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Jimmy Norman: Time Is Still on His Side

Jimmy Norman
Jimmy Norman

Singer and songwriter Jimmy Norman has been an R&B institution for over 50 years. He played with Jimi Hendrix in New York's Greenwich Village, wrote the lyrics for "Time is on My Side" -- later a hit for the Rolling Stones -- and sang with the Coasters for three decades.

In 1968, Norman also helped out a young Jamaican musician under contract to singer Johnny Nash. He desperately wanted to be American-style rhythm and blues singer and Nash suggested that he work with Norman. That led to Norman's intense and prolific collaboration with the 23-year-old Bob Marley. The king of reggae went on to record more than 40 of Norman's tunes.

NPR's Scott Simon talks with Norman about the release of his first nationally distributed solo CD, Little Pieces. The album is a collection of his songs written in the 1960s and '70s, now finally fleshed out in the recording studio.

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