Wednesday, 29 July 2009

JA-AR - Please Help Me I'm Falling

Please Help Me I'm Falling/Girl Girl Girl

John Rowles was born on 26th March 1947 in Whakatane and raised in Kawerau in the Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand. His parents were Eddie and Phyllis Rowles. Eddie played on the wing and three-quarter for the Maori All Black's in 1938, and was also a talented singer. John had five sisters, Georgina, Carol, Gabrielle, Cheryl and Tania, and two brothers, Edward and Wally. Edward unfortunately died when John was two, and out of respect for him, John adopted his name as his middle name throughout his career. Wally had a small singing career himself, originally going under the name Frankie Price, before changing to Frankie Rowles.
John's musical background is quite extensive with his first performance being at the age of 10, when he entered a local talent quest and sang "All Shook Up", taking out first prize. Whilst still at school he organised a group called the Shadows, named after the original group, and John played lead guitar. His father managed the group and they played at local dances at weekends. He was encouraged by his father and he even bought him his first electric guitar.
In 1962, when he was 15, John left school and got a job in a forestry camp. However, music was of prime importance in John's life and when he was sixteen he moved to Auckland where he acquired a job as a guitar player in a club. When the vocalist there became ill, John took over the vocal duties as well. While in Auckland he had a short spell with Sonny Day and the Sundowners, and it was while with them that he met Eddie Low.
John and Eddie moved to Australia in 1963 after signing a nine month contract to sing at the Riverside Inn in Melbourne. After that contract expired, John moved to Sydney and joined a group called the Dingdongers. John stayed with them for about a year and during his time with them, the group changed their name to the Sundowners.
By 1966, still in Australia, John had decided to go solo and secured the services of New Zealand promoter Graham Dent as his manager. Graham had previously been responsible for the successful career of Johnny Devlin and had also managed Max Merritt and the Meteors for a while. Graham gave John a new image, changed his hair style, new mod clothes and impressed upon him the importance of putting effort and action into his music and performances. Dent organised to have John appear on Australian television's "New Faces Of 1966". At this stage Dent had him performing under the name "The Secret", and he was so popular that there were huge numbers of offers for work. Dent kept him away from the promoters and press until after he had made an appearance on "Bandstand". He then launched John to the Australian music world as JA-AR and promoters were scrambling to sign him up.
John's first single as a soloist was released in 1966 on both the Sunshine and Komotion labels in Australia as JA-AR and was called "The End (Of The Rainbow)"/"You Still Love Him". This was followed early in 1967 with "Please Help Me I'm Falling"/"Girl Girl Girl" just on the Sunshine label. Owing to his television exposure, both singles did quite well.


  1. Hello,

    Fanx for finding some rare oldies and for keeping Oz muic available for folk to hear. I recently downloaded this Ja-Ar track but on listeneing found there is a bumped bit near the end there any chance you could re-up another version for moi.


    Tom Mix

  2. Hi D,

    I recently downloaded this track and on listening found it has a bumped bit near the last chorus. Is there any chance of re-upping this one?

    With thanks for keeping Oz oldies alive,

    Tom Mix

  3. I'll see what I can do Tom the vinyl is a bit worse for wear.