comments on immigration and other issues, Casey enraged Normie with his remarks about his service in Vietnam and Normie confronted Casey. Casey flew out of his chair and punched Rowe hard enough to knock Rowe backwards.

  • October 2010 Rowe's 1965 album, Ain't Necessarily So, was listed in the book, 100 Best Australian Albums.
  • In 2005 Normie Rowe was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame.
  • In 2005, was also recognized by the Australian War Memorial as a National Hero, alongside the likes of Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith, Vivien Bullwinkle, Keith Miller, Chips Rafferty
  • Normie is also a member of the National Patrons of Kidney Health Australia

Watch on youtube.com
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