No one like Norton!
A few months back on Facebook we made a list of the Norton records we had available. This caused a feeding frenzy. About a month ago some friends asked what was still available and another little frenzy occurred. We are pretty low on our stock of Nortons but a simple search on our fine website and you will find them. Here’s why you should…
Rock n Roll, Rockabilly, Rhythm and Blues – these forms of wild and crazy music from the 1950s and 1960s were pretty much ignored in the US in the late 1970s. It was a time of The Fonze, “golden oldies” and Grease. But in New York at a record fair, Billy Miller met Miriam Linna. These two like-minds got together and in 1979 produced a fanzine called Kicks.
Back in those pre-internet days, information was the currency of all collectors. Most hoarded it but in Kicks, Billy and Miriam shouted from the rooftops about bands that most people did not know existed and linked the bands of the time with the buried sounds that preceded them. In Kicks, artists such as Esquerita, Link Wray, Charlie Feathers, The Sonics and so many other “forgotten” artists were paid the respect they were due. But reading about these wild sounds could be maddening because there was no way to hear it unless you knew a collector with access to the rarest 45s, and when they mention unissued tapes…
Hasil Adkins – first on Norton
In 1986, they pulled everything together and issued “OUT TO HUNCH – Hasil Adkins” the first record on their own label; Norton.
This collection of issued and unissued sides by the West Virginia Wildman was like nothing else. Unselfconscious, abandoned and pure, his music sums up what Norton is all about. There was no one like him. Oh yeah, the next artist they issued music from was Esquerita – VINTAGE VOOLA. Unselfconscious, abandoned and pure his music sums up what Norton is all about. There was no one like him. Again and again, Norton found artists that were not like anyone else. Genres of Rockabilly, Garage, Rhythm and Blues, Soul, etc are useful but if the Sounds Abounds you know it is Norton.
Very sadly in 2016 Billy left us for the big record fair in the sky but Miriam has continued the work of the last 35 years finding artists fitting the ‘no one else like’ them tag.
A new issue of Kicks is promised for later this year following on from the majestic Fortune Book of last year. Norton records are becoming harder to find now as some are no longer being repressed.
We still have some great albums, 45s and even CDs from Norton records but they are in short supply right now. We hope to have a big old restock when the new Kicks comes out but for now here are a few of my faves which I hope cover the various sides of Norton.
Quite simply some of the purest ROCKABILLY you will ever hear. Contains alternative takes.
Two sides of tough as nails Texas garage punk from 1966.
Still more wild rockabilly acetates! Be sure to dig all four volumes of this sensational series!
Monster El Paso rock and roll! One of the wildest!
Wild vocal rocker (about local mine boss!) b/w stompin’ instro!
Over the top deranged newly discovered obscuro single!
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