I’m Hearing Things
Henry Gross was born on April 1, 1951 in Brooklyn, New York. His older sister, Sarah, was a huge rock ‘n’ roll fan, so Henry’s introduction and subsequent obsession to it came at a very early age. His mother Zelda’s lifelong love of music, which included a brief stint with the Metropolitan Opera Chorus, encouraged his pursuit of a performing career so strongly that by age 14 he 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, Henry was a founding member of the world famous rock ‘n’ roll revival group Sha Na Na, wearing on-stage the "greaser" clothes he wore in high school "because he thought they looked good." 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. With the group’s appearance in the film Woodstock, their popularity became a worldwide phenomenon.
Henry left the band in 1970 to pursue a career as a singer-songwriter, signing his first solo deal with ABC/Dunhill Records in 1971. The album’s lack of commercial success did not discourage him and in 1973, after performing at colleges and clubs all over the country, he was signed to a production deal by Cashman and West, producers of Jim Croce, who placed him on A&M Records.
The first album for his new label, titled simply Henry Gross, sold 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." His second release for A&M, Plug Me Into Something garnered him a huge following as an exciting performer as well as for his guitar playing skills, and he began to achieve national recognition in publications such as Rolling Stone and The New York Times.
For his next album he was moved to Cashman & West’s new label, LifeSong Records. His first single release on the label, "Shannon," was a song written about the passing of Beach Boy Carl Wilson’s Irish setter of the same name. The single was certified gold in the U.S. and became a worldwide hit. Sales of the album, titled Release, were huge and spawned a second hit single, "Springtime Mama."
His next album, Show Me To The Stage, mixed rock songs with Phil Spector and Brian Wilson-influenced production. While the album had strong sales, it produced no hit singles. Henry’s recording career continued with albums on CBS Records (Love Is The Stuff) and Capitol Records (What’s In A Name), but Henry feels his best work during that period is an unreleased project wallowing in the vaults of Capitol Records, produced by Anthony Battaglia and Ed Machal.
In the ‘80s, Henry performed in the road company production of "Pump Boys and Dinettes" with a cast that featured Jonathan Edwards and the late Nicolette Larson. Henry moved to Nashville in 1986 and signed a publishing deal with Pic-A-Lic Music, a company owned by songwriters Roger Cook and Ralph Murphy. A record deal in Europe soon followed through Murphy’s efforts and two albums, I Keep On Rocking and She’s My Baby were released by Sonet Records in Europe and Japan.
In 1993, Henry released an album of twenty-two songs titled Nothing But Dreams on his own label, Zelda Records. Now being a label executive, Henry’s motto is, "not only am I the president, I’m a client as well."
I’m Hearing Things is Henry’s latest release on Zelda Records. Henry wrote or co-wrote all 14 songs on the CD and serves as the producer. His co-writers include Roger Cook, Clive Gregson, Sam Lorber, Garry Tallent, Henry Paul, Anthony Battaglia, Tommy Rocco and John Brannen. Musicians include Dennis Locorriere (Dr. Hook) on background vocals; Garry Tallent (E-Street Band) on bass; Clive Gregson on guitar; Philip Aaberg on keyboards and Henry Gross on vocals, guitars, ukulele, electric sitar, kazoo and percussion.
Henry’s songs have been recorded by a diverse group of artists including Judy Collins, Mary Travers, Cindy Lauper, Sonny Burgess, Ronnie Milsap and country group BlackHawk.
Henry is currently 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, Henry 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.