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Chris Ward

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b. c.1960, South Bronx, New York, USA. Chris Ward had all the right credentials to enter the machismo world of the honky-tonk singer in the mid-90s - his former professions included being a rodeo bull rider, a Marine sergeant and a SWAT team member in a Californian police department. During these spells, Ward had always been a practising musician, having taken up drums during his itinerant childhood, caused by his father’s executive career with IBM. In his teenage years he idolized Michael Jackson and Donny Osmond, but played their records back to back with country selections such as Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. It was while employed as a bull-rider in Spokane, Washington, that Ward first had the chance to test his musical talents. Fellow rider Deb Copenhaver encouraged him to join the stage when country act Bonnie Guitar was playing a local nightclub. Guitar was sufficiently impressed to offer him a full-time job as her drummer and horse trainer. There then followed a spell in the Marine Corps then the San Diego police, while maintaining links with the band he formed in the army, Christopher John And The Wheels. After becoming a SWAT sniper, he would often take the stage wearing his police pager. In 1984 he went to Nashville to record demos, but the venture went nowhere. Discouraged, he returned to Los Angeles club work. He was employed as a detective until selling up in 1994 and moving to Nashville permanently, initially to work as a demo singer. He finally secured a contract with Giant Records, and recorded his debut album, One Step Beyond.

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1960 in South Bronx, New York, NY

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