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Biography

Jimmy Norman, whose musical career has spanned over a half century, is a prolific songwriter, performer and record producer.

A native of Nashville, his songwriting talent led to musical collaborations with such notables as Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Lloyd Price, Lou Rawls and Johnny Nash. While performing in venues extending from the smallest Chitlin' Circuit dives to the stages of the Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden, Mr. Norman has appeared with Jerry Lee Lewis, Solomon Burke, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Ben E. King, and Ike & Tina Turner. In the early 1970s, he became lead singer of The Coasters, led by founder Carl Gardner, performing with the group for nearly 30 years.

In 1964, Jimmy Norman wrote lyrics during an Irma Thomas recording session for the classic, "Time Is On My Side"—later to become a major hit for the Rolling Stones and a staple of American Rock & Roll.

As an early collaborator with Bob Marley, Jimmy Norman spent nearly a year in the late 1960s in Jamaica working on the Reggae artist's early recordings. At 23, Marley and Norman recorded the Bronx Jam in Norman's New York City apartment—a session done in the days when the young Jamaican singer was still pursuing a career as an American-style R&B performer. During his lifetime, Bob Marley recorded more than 40 songs written for him by Mr. Norman.

Jimmy Norman also established an early friendship with Jimi Hendrix during the guitarist's Harlem years. They met when Hendrix was a member of the King Curtis band and recorded together on many occasions.

Increasingly unhappy with the direction of his career, Hendrix decided in 1966 to leave New York and move to England. The night before he was to leave, Hendrix and Jimmy Norman walked the streets of New York, Hendrix confiding to Norman his difficulties finding an audience for his music. The despair didn't last long. Within days after leaving, Hendrix became a sensation in London—soon to become one of the most successful rock guitarists of all time.

In the 1970s, Jimmy Norman worked with keyboard great Eddie Palmeri to produce two albums, "Harlem River Drive" and "Live at Sing Sing." During this period he also wrote for Lloyd Price, who released Norman's "Bad Conditions" and "The Truth."

In 1983, Jimmy released "Little Pieces," a CD of "lost" new-old songs he had written throughout the 1960s and 70s. Following critical acclaim for the collection of exceptional songs, Jimmy will follow-up with "The Way I See It" this fall. It extends this performer's amazing talents as a songwriter who fuses country, gospel, blues and jazz into a single genre of American music.