Jimmy Norman, after a long illness, died on Nov. 8 in New York City. When he left the Coasters after 30 years of performing, Jimmy was in poor health for over a decade. However, during this period, he recorded Little Pieces in 2004 and The Way I See It earlier this year. Those two records, produced by Kerryn Tolhurst, were among Jimmy’s best work.
In addition to be a prolific performer, a great storyteller and a master musician, Jimmy was an old school songwriter from Nashville. He combined the best of soul and R&B, along with country and blues, and turned into a music of his own. He schooled a young Bob Marley, who at the time wanted to be an R&B singer, and was close friends with Jimi Hendrix. He played with a who’s who or rock n’ roll.
Jimmy had substantial help over the past decade from the Jazz Foundation of America, who aided him with medical care and housing when he could no longer work. Jimmy’s last public appearance was for the Jazz Foundation at their Loft Party on Oct. 29, as seen in the picture below. His final public performance was singing Time is on My Side, a song he co-wrote but received no money for.
Rest in Peace, Jimmy Norman