History of “Smokie” and “Spirit of Smokie”
Orginating in the early sixties in the City of Bradford, England, school friends Ron Kelly, Chris Norman, Alan Silson and Terry Uttley formed their first line up; years on after several name changes and recording contracts the name “Smokie” was decided upon. This signaled a period of worldwide success for the band (with Pete Spencer replacing Ron Kelly on drums) whose records have sold today in excess of 30 million. In 1986 the band played their final concert and Chris Norman embarked on his successful solo career: This paved the way for a new look “Smokie” featuring two original members. They were joined by Dean’s father, lead singer Alan Barton. Alan’s voice, energy and drive for success re-established the name of “Smokie” as a worldwide touring and recording band. Sadly, tragedy struck in March 1995 with the death of Alan Barton who sustained fatal injuries following a motorway accident in Cologne (Köln), Germany.
1996 brought the third re-incarnation of “Smokie” with remaining original member Terry Uttley. Alan Silson had departed to later form his own band with “Spirit of Smokie” members, including fellow original Ron Kelly, Andy Whelan and Graham Kearns.
In March 2008 a memorial concert was held for Alan Barton, fronted by his son Dean Barton, and “Spirit of Smokie” was born. Dean’s undeniable “Smokie” voice and on stage charisma completed what is now an established world class band. Like his father before him he added “je ne sais quoi” and was “the icing on the cake”, complementing the excellent present day musicians.
Spirit of Smokie - Keeping the Spirit Alive
As Alan Barton before with “Smokie”, Dean and the boys have worked hard for over a decade to re-establish the great sound of the original band; no stone is left unturned in their search to provide audiences with a night to remember: Drama, panache, musicianship, dedication, coupled with great sound is the hallmark of Spirit of Smokie who thrill concert goers and media alike.
Though famous at concerts for the sound of the original seventies band, the live success of “My Baby” in Europe and Russia lead to continual requests from audiences for more original material: This resulted in the release of the new album “Changes” under the title “Barton”. Watch for details.