Tim Otto from Portland Oregon about Norman Petty's last studio production.
Norman Petty In His Studio In Clovis New Mexico
Tim Otto was the last artist Norman Petty produced !
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| || Tim Otto’s Norman Petty Session: 1983|
By © Tim Otto
In 1983, Norman Petty had a dream for me. And the four songs
that he produced on this album . . . were the beginning of that
dream, not the end of it. Had Norman lived . . . there would have
been no stopping him through his connections in making sure
I had every opportunity possible with my music. In those days,
I had the talent . . . and Norman had everything else needed to
make a successful musical career for this 24 year old Singer/
Songwriter come true. Norman had promised me that I would
be on American Bandstand, He wanted to meet with MTV to
develop a video for my song:
“Too Much Fun” (which I wrote in 1983), he had a movie role in
mind for me and so on. All I had to do, was keep cranking out
the tunes and looking good. That didn’t seem real hard at the
age of 24.
There was quite a bit of traveling involved. Before I agreed to be
produced by Norman I insisted on a trip to Nashville which
taught me a lot of valuable lessons in three months time. There
were no easy shortcuts in the music business I learned. It got
pretty rough out there without a mentor batting for you.
Thankfully Norman and I stayed in close contact the whole time
I was in Nashville. In the meantime, Norman took a trip to New
York City where he kept an apartment to play tapes of my music
for Arista Records. While back in Nashville . . . I was learning the
meaning of the term: “no thank you” in polite Southern dialect
and accent. This kind of rejection could be real charming. But
back in Clovis, New Mexico . . . there was none of that.
Norman would usually listen to one of my musical dreams over
enchiladas at El Monterrey Mexican Restaurant on Mitchell
Street in Clovis. He would usually agree with me and the sky
was the limit. One idea we had was to get one of the still living
Rockabilly stars, such as Ricky Nelson, do perform on a single
with me to promote my career. Roy Orbison . . . one of
Norman’s old artists, was also a consideration.
For those of you who never met Norman Petty . . . let me assure
you he was a perfect gentleman and not arrogant at all. In fact,
it was kind of hard sometimes to get him to talk about his old
protégé . . . Buddy Holly. Norman was also a personal friend of
Paul McCartney whom he first met in England in 1976 when
he sold the Buddy Holly catalog to Paul. Linda, Paul, Norman
and Vi Petty (Norman’s wife), were great friends and stayed
closely in touch over the years. I could barely imagine such
social heights as this. Norman was very entertaining to talk
to when he was in the mood. It seemed to me, that Norman
had a story about just everyone I was interested in in the
music business. His old 7th Street Studio in Clovis is now a
fitting museum. We recorded in Norman’s 24 track studio in
his downtown theater. Norman sat in the balcony encased
in glass like Captain Nemo behind his controls. I was in
Here you can buy the album, click on the pic !
For some unknown reason . . . it seems that all good things
must come to an abrupt end. One day, Norman’s wife Vi left
a note on my front door that read: “Tim, you won’t be
recording today as Norman is in the hospital.” With those few
words I got a very bad feeling in my guts, and got right on my
ten speed bike and quickly rode to the hospital. The rest of that
story was documented by me and published in the Clovis News
Journal in the article: “Singer/Songwriter Remembers Norman
Petty” © 1987. To make the story short and concise . . . I will
just tell you that Norman had gotten leukemia and he died
about a year later in Lubbock, Texas of that disease. For all
practical purposes, my career in the music business without
my mentor was hindered.
I truly hope that you enjoy Norman’s first dream for me and
I’m sorry there was such a delay in realizing it. I mixed the
session in 1985 with Vi Petty and Billy Stull in Norman’s 24
track theater studio.
For more information on Norman Petty read: “The King Of
Clovis” by Frank Blanas (p)2014 England.
The Tim Otto album “1983” will be available at cdbaby.com
October, 2014 which contains the Norman Petty sessions and
six other Tim Otto songs all produced in 1983. © 2014.
If you prefer a real record store . . . “Music Millennium” will
be carrying “1983” as well in Portland, Oregon.
For more information about Timothy M. Otto go to
You'll find some interesting Buddy Holly photos from 1940 !