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Jimmy Norman: Little Pieces

Jimmy Norman

The story behind Jimmy Norman’s Little Pieces, released by Judy Collins on her Wildflower label, is as fascinating and heartwarming as the album itself. According to Frank Beacham’s liner notes, the legendary R&B journeyman, celebrated for his work with Bob Marley, Lloyd Price and Lou Rawls and as lead singer for the Coasters throughout the ’70s and ’80s, was recently in need of financial and medical assistance. To his aid came the Jazz Foundation of America, whose myriad volunteer duties included helping Norman tidy his jumbled New York apartment. There they discovered a garbage bag filled with notebooks containing songs he had written, most never recorded, over the past four decades. The Dumpster-headed treasure trove was rescued and a series of recording sessions, spanning two years, were arranged, with the still-ailing Norman laying down his vocal tracks inside that same crowded apartment.

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