Silent Norma of ‘OITNB’ was the frontwoman for a ’70s rock band #praisenorma

Orange Is the New Black is known for its characters’ fascinating back stories, but nothing can compare to the real-life back story of Annie Golden.

While many of us have grown to know and love her as the endearingly silent Norma Romano on OITNB, audiences have been enjoying Annie’s acting for decades. She’s been a Broadway force for years, with roles in Hair, and On the Town (among many others). She’s also spent years in front of the camera making cameos on Cheers, Miami Vice, and, more recently, her magical Coinstar commercials. Yep, that was her playing the clumsy tooth fairy.

But before Annie’s acting career began, she was playing alongside the likes of Blondie, The Ramones, and the Talking Heads just to name a few absolutely next-level musicians. That’s right. Silent Norma fronted a ’70s rock band called The Shirts.

The Shirts performed at famed places like CBGB, and like many bands who hit that stage, The Shirts tiptoed between rock, pop, new wave, and punk genres. Annie’s high notes kinda gave their sound a little bit of a Rockabilly feel too.

In between Annie’s work with The Shirts, she branched off to work on a duo project with Frank Carillo, aptly named Golden Carillo. She even contributed her own song, “Hang Up The Phone,” which ended up on the 16 Candles soundtrack in 1984. By the way, the video for that is an absolute must watch (see below). She even performed the tune on Letterman back in 1986.

While all of this information may come as a delicious surprise to a lot of us, Norma did tip us off on her not-so hidden talents last season. Remember when Norma belted out a tear-inducing rendition of “I Saw The Light” during last season’s Christmas pageant? Shoulda known . . .

Until Norma decides to climb on the Litchfield’s chapel stage again, we have absolutely no problem watching Annie perform in all her gum chewing glory with The Shirts. Praise Norma! And praise Annie Golden.

[Images via]