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Biography

NORI HENDRIX

"THE FACE OF ALABAMA MUSIC"

 Nori was born in Kingsville, Texas to Dave and Louise Hendrix. Nori started singing in Kindergarten at the age of 5. Her teacher took notice and took Nori by the hand and led her from classroom to classroom so she could sing “Inchworm” for fellow students throughout St. Gertrude’s Parochial School. 


In 1974, Nori’s parents moved the family to Colby, Kansas. At age 14, Nori began singing at numerous events with younger sister Sherri throughout junior high and high school. Nori’s parents enrolled her in an Opera voice class where she took lessons for several months. Nori lost interest in her voice lessons much to the dismay of her teacher because she preferred to sing “You’re Cheatin’ Heart” instead of “Alma Del Core”. Nori switched her attention to accordion and flute lessons. She played flute all through school and participated in the Colby Eagles Marching Band. 

  

At age 15, Nori learned to play 3 chords on a guitar borrowed from a friend. Once she mastered the key of G, she wrote her first song for her parents entitled “A Song For You.” Nori won the Wrangler Country Showdown Local Event in 1980 at the Thomas County Fair. Nori moved to Columbus, Nebraska and worked at a dairy as a milkmaid. She met Johnny Johnson, a local musician, and they put a band together and went to the International Country Music Championships in Council Bluffs Iowa. Nori & Johnny’s band placed 5th out of 20 bands in the International Country Music Band category and Nori placed 9th out of 150 singers in the International Country Music Vocalist category. 

Nori started her own band in 1986. Runaway Heart was one of the most popular country cover bands in the tri-state area of Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas. Runaway Heart opened for Randy Travis at the Thomas County Fair in 1987 right after he won CMA Male Vocalist of the Year. Living in a town of 6000, to stand on the stage with Randy Travis was huge and that exposure resulted in a lot of gigs for them. Runaway Heart covered everything from Patsy Cline to Led Zeppelin. The bookings just poured in and the band made investments in its gear and a bus. They perfected 4 and 5 part harmonies and the versatility of the group with its guest fiddlers, pickers, sax players, and even a spoon player, took the band to bigger events and venues. 


It was when Ian Markley came to the group, that Nori’s songwriting and arranging capabilities rose to a new level as she was able to infuse Ian’s amazingly powerful guitar leads and fierce harmonies into her original songs. Nori’s remake of Crystal Gayle’s song “Ready For the Times” became one of the most requested on their playlist along with Nori’s original songs “In This Town”, “Ain’t No Bargain”, “As Long As I’m With You”, and “That Man of Mine”. She also wrote a song for her father “Tribute” as a gift to him for Christmas after he suffered a heart attack. Nori sang that song for him one night in Columbus, Nebraska to a packed house and received a standing ovation. That moment changed her life. Runaway Heart proved itself to be a force to be reckoned because of its versatility, showmanship, extremely strong vocals and musicianship. When one of the members decided to go back to school and “get a real job”, Nori was devastated and the band broke up at the height of their popularity in 1990. 

  

In December 1990, Nori married Lee Strickler. 1992, Nori went to work at the Thomas County Sheriff’s Office as a Detention Deputy and decided to go back to school too. She graduated in 1997 from Washburn University with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Nori continued her songwriting and wrote songs for church services which would relate to the Pastor’s sermons. It occurred to her that she should write a Christmas Carol and in 1991 she wrote “The Present” which she sang at every Christmas service for several years. 


In 1997, Nori and Lee moved to Burrton, Kansas. In 2010, Nori found out through Ian that her high school classmate and friend Sandy White of Ten Day Wish, a rock band in Wichita, lived in nearby Maize, Kansas. Nori began communicating with Sandy and his wife Tanya and went to their shows. When Tanya invited Nori up on stage to sing her own version of “Ready For The Times” the spark was reignited and Nori’s desire to get back out there and sing and entertain grew strong again. 


Nori started attending open jams in and around Wichita, KS and the Nori Hendrix Band was created.  It was short-lived because the band members weren’t as driven as Nori. After just a few gigs, they disbanded and Nori decided to create a vocal performance trio of girls and a single guitar. Known as “The Sirens of South Central”, The Sirens (Angie Bence, Rebecca Garcia) performed at a variety of venues... from the small bars to the Century II Convention Center in Wichita. Their harmonies were amazing and the wide variety of songs they covered were a huge delight to their audiences. They sang everything from “Go to Sleep Little Baby” to Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” to Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb”. The Sirens were one of Nori’s most revered musical projects ever and when they parted ways, Nori was heartbroken but still determined to perform music. So she did. 


In 2013, after the death of her father, Nori packed her bags and moved to Mobile AL. With her husband’s support and at the request of her manager Howard Lips, Nori embraced the Gulf Coast and began writing and singing with a new purpose. She recorded her first album with Howard in Nashville at Hilltop Studios in June of 2014. This duet album “Memories of the Mother Church” was a nod to the great performers of the Ryman Auditorium. Nori and Howard added a few of their originals to the mix of traditional country songs. With Jimmy Capps and his A-team of phenomenal players and 8 time-Grammy-award-winning engineer Tom Pick and Howard as the producers, MOTMC is a beautiful collection of revered songs as well as an avenue to showcase Nori’s songwriting, arranging, and vocal talents. It is available for download at numerous sites on the internet.


In 2016, Nori recorded her self-titled EP at Always Near Studios, in Hendersonville TN with producer Brent Ronen. Her song “Six Inch Stilettos” got the attention of ITNS Radio in Austin and that independent radio station has since partnered with iHeart Radio and Nori’s music is played worldwide.


Moving to Mobile changed Nori’s career direction immensely. Joining the Alabama Music Association in 2016 opened up opportunities in the region and She won awards as Alabama’s Female Vocalist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year in 2016, 2017, and 2018. She went on to NACMAI in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and in 2017 won Most Promising Songwriter in North America and Most Promising Female Vocalist in North America. In 2019, She and her band won NACMAI’s Traditional Country Band of the Year.


Nori mentors young artists and performs for military veterans whenever possible.