Jim Ed Norman

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For other people of the same name, see Jim Norman.
Jim Ed Norman
Jim Ed Norman Conducting.jpg
Jim Ed Norman by Keith Nealy
Background information
Born (1948-10-16) October 16, 1948 (age 66)
Origin Fort Myers, Florida, US
Genres Pop, Rock, Country, Folk-rock, Pop-rock, Country-rock, Jazz, Gospel, Christian
Occupation(s) Producer, arranger, musician
Instruments Guitar, piano
Years active 1967–present
Associated acts Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, America, Anne Murray, Jackie DeShannon, Hank Williams, Jr., Kenny Rogers, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Jennifer Warnes, Glenn Frey

Jim Ed Norman (born Edward James Norman, October 16, 1948, Fort Myers, Florida) is an American musician, record producer, arranger and label head. He was one of the principal architects of the distinctive sound of West Coast 1970s pop and rock, after which he moved into production, eventually becoming President of Warner Bros. Records Nashville. Following a short-lived retirement in 2004, he re-emerged in Nashville in 2010.

Early career[edit]

Norman's career began in earnest when he joined Don Henley in Texas-based group Felicity in 1969, playing keyboards and guitar. Having renamed themselves Shiloh and by now based in Los Angeles, they recorded an eponymous album (1970, Amos Records) which bore early signs of the direction in which 1970s country-rock would soon move en masse. The album was produced by Kenny Rogers but following its release, the group disbanded.[1]

Norman resurfaced a couple of years later with Uncle Jim's Music, a group who combined West Coast and country music leanings. Norman joined the band after the release of their first album, contributing to their second collection for Kapp Records, There's A Song in This.[2]

Music and arrangement career[edit]

Norman contributed string arrangements and piano to a series of bestselling albums by The Eagles, released between 1973 and 1980 including Desperado, One of These Nights and Hotel California. During the same period he wrote string and horn arrangements for Linda Ronstadt's album, Don't Cry Now and Hat TrickAmerica's third studio album (released on Warner Bros). He would continue to accrue arrangement credits throughout his career and well into its next phase in Nashville.

Production career[edit]

In the mid-seventies, Norman emerged as a producer of note. Among the albums he helmed, and which featured his smooth stylistic qualities, were song-writing legend Jackie Deshannon's You're The Only Dancer (Amherst, 1977) and Quick Touches (Amherst, 1978), the first of which restored Deshannon to the pop charts with the spirited anthem "Don't Let The Flame Burn Out". Other production jobs included albums by New Riders of the Purple Sage, Glenn Frey, The Osmonds, and Jennifer Warnes's first hit, "Right Time of the Night" (US #6).

In addition, Norman's production techniques were enlisted repeatedly for one artist in particular – he oversaw a large chunk of Anne Murray's platinum-selling output from 1977 onwards, including Let's Keep It That Way, New Kind of Feeling, and I'll Always Love You. Notoriously hard-to-please critic, Robert Christgau, credited these albums with Murray's "gradual revitilazation..." thanks to Jim Ed Norman's "...clean, honest, Nashville-quality work".[3]

The albums were platinum-selling successes, spawning multiple hit singles including the US No. 1, Grammy winning (Female Pop Vocal Performance) "You Needed Me" and a string of US AC chart-toppers – "I Just Fall in Love Again", "Shadows in the Moonlight", "Broken Hearted Me", and "Daydream Believer". Norman's fruitful alliance with Murray extended well into the 1980s during which he produced the Gold-selling albums A Little Good News and Heart Over Mind, both of which won CMA awards.

While Norman had been known for providing arrangements and keyboards on albums that typified the lush, Californian sound of the seventies, as a producer his natural inclination towards country music became increasingly prominent through his work with such artists as Kenny Rogers and Hank Williams Jr.

By the outset of the nineties, Nashville was the place to be for a migration of Singer/Songwriters from Los Angeles, and the city gradually became known for music that mixed country with the folk and soul leanings brought by the influx. In 1990 Norman added his expertise to this emergent trend, producing the breakthrough self-titled Warner Bros/Reprise album by singer/songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman, which was very much in the singer/songwriter blend of styles. He resumed duties for Nielsen Chapman's follow-up album You Hold the Key (Warner Reprise, 1993).[4]

Time at Warner Nashville[edit]

After joining Warner Bros. Nashville as Head of A&R, Norman was awarded Presidency of the company in 1984. There, he was responsible for nurturing the talents of Randy Travis, Faith Hill, Travis Tritt, and Dwight Yoakam. His new role was also notable for the fact that it did not curtail his direct creative involvement in music, and he continued to amass production credits throughout his time with the label, as well as undertaking arrangements for non-Warners artists. Among those he worked with at the time were Crystal Gayle, Kenny Rogers, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.[5][6]

Diversity at Warner Bros.[edit]

Norman was influential at Warner Bros. Nashville, demonstrating an inclination to increase the company's range of genres. To this end, he was involved in the successful expansion of the label's reach to include the WB Gospel and Christian division, and the launches of the Warner Western imprint, featuring Native American and Cowboy artists, and a Hispanic label – Warner Discos. In addition, Norman spearheaded the Progressive division, with artists including Take 6, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Mark O'Connor and American guitar virtuoso Shawn Lane.

Retirement and re-emergence[edit]

Norman's retirement was confirmed on June 14, 2004, and shortly thereafter he relocated to Hawai'i. Despite ostensibly retiring, he swiftly became involved in music, organizing a music business program between the University of Hawaii and Belmont University, Nashville. In a short space of time, he was widely noted for his largesse, commitment to and support of local talent, which also benefitted Honolulu Community College, with the creation of the MELE program.[7]

In 2010, however, he broke his retirement and returned to Nashville, initially working on the debut album by Nashville Star contestant Christy McDonald,[8] the first of a series of new production assignments which also included newcomers, Dylan Scott and Tim Dugger.[9] He continues to encourage and support education via his involvement as Senior Fellow at The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise & Public Policy at Vanderbilt. In 2011, reports that he would be working with Rounder recording artist Claire Lynch began to emerge.[10]

Awards and philanthropy[edit]

Jim Ed Norman was the Founding President of Leadership Music, an organisation that brings together music industry personnel, encouraging community spirit, education, the cross-pollination of ideas, and issue-based interaction.[11]

He was also the Original Fund Raising Chair and past President of the W.O. Smith Nashville Community Music School, which provides private music instruction for low income families given by an all-volunteer faculty at 50 cents a lesson[12]

Norman was named Producer of the Year by Cashbox in 1989 for his work with Crystal Gayle among others. In 1990, he was given the Andrew Heiskell Community Service Award – a Time Warner award designed to recognise those who have contributed outstanding degrees of community service.

In 1993, Norman received the Anti-Defamation League Johnny Cash Americanism Award, given to recognise individuals who have fought against racism, prejudice and bigotry.[13]

In acknowledgement of his efforts to link the Nashville community at large with the entertainment industry, Norman was given the Leadership Music Bridge Award (subsequently renamed the Dale Franklin Leadership Music Award) in 1996.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

1970
Shiloh – Shiloh (Amos Records)
Credit: Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals, String arrangements

1972
Uncle Jim’s Music – There’s a Song in This (Kapp Records)
Credit: Piano, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, String arrangements

1973
AmericaHat Trick (Warner Bros.)
Credit: String arrangements

EaglesDesperado (Asylum)
Credit: String arrangements, keyboards on “Outlaw Man” and “Saturday Night”

Linda RonstadtDon't Cry Now – (Asylum Records)
Credit: Horn arrangements, String arrangements

1975
EaglesOne of These Nights (Asylum)
Credit: String arrangements, Conductor, Piano on “Lyin’ Eyes” and “Take It To The Limit”

1976
Country Joe McDonaldLove is a Fire (Bellaphon)
Credit: Piano, String arrangements

EaglesHotel California (Asylum)
Credit: String arrangements, Conductor, Composer

EaglesTheir Greatest Hits (Asylum)
Credit: String arrangements

The Group With No NameMoon Over Brooklyn (Casablanca)
Credit: String arrangements, Conductor

Linda RonstadtGreatest Hits (Asylum)
Credit: Horn arrangements, String arrangements

Jennifer WarnesJennifer Warnes (Arista)
Credit: Producer, Keyboards, String arrangements

1977
Coast To Coast – Original Soundtrack (Full Moon)
Credit: Producer

The New Commander Cody BandRock 'n Roll Again (Arista)
Credit: Producer, Arranger

Coon Elder – Coon Elder Band (Mercury)
Credit: Producer, Keyboards

Jackie DeShannonYou're the Only Dancer (Amherst)
Credit: Producer, Keyboards, String arrangements

Juice Newton & Silver SpurAfter The Dust Settles (RCA)
Credit: String arrangements, Horn arrangements

Rains & Harris – Rains & Harris (RCA)
Credit: Producer

1978
Jackie DeShannonQuick Touches (Amherst)
Credit: Producer, Keyboards, String arrangements

Anne MurrayLet's Keep It That Way (Capitol)
Credit: Producer

New Riders of the Purple SageMarin County Line (MCA)
Credit: Producer

Bob SegerStranger in Town (Capitol)
Credit: String arrangements, Conductor

1979
Kim CarnesSt. Vincent's Court (EMI)
Credit: String arrangements, Conductor

Anne MurrayNew Kind of Feeling (Capitol)
Credit: Producer

Anne MurrayI'll Always Love You (Capitol)
Credit: Producer

The C.Y. Walkin’ Band – Love The Way It Feels (Parachute)
Credit: Producer

1980
Kim CarnesRomance Dance (EMI)
Credit: String arrangements

EaglesEagles Live (Asylum)
Credit: Conductor, Arrangements

Janie FrickeI'll Need Someone To Hold Me When I Cry (CBS)
Credit: Producer

Albert HammondYour World & My World (Columbia)
Credit: Producer, Keyboards, String arrangements

Anne MurraySomebody's Waiting (Capitol)
Credit: Producer

Anne MurrayA Country Collection (Capitol)
Credit: Producer

Anne MurrayAnne Murray's Greatest Hits (Capitol)
Credit: Producer

Charlie RichOnce a Drifter (Elektra)
Credit: Producer

Urban CowboyOriginal Soundtrack (Asylum)
Credit: Producer

1981
Mickey GilleyYou Don't Know Me (Epic)
Credit: Producer

Johnny LeeBet Your Heart on Me (Asylum)
Credit: Producer

Anne MurrayWhere Do You Go When You Dream (Capitol)
Credit: Producer

Anne MurrayChristmas Wishes (Capitol)
Credit: Producer

1982
Glenn FreyNo Fun Aloud (Aslyum)
Credit: Producer, String arrangements, Horn arrangements

Janie FrickeGreatest Hits (Columbia)
Credit: Producer

Mickey GilleyBiggest Hits (Epic)
Credit: Producer

Johnny LeeSounds Like Love (Asylum)
Credit: Producer, Electric piano, Synthesizer

Michael Martin MurpheyThe Best of Michael Martin Murphey (Liberty)
Credit: Producer, String arrangements, conductor

Anne MurrayThe Hottest Night of the Year (Capitol)
Credit: Producer

Jennifer WarnesThe Best of Jennifer Warnes (Arista)
Credit: Producer

Teresa Straley – Never Enough (Alfa Records)
Credit: Producer, String arrangements, Conductor

1983
Mickey GilleyYou've Really Got A Hold on Me (Epic)
Credit: Producer

Johnny LeeGreatest Hits (Asylum)
Credit: Producer

Michael Martin MurpheyThe Heart Never Lies (Liberty)
Credit: Producer, String arrangements

Anne MurrayA Little Good News (Capitol)
Credit: Producer

T. G. SheppardSlow Burn (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

1984
Mickey GilleyTen Years of Hits (Epic)
Credit: Producer

Gary MorrisFaded Blue (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Anne MurrayHeart Over Mind (Capitol)
Credit: Producer

The OsmondsOne Way Rider (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

1985
John AndersonTokyo, Oklahoma (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

BandanaBandana (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Gary MorrisAnything Goes (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

The OsmondsToday (Range Records)
Credit: Producer

Southern PacificSouthern Pacific (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer, String arrangements

1986
Crystal GayleStraight to the Heart (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Michael Martin MurpheyTonight We Ride (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer, Composer, String arrangements

Southern PacificKillbilly Hill (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Hank Williams, Jr.Montana Cafe (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

1987
John AndersonCountrified (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

The Forester SistersChristmas Card (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Crystal Gayle/Gary MorrisWhat If We Fall in Love (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Gary MorrisHits (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Michael Martin MurpheyAmericana (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Hank Williams, Jr.Born To Boogie (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Hank Williams, Jr.Hank Live (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

1988
The Forester SistersSincerely (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Crystal GayleNobody's Angel (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Mac McAnallyFinish Lines (Geffen Records)
Credit: Producer

Southern PacificZuma (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Take 6Take 6 (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Executive Producer

Hank Williams, Jr.Wild Streak (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

1989
Country Joe McDonaldClassics (Fantasy)
Credit: Arranger

The Forester SistersAll I Need (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

The Forester SistersGreatest Hits (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Michael Martin MurpheyLand of Enchantment (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Pink CadillacOriginal Soundtrack (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Kenny RogersSomething Inside So Strong (Reprise)
Credit: Producer

Kenny RogersChristmas in America (Reprise)
Credit: Producer

Southern Pacific – County Line (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Hank Williams, Jr.Hank Williams, Jr.'s Greatest Hits, Vol. 3 (Warner Bros./Curb)
Credit: Producer

1990
John AndersonGreatest Hits, Volume II (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Crystal GayleA Crystal Christmas (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Emmylou HarrisDuets (Reprise)
Credit: Producer

Mac McAnallySimple Life (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Gary MorrisGreatest Hits, Volume II (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Beth Nielsen ChapmanBeth Nielsen Chapman (Reprise)
Credit: Producer

Pinkard & BowdenLive in Front of a Bunch of Dickheads (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Kenny Rogers20 Great Years (Reprise)
Credit: Producer

Kenny RogersLove Is Strange (Reprise)
Credit: Producer

Hank Williams, Jr.America (Warner Bros./Curb)
Credit: Producer

Hank Williams, Jr.Lone Wolf (Warner Bros./Curb)
Credit: Producer

1991
Holly DunnMilestones: Greatest Hits (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Brenda LeeA Brenda Lee Christmas (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Mark O'ConnorThe New Nashville Cats (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Kenny RogersBack Home Again (Reprise)
Credit: Producer

T. G. SheppardAll-Time Greatest Hits (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Southern PacificGreatest Hits (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer, Cymbals, Arrangements

Hank Williams, Jr.Pure Hank (Warner Bros./Curb)
Credit: Producer

1992
Michael Martin MurpheyWhat's Forever For (Cema)
Credit: Producer

Hank Williams, Jr.The Bocephus Box (1st press: Capricorn, Reissue: Warner Bros./Curb)
Credit: Producer

1993
The Forester SistersSunday Meetin' (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer, Arrangements

Kathie Lee GiffordIt's Christmas Time (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Kathie Lee GiffordSentimental (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Beth Nielsen ChapmanYou Hold The Key (Reprise)
Credit: Executive Producer, Producer

Mark O'ConnorHeroes (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

1994
John AndersonYou Can't Keep a Good Memory Down (MCA)
Credit: Producer

Tish HinojosaDestiny's Gate (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Anne MurrayBest of the Season (Capitol)
Credit: Producer

Anne MurrayThe Best...So Far (Capitol)
Credit: Producer

Bob SegerGreatest Hits (Capitol)
Credit: String arrangements, conductor

1995
The ForemenFolk Heroes (Reprise)
Credit: Producer

Glenn FreySolo Collection (MCA)
Credit: Producer, String arrangements, Conductor

Herb JeffriesBrief History of Herb Jeffries (Warner/Western)
Credit: Producer

Herb JeffriesBronze Buckaroo (Rides Again) (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Michael Martin MurpheySagebrush Symphony (Warner/Western)
Credit: Producer

Victoria ShawIn Full View (Reprise)
Credit: Producer

B. J. ThomasPrecious Memories (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

1996
Chris CummingsSomewhere Inside (Warner Music Canada)
Credit: Producer

The Foreman – What’s Left (Reprise)
Credit: Producer

Tish HinojosaDreaming from the Labyrinth (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

1997
Garth BrooksSevens (Capitol Nashville)
Credit: String arrangements, Conductor

Anita CochranBack To You (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

The Forester SistersGreatest Gospel Hits (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Crystal GayleHe Is Beautiful (Southpaw Musical Productions)
Credit: Producer

Tish HinojosaSonar Del Laberinto (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Michael Martin MurpheyThe Horse Legends (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Beth Nielsen ChapmanSand and Water (Reprise)
Credit: Executive Producer

Kenny RogersDecade of Hits (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Victoria ShawVictoria Shaw (Reprise)
Credit: Producer

B. J. ThomasI Believe (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer, Arrangements

Trisha Yearwood(Songbook) A Collection of Hits (MCA Nashville)
Credit: Guitar

1998
Hal BynumIf I Could Do Anything (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Chris CummingsChris Cummings (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Danni Leigh29 Nights (Decca)
Credit: String arrangements

Michael Martin MurpheyWildfire 1972–1984 (Raven)
Credit: Producer

Take 6So Cool (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

1999
Anita CochranAnita (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Janie FrickeSuper Hits (Sony)
Credit: Producer

Beth Nielsen ChapmanGreatest Hits (Reprise)
Credit: Executive Producer, Producer

Kongar-ol OndarBack Tuva Future (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Take 6Greatest Hits (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Hank Williams, Jr.The Complete Hank Williams Jr (Curb)
Credit: Producer, Composer

2000
AmericaHighway: 30 Years of America (Rhino)
Credit: Arrangements, Piano

Chris CummingsLonesomeville (Warner Music Canada)
Credit: Producer

DamitaDamita (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

Jackie DeShannonBest of 1958 – 1980: Come And Get Me (Raven)
Credit: Producer

EaglesSelected Works: 1972-1999 (Elektra)
Credit: String arrangements, Conductor, Piano

2001
Dave LogginsThe Good Side of Tomorrow: 1971–1984 (Raven)
Credit: Producer

AmericaThe Definitive America (Rhino/WEA)
Credit: Piano, Arrangements

Michael Martin MurpheyUltimate Collection (Hip-O)
Credit: Producer

2002
Clay WalkerChristmas (Warner Bros.)
Credit: Producer

2003
EaglesThe Very Best Of (Warner Strategic Marketing)
Credit: String arrangements, Piano

Jeff FoxworthyThe Best of Jeff Foxworthy: Double Wide, Single Minded (Rhino)
Credit: Project Assistant

2004
Jennifer WarnesPlatinum & Gold Collection (Arista)
Credit: Producer

2005
Anne MurrayAll of Me (Straightway)
Credit: Producer

2006
Tish HinojosaRetrospective (Varese Fontana)
Credit: Producer

Hank Williams, Jr.That's How They Do It in Dixie: The Essential Collection (Asylum/Curb Records)
Credit: Producer

2007
Crystal GayleGreatest Hits (Capitol)
Credit: Producer

2009
Shelly WestThe Very Best of Shelly West (Varese Fontana)
Credit: Producer

2011
Bob SegerUltimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets (Capitol)
Credit: String arrangements, Conductor

References[edit]

  1. ^ "''Eagles Online Central''". Eaglesonlinecentral.com. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  2. ^ Uncle Jim's Music Rate Your Music
  3. ^ Anne Murray reviews Robert Christgau
  4. ^ Ankeny, Jason (October 16, 1948). "''Jim Ed Norman at All Music Guide''". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  5. ^ Stark, Phyllis Nashville Scene
  6. ^ "''CMT News''". Cmt.com. June 14, 2004. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  7. ^ "''Nashville Foundation makes music happen at Honolulu Community College''". Hawaii.edu. December 18, 2009. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  8. ^ "''Christy McDonald cuts DHM Song''". Danhodgesmusic.com. October 9, 2009. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  9. ^ "''Tim Dugger Bio''". Timdugger.com. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  10. ^ Howard Heithau, Harriet Claire Lynch brings bluegrass charm to the Stage
  11. ^ "''Leadership Music''". Leadershipmusic.org. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  12. ^ "''W.O Smith Music School''". Wosmith.org. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  13. ^ Gores To Receive Award AllBusiness

External links[edit]