NORMIE ROWE
It's Not Easy
(Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil)
Australia (recorded in UK) 1966
#5 Sydney #3 Melbourne #2 Brisbane #6 Adelaide #8 Perth #21 NZ

Original version

Recorded in London at Polydor, produced by John Carter and Terry Kennedy, Australian single on International Sunshine. See also Ooh La La and Going Home.

Double-sided hit in Perth with Mary Mary.

The song was registered with the US Copyright Office in February 1967, current registration #RE-704-733.

Melbourne singer Normie Rowe became Australia's top teen idol of the late 60s and the star of Ivan Dayman's Sunshine label. He had a string of hits in Australia from 1965, recorded four singles in London, toured Britain and America, and even inspired a tribute song, Norman-Normie. After he was conscripted to serve in Vietnam he never regained his earlier 'King of Pop' status, but he re-established himself as a respected performer, especially on stage, starring in such productions as Les Miserables and Annie.
Buy At Sanity.com.au

Normie Rowe on the recording of It's Not Easy (response to David Walker, posted to Spectropop March 2003):

It’s Not Easy was picked from a series of demos played to me by a song plugger from Screen Gems-Columbia music in London in 1966. It had been written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil for the Righteous Brothers just before their 1966 break-up. I must’ve been the next person to hear it. I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard the song originally. ...The orchestra on the recording was 36 piece which included John-Paul Jones and Jimmy Page, both of whom went on to form Led Zeppelin, the Ted Heath Band brass section, and a vocal group made up of singers from The Breakaways, and The Ivy League. Phil Dennys wrote the score. The production team of John Carter and Terry Kennedy were more than up to the task of producing a really fine recording.

Reference: Spectropop Group Digest #824, 16 Mar 2003, Message #23 It's Not Easy by Normie Rowe, From: Norman

Further reading: 1. Normie Rowe biography at Milesago. 2. Official site at NormieRowe.com.

Thank you to David Walker.

CHERYL GRAY
It's Not Easy Lovin' You
(Jackie Trent - Tony Hatch)
Australia 1967
Red herring
#34 Adelaide #11 Perth

SIMILAR TITLE BUT NOT THE SAME SONG AS
'IT'S NOT EASY' BY NORMIE ROWE.

Single by Melbourne singer later known as Samantha Sang, covering a Jackie Trent B-side.

The Normie Rowe song even features the line
It's not easy, lovin' you baby...

More details at Cheryl Gray - It's Not Easy Lovin' You.

THE ROLLING STONES
It's Not Easy
(Mick Jagger - Keith Richards)
UK 1966
Red herring

SIMILAR TITLE BUT NOT THE SAME SONG AS
'IT'S NOT EASY' BY NORMIE ROWE.

On the 1966 album Aftermath.


  Some other red herrings:

Frankie Miller - It's Not Easy (Frankie Miller)
USA 1961 Single on Tennessee hillbilly music label Starday.
Rita Pavone - It's Not Easy (Alberto Bernabini - George D. Weiss)
USA 1964 RCA USA single by Italian singer. Maybe an English version of her "Non è facile avere 18 anni" (Bernabini)?
? And The Mysterians - It's Not Easy (Rudy Martinez)
USA 1969 On album Action by garage/punk band famous for "96 Tears" .

Later versions:

THE WILL-O-BEES
It's Not Easy
(Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil)
USA 1967
Later version

New York band.

Single on Date label.
ERIC BURDON & THE ANIMALS
It's Not Easy
(Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil)
UK 1967
Later version

From 1967 album Eric Is Here.
SANDY POSEY
It's Not Easy
(Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil)
USA 1968
Later version

On 1968 MGM album Looking at You.
SWEET INSPIRATIONS
It's Not Easy
(Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil)
USA 1969
Later version

On the Atlantic album Sweets For My Sweet.
NEIL MACARTHUR (COLIN BLUNSTONE)
It's Not Easy
(Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil)
UK 1969
Later version

Single on Deram by ex-Zombie under an assumed name: see Marmalade Skies. A rarity, available on the 2003 anthology Zigzag: 20 Junkshop Soft Rock Singles 1970-1974.
CISSY HOUSTON
It's Not Easy
(Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil)
USA 1972
Later version

Single on Janus, B-side of Didn't We. Upbeat version by soul and gospel singer, member of the Sweet Inspirations and mother of Whitney.
JOEY HEATHERTON
It's Not Easy
(Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil)
USA 1972
Later version

On The Joey Heatherton Album, on MGM. Actress, singer, dancer and TV entertainer from deep in the Swingin' 60s [IMDb].
BILL MEDLEY
It's Not Easy
(Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil)
USA 1973
Later version

Track on A&M album Smile by former Righteous Brother.
DICKEY LEE
It's Not Easy
(Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil)
USA 1978
Later version

Single on RCA label by early 60s pop singer-songwriter (Patches, I Saw Linda Yesterday) who later distinguished himself in the country field (She Thinks I Still Care).

Corrections or comments? Contact the writer.