Normie Rowe’s cover of George and Ira Gershwins It Ain’t Necessarily So was the Australian singer’s first single and a big hit for him in 1965. The song itself, from the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess, was sung by the character Sportin’ Life, famously played by Cab Calloway on stage and Sammy Davis Jr. in the 1959 film.
Between 1965 and 1967 Rowe was one of Australia’s most popular stars but his career was cut short when he was drafted for compulsory military service in late 1967. His tour of duty in Vietnam effectively ended his stint as a pop singer but upon his return he turned his hand to acting and continued performing until the early 2000s.
The inspiration for Rowe’s cover of the song was a 1963 version by the British group Ian and the Zodiacs, who found fame in Germany in the wake of the Beatles success there and even worked a side gig as The Koppykats releasing two entire albums of Beatles covers.
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