Henry Gross (born , 1951, Brooklyn, New York), is an American singer-songwriter best known for his association with the retro pop group Sha Na Na and for his hit song, "Shannon".
Henry Gross's mother, Zelda?s, lifelong love of music, encouraged his pursuit of a performing career. It was such a strong force that by age 14 Henry was playing regularly in local clubs all over the New York area and spending his summers playing at Catskill Mountain resort hotels.
At age 18, while a student at Brooklyn College, Henry became a founding member of the world famous rock ?n? roll revival group Sha Na Na, playing guitar & wearing on-stage the "greaser" clothes he wore while a student at Midwood High School. The group?s popularity took a giant step after legendary performances at the Fillmore auditoriums in New York and San Francisco and the Woodstock Festival.
Henry Gross broke from the band Sha Na Na to be a solo singer/song writer in 1970. He signed a record deal with ABC Dunhill Records in 1971. The album had very little commercial success. He continued to play at clubs and colleges until in 1973 he was signed with A&M Records.
His first A&M album, self-titled Henry Gross, sold very well and had several large regional hits including "Simone", "Come On Say It", "Skin King" and a near gold cover of Lindisfarne's European hit "Meet Me On The Corner". Henry's second A&M album Plug Me Into Something, sold just short of gold. He began to achieve national recognition in Rolling Stone Magazine and The New York Times as a great Rock & Roll guitarist.
After that Henry went to Lifesong Records to make his new album. He produced a single, "Shannon", a song written about the passing of Beach Boy Carl Wilson's Irish Setter of the same name. The single went gold and became a worldwide hit, reaching #6 on the USA charts in 1976. After this single's success, Henry released an album called "Release". His 2nd single, "Springtime Mama", sold just short of gold & reached #37 in the USA. On his next album, "Show Me to the Stage", Henry mixed Rock & Roll songs with Phil Spector and Brian Wilson influences. While the album sold very well, it had no hit singles. He also recorded the Beatles song "Help!" for the documentary All This and World War II; both occurred in 1976. Henry's recording career slowed but he continued recording. With CBS Records he made " Love is the Stuff" and with Capitol Records, in 1981, along with The Bobby Colomby produced the, "What's in a Name" LP.
In the 1980s Henry performed in the road company production of "Pump Boys and Dinettes," with a cast featuring Jonathan Edwards, and Nicolette Larson. Henry moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1986 and signed a publishing deal with Pic-A-Lic Music, a company owned by legendary songwriter Roger Cook and the multi talented Ralph Murphy.
Henry continued his song writing and recording career in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1993, he released a CD of twenty-two songs, called "Nothing But Dreams." For this album his record company was his own independent label, Zelda Records, named after his mother. He has had worldwide hits as an artist and writer including the two million plus seller "Shannon" in 1976 and most recently "Big Guitar", a top ten country hit for the Arista recording group, Blackhawk. Henry released "I'm Hearing Things" on his own Zelda Records in 2001. The cd, a complete bio and all pertinent info is available at http:www.henrygross.com. Henry has completed working on a one man show chronicling the highlights and funniest moments of his life in the entertainment business. The show is called "One Hit Wanderer" and he tells the story of his generation through his own exploits from second grade to the present. He's written what he considers the best collection of songs he's ever done mixed with some of his most popular oldies. He is currently spending a great deal of time working on a documentary of "One Hit Wanderer" with two brilliant young filmmakers, Ed Greenberg and Mick Perry, at their studio, M360, in Irvington, NY. In Addition, over the past year, Henry has been recording in Ft. Myers, FL with multi-talented engineer/instumentalist John McLane, producing enough material for two new CD's, One Hit Wanderer and "Foreverland" (2007).
The Casey Kasem incident
"Shannon" is remembered for being the subject of a profanity-laced tirade by American Top 40 radio show host Casey Kasem while recording an episode of the show in 1985. A listener had requested "Shannon" as a "Long Distance Dedication" (a regular feature of the show) to his own recently-deceased dog. Kasem was upset that the show's producers had placed the dedication immediately following the Pointer Sisters' hit "Dare Me", an up-tempo song that Kasem considered a poor lead-in to a sad song like "Shannon".
Lists of miscellaneous information should be avoided. Please relocate any relevant information into appropriate sections or articles. (May 2008)
Henry's mother, Zelda, was in the Metropolitan Opera Chorus for a brief period.
Henry's sister got him started on the path of Rock and roll.
Sha Na Na appeared in the movie Woodstock and subsequently gained worldwide fame.
Henry released two self-titled albums, each at a different record company.
Henry also had an Irish Setter by the name of Shannon.
Henry wrote the song "Shannon" while Latin music was blasting from the apartment above him.
In 1995, Henry and his longtime friend Henry Paul, of Blackhawk and Outlaws fame, co- wrote Blackhawk's top fifteen country hit, Big Guitar.
Henry's best-of album, One More Tomorrow, came out in 1996.
Henry Gross (1972) ABC Dunhill Records
Henry Gross (1973) A&M Records
Plug Me Into Something (1975) A&M Records
Release (1976) Lifesong Records
Show Me To The Stage (1977) Lifesong Records
Love Is The Stuff (1978) Lifesong Records
What's In A Name (1981) Capitol Records
I Keep On Rockin' (1987) Sonet Records
She's My Baby (1989) Capitol Records
Nothing But Dreams (1992) Zelda Records
One More Tomorrow (1996) Varese Sarabande Records
I'm Hearing Things (2000/2001) Zelda Records
One Hit Wanderer (2006) Zelda Records
Foreverland (2007) Zelda Records