By Tania Phillips
He was one of the biggest Australian pop stars of the sixties – teens wept when he was called up and went to Vietnam.
Normie Rowe was a homegrown musical heart-throb with hysteria akin to that reserved for the Beatles.
Australia’s first King of Pop, Normie came to prominence with classic sixties hits “Shakin’ All Over”, “Ohh La La”, Que Sera Sera and “It Ain’t Necessarily So.”
But Normie, who is on his way to Nambour RSL Club in April, has never been one to rest on his laurels reinventing himself over and over through the years.
He was conscripted in 1968, serving time in Vietnam, and was one of the lucky ones to return. But two years is a long time in pop music and by the time he returned there was a new King Of Pop in Johnny Farnham and while he continued to write and record he never returned to the giddy heights of his early career.
But Normie has always proved resilient, studying drama in the late 70s, he changed his career around and catapulted himself back into the limelight, particularly as a beloved musical theatre performer.
For a whole generation he is best-known for his performance in the Australian stage version of Les Miserables with many fans still believing him to be the ultimate Jean Valjean. Though he has never been a one-note wonder, also shining in performances of Annie, Chess and Evita.
He was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame in 2005 and in that same year he was also recognised by the Australian War Memorial as a National Hero, alongside Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith, Vivien Bullwinkle, Keith Miller, Chips Rafferty and 45 other heroes of Australia.
As well as his on stage career Normie became a leading advocate and spokesman for the Vietnam Veterans and in 1987 and 1992 he was instrumental as a member of the National Committees for the Vietnam Veterans Welcome Home Parade and the Vietnam National Memorial Dedication.
Whether it be in musical theatre, pop or his later performances Normie has always been well-know for his engaging performances and dynamic stage presence.
This time around his show on Thursday, April 29 at Nambour, his show will be interactive with the audience getting a chance to request songs and ask questions of the man who has become an Australian performing legend and one our country’s more interesting characters over the past 50 plus years.
The relaxed evening of song and memories includes a two-hour live show and a two-course meal.
While Normie is serving up the music, the Nambour staff will be serving up a menu which includes minestrone soup for entrée and an alternate drop of roast beef with roasted potatoes, pumpkin, vegetables and gravy or grilled barramundi with mash potato and vegetables. With vegetarian and other dietary requirements being catered for too.
Dinner and the show is only $80 per person if you book by March 31 with tickets increasing to $85 per person from April 1. Tickets are limited and bookings are essential. To book your ticket, call Nambour RSL Club on 5441 2366.