Chris Raddings: Musician
Born in: Leeds, West Yorkshire, U.K.
Date of Birth: 21/11/63
Schools: Scholes Infants School, Mirfield, Bradford, West Yorkshire, U.K. / Whitechapel Middle School, Cleckheaton, Bradford, West Yorkshire, U.K. / Whitcliffe Mount Secondary School Cleckheaton, Bradford, West Yorkshire, U.K.
Chris is the youngest of three children, he has a sister, Elaine and a brother, Andrew. He left school in 1980 and continued his studies at Batley College of Art & Design, specialist subject: Interior Design. The college catered for a wide range of diciplines from Fine Art to Fashion Design and consequently included an eclectic mix of characters amongst it's scholars and lecturers providing the perfect environment to broaden the mind! However by 1982 Chris left the school having decided to follow an alternative and more satisfying career path working with disadvantaged children. He soon discovered he could incorporate his talent for vocal and musical performance into this new work and get a good response from the kids.
It is interesting to note that, although Chris had joined or helped out a few bands during his time at college they were mainly styled after the music of the time, post punk and new wave pop, which though enjoyable was not quite right for someone who's second record LP was Johnny Cash's "Itchy Feet - 20 Foot Tapping Greats". It would be some years later around 1986 that he began to really take his passion for Country Music to the people through live performance. The New Wave of Country was progressing and Artists like Steve Earle, Dwight Yoakam and Randy Travis were breaking into the mainstream music charts, the public was finally waking up to Country Music and regular bars and clubs were beginning to book more Country performers.
The Summer of 1986 brought with it an opportunity for Chris to travel to the U.S.A. and help out kids suffering with diabetes at B.U.N.A.C. Although hard work it was rewarding and paved the way for a second longer trip to the U.S. in 1988 where he gained employment in a Massachusettes childrens home and stayed for two years before returning to the U.K.
By this point (around 1991) Country Music was quite well established in the mainstream and the likes of Garth Brooks were appearing regularly in the media and on the charts. Chris now back in the U.K. was employed by Kirklees Council Childrens Homes and he began performing in his spare time for the growing Country Music fan base at various festivals and venues.
In 1999 it was time for Chris to go back to college. Combining his passion for music with his chosen career path he began a BA Honours course in Creative Therapies at Bradford University and completed it successfully in 2002. In 2001 in addition to his College course he began working for the mental health charity MIND in Bradford, West Yorkshire which led to his involvement with community music groups Performance Express and Musical Arc (a resource for people with learning disabilities). Since 2003 Chris has also lent his professional and musical talents to other organisations including the J G Music Room, a music group at the Shipley Resource Centre and a Saturday morning music group for Bradford Council's Kids In Care (which explains why he has on occasion cut it a bit fine for his own Saturday gigs!)
Now Deputy Manager of MIND in Harrogate and Manager of MIND in Ripon, Chris continues to involve himself in music and social projects for various charities and local authorities, somehow still finding the time to play live for Country fans at events and festivals all around the U.K. Chris married Fiona Louise Taylor on December 16th 2006 and Fiona gave birth to Chris' first child, Eleanor Taylor Raddings on April 7th 2009. The family, including Fiona's two sons Oliver and Alex live in Harrogate North Yorkshire.
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