b. 15 August 1953, Bradford, Yorkshire, England. Croker studied sculpture at art school before becoming a British Rail guard, a refuse collector, and a theatre set designer. It was while toiling away at the last job that he met fellow guitarist Steve Phillips, with whom he formed the duo Nev And Norris. During the early 80s, when Phillips temporarily retired from music to concentrate on his own art career, Croker set about assembling his own band, the 5 O’Clock Shadows, comprising Croker, Marcus Cliffe (bass), and Mark Cresswell (guitar). Cresswell also played alongside Tanita Tikaram. The 5 O’Clock Shadow’s debut, A Close Shave, emerged on the Leeds independent label Unamerican Activities, and was promoted with the single ‘That’s The Way All My Money Goes’ in 1986. They moved to Red Rhino but released an album and single before that company ceased trading. Croker gained a high profile for his work with Mark Knopfler, Guy Fletcher and Steve Phillips as the Notting Hillbillies and was signed to Andrew Lauder’s Silvertone label. In 1989, the Notting Hillbillies released a self-titled album, with guest appearances by Tikaram, Eric Clapton, Steve Goulding and Katie Kissoon (of Mac And Katie Kissoon) amongst others. Croker and Cresswell also guested on Tikaram’s Ancient Heart. Croker enjoyed some success in Nashville as a songwriter during the 90s, writing ‘What It Takes’ for Wynonna’s debut album. His solo career, meanwhile, has continued to follow an eccentric path.
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