After an Arts Degree at Monash University came the obligatory overseas trip. After a 5 week voyage – yes, that’s 5 weeks but nobody died of scurvy – Norm disembarked at Southampton. He was 20 years of age.
Travel was cheap, the girls were beautiful and the music was incredible. At the Isle of Wight Festival in 1971 Norm saw Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis, Leonard Cohen and the last ever concerts of Jimi Hendrix and The Doors. Who knew?
Back home in Melbourne Norm got a job in sales with Melbourne based educational book publisher F.W.Cheshire before taking over as Southern States Manager for Angus and Robertson where he worked closely for six years with publisher and enfant terrible, Richard Walsh.
During a one year stint in London as International Marketing Manager Norm met the owner and MD of Music Sales, Bob Wise. Back in Australia in 1981 the two communicated before Bob offered Norm the position of Managing Director. Some marriages are made in heaven – this one happened in Artarmon!
The eighties proved to be an amazing time to join Music Sales. In addition to becoming the dominant print publisher and distributor in Europe, Music Sales started to acquire copyright companies; first Campbell Connelly, then G.Schirmer followed by Chester Music, Wilhelm Hansen and Novello. Overnight a print music publishing company became one of the largest independent copyright owners in the world.
In Australia in 1989 Music Sales purchased Larrikin Music beginning a long term relationship with singer/songwriter Eric Bogle that continues to this day. 1989 also marked the year that Norm became actively involved in the copyright collection societies – first on a print sub-committee, then as AMPAL and AMCOS director. Norm has served on both boards since and chaired AMCOS through its transition from independent management through to its current administration position with APRA. Norm also chaired AMPAL for 3 years when the board decided to renew and refresh the role of this publisher organization.
1988 – Published compilation 101 Australian Songs for Buskers. This became the first of a number of successful compilations featuring Australian songs.
1990 – Conceived and organised the first Golden Stave Golf Day and ran it for the first 7 years. The Golf Day has its 20th anniversary next year having raised over half a million dollars for charity.
1998 – Published The Great Australian Songbook. Following a launch in Sydney’s Opera House the first print run sold out in less than 2 months. This book in various editions would go on to sell over 55,000 copies.
1999 – Acquired the Music Sales (Australia) business and building in Rosebery after a hail stone storm had decimated the building and destroyed all of the stock.
2000 – Organised the first Print Trade Fair and with his print music industry colleagues has institutionalized an eagerly awaited and attended event each year.
2006 – Purchased the Arc catalogue (home of Chuck Berry, Willie Dixon and best of classic blues and rock ‘n’ roll) for the APRA territories for life of copyright – Roll over Beethoven.
2008 – Produced the first of a series of instructional DVDs featuring Australian Songs. There are now 15 titles in the series and story continues!