Mark Robertson

Mark Robertson

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The producer who created Jimmy Buffett's signature sound and Margaritaville

For those of us who knew the name Norbert Putnam we recognized him largely as a producer of some very successful artists and songs through the years.

Norbert Auvin Putnam is an American musician, studio owner and record producer who was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2019. He got his start as a bass player in the studio house band in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and from there was recruited to move to Nashville in 1965. Among the artists he brought success to are are Dan Fogelberg, Linda Ronstadt, Joan Baez, Brewer & Shipley, and a singer you may have heard about--Jimmy Buffett.

When he was asked to consider working on what became Jimmy's biggest album to date, "Changes In Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes," before he would say yes, he would have to meet with him. And he did.

Interestingly, after hearing Buffett's band play, it was Putnam that suggested bringing in steel drums and other instruments that ultimately gave Buffett his signature sound. This is a story you may never have heard before.

And then when Jimmy told him he had a song called "Margaritaville" Putnam's reaction was interesting.

CMT Presents Jimmy Buffett & Friends: Live from the Gulf Coast - Show

Photo: Rick Diamond / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images


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