John Rowles OBE
Born in Whakatane and raised in Kawerau, along with five sisters and one brother, John was a typical New Zealand kid, growing up in the fifties and sixties. He used to constantly listen to the records of The Platters, Brook Benton, Elvis Presley, Little Richard and many others of that era.
Leaving school at 15 years of age, John started work as a Lumberjack in the Kaingaroa Forest and played guitar on weekends, with a band of old school mates, at local dances.
A new adventure for John at 17 years, was his arrival in Australia, working with Sydney band, “The Sundowners” his talent was immediately recognized by people in the industry. Within months, John was working as a solo performer on television shows such as Bandstand and the Johnny O’Keefe Show under the name of “JR” (Spelt Ja-ar). Creating a storm wherever he performed, it was quickly realized that the talents of John Rowles deserved to be not just local, but on the worlds’ stage.
Arriving in England in the late sixties, he recorded the smash single “If I Only Had Time”. The song reached the top of the charts in Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia. He was just 20 years of age. Following, were top ten hits. “Hush, Not a Word To Mary”, “The Pain Goes On Forever”, “One Day” and “M’lady”.
Next came the success of “Cheryl Moana Marie”, which John wrote for his younger sister and entered it in the Brazilian song Festival held in Rio de Janeiro. It reached no. 5 position out of 42 country’s and later, became no. 1 in Australia and New Zealand, plus a top 40 smash hit in the U.S.A. The song was also chosen by Unesco cultural and educational committee, for the World Book Of Song.
At 22 years of age, John was the youngest performer to headline a major Las Vegas showroom. Head Line Reviews acclaimed him as possessing one of the strongest and richest voices they had ever heard. With a “deep resonance compared to none, a unique live performer and recording artist, with alluring looks, boundless Energy and outstanding versatility.”
Since the mid-seventies. John has been a resident of Hawaii where He had an eight year contract with the Royal Hawaiian Hotel’s Monarch Room, in which he won Hawaii’s highest entertainment award, “The No Ka Oi” accolade, meaning the best.
In 1980, he was awarded the O.B.E. for his contribution to music and promotion of his country overseas. Since then, John has been a regular visitor to Australia, appearing at all major venues and television shows throughout the country.
The current show features many of his classic hits plus a variety of songs from Latin to opera and many of the great musicals Including Andrew Lloyd Webber, Riverdance and his own unique rendition of his native land Maori culture.
Acclaimed unanimously by audiences and critics alike as one of the finest performers in the world today, John Rowles brings his stunning stage presence and vocal talents to your venue.