A native of Muscle Shoals, AL., Norbert Putnam earned recognition as one of the first professional recording musicians in the Shoals area.
Working with Rick Hall at FAME Recording Studio, Putnam played bass on many of the early hit recordings by artists such as Arthur Alexander, Tommy Roe, and the Tams.
In the mid-60s, Putnam moved to Nashville, where he continued working as a session musician, playing bass on recording sessions with Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Al Hirt, Henry Mancini, Linda Ronstadt, J.J. Cale, Tony Joe White and Bobby Goldsboro.
In the early 1970s, Kris Kristofferson encouraged Putnam to produce. His first production effort with Joan Baez resulted in the million selling single "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", and the platinum album "Blessed Are".
He has produced other artists such as Jimmy Buffett, Dan Fogelberg, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Donovan, John Hiatt, Eric Anderson and Buffy St. Marie, earning more than 24 gold and platinum albums, as well as three Dove and three Grammy nominations.
He has also earned recognition as a studio designer, owning and operating several recording studios in the Nashville area.