Zelda's Boy Plays Guitar
Sha Na Na
His first A&M album, "HENRY GROSS" (AKA "The Yellow Album") sold very well and had several 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" received great reviews and sold just short of gold, garnering him a devoted following. Legendary songs like "One More Tomorrow" and "Southern Band" were especially popular in the South. Besides being praised as an exciting, dynamic performer, he began to achieve national recognition as a fine guitarist in publications like Rolling Stone Magazine and The New York Times. As a session guitarist, Henry, most notably, played on recordings by Dion and the late, great Jim Croce.
A Solid Gold Hit
For his next album he was moved to Cashman & West's new label, Lifesong Records. His first single release in 1976, "Shannon," a song written about the passing of Beach Boy Carl Wilson's Irish Setter of the same name, went gold in the US and Canada on it’s way to becoming a worldwide hit. Sales of the album called "Release" were strong with the second single, "Springtime Mama", selling sold just short of gold.
In 1976, Henry also performed the Lennon Mccartney penned, "Help" on the soundtrack album "All This and World War II."
On his next album, 1977's "Show Me to the Stage", Henry mixed Rock & Roll songs with Phil Spector and Brian Wilson influenced production. While the album had strong sales it produced no national "hit" singles.
Henry's recording career continued with albums on CBS Records, 1978's "Love is the Stuff," reuniting him with producers Cashman and West, and on Capitol Records 1980 Bobby Colomby produced LP, "What's in a Name" on which Henry duets with legendary R&B vocalist Chaka Kahn. Henry recorded an additional, as yet unreleased Capitol record, tentatively titled "Henry Gross and the Pineapples"- "Subway Virgin" produced by Anthony Battaglia (studio guitarist and re-mixer of the latest N' SYNC single) and Ed Machal (engineer of all the Eagles records). Henry hopes this inventive, ahead of its time, record will someday see the light of day.
A Taste Of Broadway
In 1981 Henry performed in the road company production of the hit Broadway musical "Pump Boys and Dinettes." With a cast also featuring well - known recording artists Jonathan "Sunshine" Edwards and the late Nicolette "It's Gonna Take A lot of love" Larson, the show was a rousing success.
The 'Pump Boys' sell high octane on Highway 57 in Grand Ole Opry country and the 'Dinettes', Prudie and Rhetta Cupp, run the Double Cupp diner next door. Together they fashion an evening of country western songs that received unanimous raves on and off-Broadway. With heartbreak and hilarity, they perform on guitars, piano, bass and, yes, kitchen utensils.
"Both musically and theatrically, a triumph of ensemble playing. It doesn't merely celebrate the value of friendship and life's simple pleasures, it embodies them." - The New York Times
After moving to NASHVILLE Henry signed a publishing deal in 1987 with "Pic A Lic Music", a company owned by legendary songwriters Roger Cook and Ralph Murphy. Through Murphy's efforts a record deal with Sonet Records, based in Sweden and England, soon followed and two albums, 1987's "I Keep on Rocking", and 1989's "She's My Baby", were released in Europe and Japan.
Rockin' In The 90's
In 1992, keeping up with the changing landscape of the music business, he released a well received CD of twenty-two songs, called "Nothing But Dreams", on his own label, ZELDA RECORDS, about which his motto remains, "Not only am I the president, I'm a client as well."
In 1995 he and longtime friend Henry Paul, of Blackhawk and Outlaws fame, co- wrote Blackhawk's top fifteen Country hit, “Big Guitar.”
In 2001 Henry continued his recording career producing the Zelda Records CD "I'm Hearing Things" featuring guest appearances by many of Nashville's finest musicians, including his dear friends Garry Tallent, bassist for the E Street Band and Mike Chapman, bassist on nearly all of Garth Brooks' recordings as well as countless Country hits.
In 1996 Varese Sarabande Records released a compilation of Henry's 1970's singles titled "The Best Of Henry Gross."
In 2001 Henry met John Mclane, a kindred spirit, who would become his recording engineer, co- producer and music collaborator to this day. With John's help more Zelda Records CD's soon followed:
In 2006 he released the studio soundtrack CD of music from his self penned one man theatrical production "One Hit Wanderer," the trailer for which can be seen on You Tube. The show is directed by Ed Greenberg, with whom Henry continues to collaborate on numerous projects including a musical comedy they hope will someday see the lights of Broadway.
"One Hit Wanderer" tells Henry’s story, from a child in Brooklyn to the present day, highlighting moments of joy, happiness, success and failure in a way that allows audience members to experience the ups and downs of their own lives. Through themes of lightheartedness and perseverance the show is part adventure, comedy, self discovery and reflection while constantly remaining optimistic. Standing ovations have followed every performance.
In 2007 Henry released "Foreverland", another CD of self penned songs on his Zelda Records label. In 2011 Henry released two double CD's, "Right As Rain" and “Rhymes and Misdemeanors”, each with 21 new songs. 2011 also saw the release of recordings made in 1992 by Henry and his musical compatriots Jonathan Edwards and Henry Paul. The trio got together in Nashville for a week of singing and joke telling. Delighted by the blend of their voices they recorded 12 songs in Mel Tillis’ studio on Music Row.
The Journey Continues
Never one to live in the past, Henry is continually working hard to write, record and release new music that he believes will continue to find it's way into the hearts of more and more listeners all around the world.
Henry has had his songs recorded by artists as diverse as Blackhawk, The Outlaws, Judy Collins, Mary Travers (Peter Paul & Mary) , Cindy Lauper, Sonny Burgess (Sun Records star), Ronnie Milsap and All The Kings Men to name a few.
Henry, his wife Marilyn, their three dogs and three cats split their time between Nashville and Naples Florida.