b. 12 August 1937, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. Norman is one of many talented and ubiquitous R&B performers who have had a modest but memorable impact on the music scene. His first professional experience was as a member of the Los Angeles group the Chargers, who recorded a couple of doo-wop records for RCA Records during 1958-59. The Chargers broke up in 1959 and Norman began recording as a solo act under producer H.B. Barnum, latterly with the Robins. In 1960 he and Barnum, in an ad hoc group called the Dyna-Sores, recorded a successful cover version of the Hollywood Argyles’ song ‘Alley-Oop’, and their version made it to number 59 on the pop charts. Norman’s solo career then took off when he achieved a regional success with the haunting ‘Here Comes The Night’ in 1961. The following year he reached the national charts with the memorable New Orleans-styled ‘I Don’t Love You No More’ (number 21 R&B, number 47 pop).
Norman never again matched these achievements, but his delightful ‘Love Is Wonderful’ was an east coast hit in 1963. Norman had one other national chart record, ‘Can You Blame Me’ (number 35 R&B), in 1966. He worked on and off for the Coasters during the late 60s, and from 1973 onwards was a fully fledged member of the Cornell Gunter-led Coasters, one of several competing on the revival circuit during that time. In the early 70s Norman recorded several singles for this Coasters group on the Turntable label, and made some records as lead singer in Eddie Palmieri’s Latin-R&B fusion group, the Harlem River Drive.
In 1975 Norman returned to solo recording, releasing some singles for Buddah Records. It was over a decade later when he finally got the chance to record his first album, Home, which was released in 1987 on the tiny BadCat label. After leaving the Coasters in 1998, Norman recorded a second album for Badcat. A third album followed in 2004 on Judy Collins’ Wildflower Records label.