Norman Connors is an American jazz drummer, writer, arranger, and producer who has led a number of prominent jazz and R&B groups throughout the course of his career. Connors was born on March 1, 1947. In addition, he was responsible for a number of the biggest R&B singles of the era, particularly love ballads. It is possible that the song “You Are My Starship” from 1976, on which Michael Henderson sang lead vocals, is the thing that brought him the most fame.
Norman Connors Professional Life
Connors grew up in the same section of Philadelphia as the comedian Bill Cosby and began playing the drums at a very young age. This sparked his love in jazz, which he pursued actively throughout his life. Connors was strongly impacted by the drummer Lex Humphries and the younger brother of Spanky DeBrest, who was a bassist and Jazz Messenger player when he was in primary school. Connors was heavily exposed to jazz during this time and became heavily influenced by both of these musicians. In 1960, when he was barely 13 years old, he had his first encounter with his hero, Miles Davis.
When he was in middle school, he went to see John Coltrane perform, and at one point, he filled in for Elvin Jones on drums.
Connors received his musical education from Temple University and Juilliard respectively. His debut recording was included on Archie Shepp’s album Magic of JuJu, which was released in 1967. He continued to play with Pharoah Sanders for the subsequent few years until he signed with the jazz label Cobblestone Records in 1972, which was a part of Buddah Records, and released his first record as a bandleader the same year.
Also read: Who Is Anjelah Johnson Husband?
After signing with Buddah Records and subsequently becoming the A&R manager for the label in the middle of the 1970s, Connors shifted his attention more toward producing R&B music. He had a string of hits in the United States with songs that featured guest vocalists like Michael Henderson, Jean Carn, and Phyllis Hyman, among others. The most successful of these was “You Are My Starship,” which featured Henderson in 1976 and reached #4 in the R&B chart and #27 in the Pop chart. However, “Valentine Love,” which was his first chart success, reached #10 in the R&B chart in 1975 and featured vocals from both Henderson and Jean Carne. On his jazz CD “Love from the Sun,” Dee Dee Bridgewater was also a featured performer alongside him. In addition, he has produced recordings for a variety of performers, including as Jean Carn, Phyllis Hyman, Al Johnson, and Norman Brown, as well as saxophonist Marion Meadows.
When Buddah was bought out in 1978, Connors made the transfer to the Arista label. He achieved a crossover to the disco scene in 1980 with the hit ‘Take it to the Limit,’ which was issued as a 12″ record. Steely Dan’s Walter Becker and Donald Fagen were the ones who came up with the instrumental for the B side, which was titled “Black Cow.”
In 1988, he had a hit on Capitol Records with the song “I Am Your Melody,” which also included the B-side “Samba for Maria.” The song was taken from his album Passion, which he produced and which featured singer Spencer Harrison (1962–1994). Gabrielle Goodman, another up and coming singer, was presented by Connors on the Passion LP. Goodman sang Minnie Riperton’s “Loving You,” “My One and Only Love,” and “Private Stock,” as well as duets with George Harrison on the LP. Connors was the one who introduced Goodman.
Also read: Who Is Ina Garten Husband, Jeffery Garten?
Smooth jazz and urban crossover music are featured on his later album, which is titled Star Power.
What Is Norman Connors Net Worth?
Norman Connors is an American jazz drummer, writer, arranger, and producer with a net worth of $1 million to $5 million.