Former Jimi Hendrix Collaborator Jimmy Norman Dies
Rhythm-and-blues singer Jimmy Norman — who worked with Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley early in their careers and was a battle over songwriting credit for ‘Time Is on My Side,’ which the Rolling Stones turned into a Top 10 hit in 1964 — died earlier this month in New York at the age of 84.
Norman had minor success as a solo artist, with his songs ‘I Don’t Love You No More (I Don’t Care About You)’ in 1962 and ‘Can You Blame Me’ in 1966 both landing in the Top 40 of Billboard’s R&B chart. Another song from the singer included 1966’s ‘That Little Old Groovemaker,’ which featured a then little-known Hendrix on guitar. The track was included on Hendrix’s recent career-spanning box set ‘West Coast Seattle Boy.’
But it was his battle over songwriting rights — and the accompanying royalties — to ‘Time Is on My Side’ that Norman was perhaps most well known for. The tune, which was first recorded by trombonist Kai Winding with few lyrics in 1963, later appeared with more lyrics on a recording by singer Irma Thomas.
Norman claims he had been hired to write the additional lyrics, and his name appeared on initial pressings of the record, but was later removed and blamed on a clerical error. The Rolling Stones scored their first Top 10 U.S. hit with that version of ‘Time Is on My Side,’ from their second album ’12 X 15,’ in 1964. Norman ultimately received no money for his work.
He later spent three decades touring with the oldies group the Coasters, and released his first widely distributed album, ‘Little Pieces,’ in 2004. His last last public appearance was at the Jazz Foundation organization’s Loft Party on Oct. 29 in New York, during which he sang ‘Time is on My Side’ with a backing band that included Lou Reed.
A memorial will be held at Saint Peter’s Church in New York on Jan. 23. It will be open to the public. You can learn much more about Norman’s life at JimmyNorman.org.
Watch Jimmy Norman Sing ‘Time is on My Side’