John Rowles

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John Rowles
John Rowles.jpg
Background information
Birth name John Rowles
Also known as John Edward Rowles
Born (1947-03-26) March 26, 1947 (age 69)
Whakatane, New Zealand
Origin New Zealand
Genres Pop
Years active 1966-present

John Edward Rowles OBE (born 26 March 1947) is a New Zealand singer. He was most popular in the late 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, and best known in New Zealand for his song from 1970, "Cheryl Moana Marie", which he had written about his younger sister.

Rowles was born in Whakatane, New Zealand, and is part Māori. His father, Eddie Hohapata Rowles, played for the 1938 Māori All Blacks. His mother was Pākehā. He was brought up in Kawerau, in the North Island of New Zealand. Rowles' birth name was simply John Rowles; he added the middle name "Edward" after his brother of that name died at a young age.[1]

Rowles is best known in New Zealand and Australia, though he has also performed in the United States, particularly Las Vegas, Nevada and Hawaii, where he was managed by Kimo Wilder McVay. In the United Kingdom he was best known for the hit, "If I Only Had Time", which reached number 3 in the UK Singles Chart in spring 1968, and stayed in the chart for eighteen weeks.[2] This was a cover version of the French song "Je n'aurai pas le temps" with which the French singer Michel Fugain had a hit in 1967. The song also charted big in the Netherlands, reaching #2,[3] after which the Franck Pourcel had a minor hit with an instrumental version of the song, bearing the original French song title.[4]

Rowles had another Top 20 hit in the UK with "Hush . . . Not a Word to Mary", also in 1968.[2] This song also charted in the Netherlands.[5]

In the USA "Cheryl Moana Marie" got noticed in the summer of 1970 by some West Coast radio stations, but it lasted until the end of 1970 for the song to chart nationally, peaking at #64 in the Billboard Hot 100 and #78 in the Cash Box Top 100 resp. in early 1971.[6]


In 1974 Rowles received the Benny Award from the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand Inc, the highest honour available to a New Zealand variety entertainer.[7]

Rowles had a cameo role in the 2008 New Zealand film Second-Hand Wedding.[8]

Dancing with the Stars[edit]

In early 2009, Rowles was selected to appear in the New Zealand TV show Dancing with the Stars for 2009. He was partnered with Krystal Stewart. Under doctor's orders, he had to retire from the competition but has since recovered.


Rowles released his autobiography, If I Only Had Time, in October 2012.


  1. ^ Interview with Jim Mora on Eight months to Mars programme, Radio New Zealand National, 1pm NZT, Monday, 16 May 2011
  2. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 472. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ Chart history in the Dutch Top 40 of "If I only had time"
  4. ^ Chart history in the Dutch Top 40 of "Je n'aurai pas le temps
  5. ^ Chart history in the Dutch Top 40 of "Hush ... not a word to Mary"
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Variety Artists Club of NZ Benny Award Recipients". 
  8. ^ "Second Hand Wedding (2008) - IMDb". 

External links[edit]