Normie Rowe Covers 1927 to Mark 50th Anniversary of his Conscription into the Australian Army - Noise11.com
Normie Rowe and the Playboys perform at Memo Music Hall St Kilda on Saturday 6 June 2015. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Normie Rowe and the Playboys perform at Memo Music Hall St Kilda on Saturday 6 June 2015. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Normie Rowe Covers 1927 to Mark 50th Anniversary of his Conscription into the Australian Army

by Paul Cashmere on April 8, 2019

in News

50 years ago, Australia Prime Minister at the time Harold Holt needed to create a publicity stunt so he sent ‘Australia’s Elvis’ to war. He chose the nation’s biggest pop star at the time, Normie Rowe.

In 2015 Normie told Noise11.com, ”I was contacted, not all that long ago, by the son of a military officer who was at the time the military attachment to Harold Holt. He told his story just before he died to his son. His son said Dad said he was in Harold Holt’s office and Harold was struggling with popularity and the anti-war movement. The officer said to Harold Holt “what you need is an Elvis Presley. Get Normie Rowe called up”. If the Prime Minister says something is going to happen then there is a pretty good chance it is going to happen”.

Normie discovered the set-up 20 years later when he was pulled over for speeding and the officer’s birthday was the same as his. Conscription was decided by birthdate. The policeman was no conscripted and Normie was.

Now 50 years on, Normie has recorded ‘Compulsory Hero’, a cover of the 30-year old 1927 hit. Songwriter Garry Frost wrote the song for a movie about the Vietnam War that was never made. Instead, it was recorded by 1927 and became a major hit.

Normie’s new recording of “Compulsory Hero” has been produced by Michael Carpenter at his Love HZ studio.

Normie says, “it’s a great thrill to be involved in this project. Such strong lyrics for me to interpret adds to a very stimulating experience. 1927 were a very strong musically, lyrically and skillfully endowed band of its time. To join in revisiting such an epic piece is a complete joy.”

Normie Rowe ‘Compulsary Hero’ will be released soon on Origin through Universal.

1927

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