Music legend Norbert Putnam to speak to Southern Miss students

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from the University of Southern Mississippi

Famed bassist and producer Norbert Putnam will visit USM Friday January 24th at 10 a.m.

Putnam has had one of the most extraordinary careers in the history of popular music. He recently joined the University of Southern Mississippi's School of Mass Communication and Journalism as a distinguished lecturer in its recording industry program.

His professional career began when he was a teen as part of the original Muscle Shoals rhythm section, which played on a slew of Top 40, rock, folk and R&B recordings. In 1970, he began to play with Elvis Presley, with whom he worked until Presley's death in 1977.

In 1970 he and Muscle Shoals drummer David Briggs opened Quadrafonic Studio in Nashville, where artists including Neil Young, Joe Walsh, Dan Fogelberg and Michael Jackson recorded successful albums. After producing Joan Baez' hit, "The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down," Putnam became the primary producer of folk rock artists for Columbia Records.

In 1977 he produced Southern Miss alumnus Jimmy Buffett's breakthrough album, Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude, which included "Margaritaville," one of the most successful singles ever released in America.

The School of Mass Communication and Journalism offers bachelor's degrees in recording industry production and management along with undergraduate degrees in advertising, journalism and media production. About 150 students are enrolled in its recording industry program, which is headed by Paul Linden.