Christopher Ward Norman, that’s his full name, was born on October 25th, 1950 in the small town “Redcar“ up in the North” of England. He is therefore Zodiac "Scorpion". His parents were both in show business: his mother as a singer and dancer, his father Pip Norman belonged to a comedy group called „The four Jokers" which had been quite famous in the United Kingdom.
It was certainly not surprising, that Chris already wanted a stage career with heart and soul as a little boy, if there wouldn’t have been his interest in football.
Chris was still a little boy when he started to imitate show stars and he was only 7 years old when he got his first guitar.
Together with his school friends Alan Silson and Terry Uttley, he founded his first school band already in 1965. A little later, the school ended, it was close, to get first stage experiences by playing along with their drummer Ron Kelley under the name "Essence “. He also tried his hands in all kinds of jobs but it was just music he was interested in whole heartedly in Music of that time...
1968, the band changed its name to "Elizabethans", dressed in frill shirts and rather conventional suits, and their former manager Mark Jordan sent first demo tapes to several record companies.
Also in 1968 during one of those small tours, in the little town Elgin in Scotland, Chris met Linda, his later wife. The two belong together ever since. Finally on the 16th of March 1970 the wedding bells rang for the happy couple.
1970 the band signed their first record contract with RCA and under the new name "Kindness", their first single "lindy Lou"/"Light of love" was released, unfortunately with only moderate success.
1971 dave Eager became the new manager of "Kindness" and in february 1972, three more Kindness Singles "let the good time roll", "Oh yeah" and "make it better" were released under the Label "Decca". Unfortunately, this neither brought the success, which the 4 guys had hoped for so much.
Together with Peter Noon, the former singer of "Herman's hermits", Kindness were touring as backing group all around England. It was the time, when they met their later manager Bill Hurley, who made a new contract with them in 1973. The same year, Ron Kelly left the band and Pete Spencer, a school friend of Chris, Alan and Terry joined them.Bill Hurley organized a meeting with Nicki Chinn and Mike Chapman, one of the most successful songwriter teams at that time. Chapman/Chinn were enthused of the group's musical abilities, so again a new contract was signed and what followed is legend...
"Kindness changed the band name once more. "Smokey" was born! They later on changed into "Smokie" to avoid similarity with the american singer Smokey Robinson and the cooperation with "Chinnichap" took its course...
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