Normie Rowe rose to prominence in the Australian pop-music scene during the mid-60s. He had achieved the status of Australia’s biggest pop-star for his energetic interpretations of songs such as ‘Que Sera Sera’, having made his first #1 hit with a cover of the song from Porgy and Bess, ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So’.

This pic was taken at Cloudland Ballroom in Brisbane in mid-1966, where Normie was attending a very crowded muso’s night. I can’t recall what the occasion was all about, but think it may have been organised by Ivan Dayman’s Sunshine Records, who were then his management. The shot was for Go-Set magazine, who had voted Normie Australia’s top Aussie male singer in its national pop poll. I only had a few minutes with him, and opted for my super-detailed approach to this portrait.


The girls were crazy for him! I don’t think any of them actually heard a word he sang at any concert he gave, they were screaming so loudly. By early 1968, Normie had been called up for Army service in Vietnam, which brought a halt to his burgeoning career. On his release from service, things were never quite the same for him, as he suffered the same social problems as other Vietnam veterans.

Normie is still busily performing to this day, and is very widely admired as a great entertainer.