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He was one of the most important producers and record executives in the United Kingdom in the 1950s and early 1960s and is the man who signed The Rolling Stones, Them (Van Morrison), The Moody Blues, The Tremeloes, The Zombies, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, The Brumbeats, The Tornados, Tom Jones, The Small Faces, The Marmalade and Eternal Triangle amongst others.
As a producer he had several number ones in the singles chart, and his discography includes:
- The Stargazers: "Broken Wings" released Feb 1953
- Lita Roza: "(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?" Mar 1953
- Jimmy Young: "Unchained Melody" Apr 1955
- Jimmy Young: "The Man from Laramie" Sep 1955
- Dickie Valentine: "Christmas Alphabet" Nov 1955
- Jet Harris and Tony Meehan: "Diamonds" 1963
- Engelbert Humperdinck: some tracks on "Greatest Love Songs"
- Them/Van Morrison: "Gloria"
- Al Hibbler: "Unchained Melody (reached number 3 in the Billboard charts in 1955)
- Billy Fury: "Halfway to Paradise" (reached number 2 in 1961 in the UK)
- Billy Fury: "Jealousy" (reached number 2 in 1961)
- Jet Harris and Tony Meehan: "Scarlett O'Hara" (reached number 2 in 1963)
- Jet Harris and Tony Meehan: "Applejack" (reached number 4 in 1963)
- The Bachelors: "Marta" Jul 1967 (reached number 20)
- Neil Reid: "Mother Of Mine" Dec 1971 (reached number 2)
He is historically presented in popular musical history as the man who did not sign The Beatles, even after their manager Brian Epstein paid Decca to provide a one hour audition. George Harrison says he told their manager, "Guitar groups are on their way out, Mr. Epstein". He later signed The Rolling Stones after their audition, thanks to an introduction and encouragement from Harrison.
Rowe died of diabetes on 6 June 1986. His son, Richard Rowe works in music publishing (and made the deal to create a joint partnership with Michael Jackson to publish The Beatles catalogue as Sony/ATV when he ran the publishing division of Sony Music).
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