|Born||April 1, 1951|
|Origin||Brooklyn, New York, United States|
|Singer-songwriter, record label executive|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, ukulele, electric sitar, percussion|
|Labels||Zelda Records (presently)|
|Sha Na Na|
Henry Gross (born April 1, 1951) is an American singer-songwriter best known for his association with the group Sha Na Na and for his hit song, "Shannon". He was the youngest person, at age 18, to play on the main stage at the Woodstock Music & Art Fair in 1969.
Gross was born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York. His mother's love for music encouraged his pursuit of a performing career. By age 14, he was playing regularly in local clubs in the New York area, and spending his summers playing at Catskill Mountains resort hotels.
Gross broke from Sha Na Na to become a solo singer-songwriter in 1970. He signed a recording contract with ABC Dunhill Records in 1971. While there, he did some session work for producers Tommy West and Terry Cashman. He played electric lead guitar on the Jim Croce album, I Got a Name. His own debut album had little commercial success. He continued to play at clubs and colleges until, in 1973, he was signed with A&M Records.
His first self-titled A&M album sold well. It made several regional hits including "Simone", "Come On Say It", "Skin King", and a cover version of Lindisfarne's European hit, "Meet Me on the Corner". Gross' second A&M album was Plug Me Into Something. He began to achieve national recognition in Rolling Stone and The New York Times.
Gross moved on to Lifesong Records to make his next album. He produced a single, "Shannon", a song written about the death of former Beach Boys member Carl Wilson's dog, who was named Shannon. The single went gold in the U.S. and became a worldwide hit, reaching #6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #5 on the Cash Box Top 100 in 1976. In Canada it reached #1 in May of the same year. "Shannon" also reached #1 in New Zealand, but peaked only at #32 in the UK. After this single's success, Gross released the album, Release. His second single, "Springtime Mama", reached #37 in the US.
On his next album, Show Me to the Stage, Gross mixed rock and roll songs with Phil Spector and Brian Wilson influences. While the album sold well, it provided no hit singles. He also recorded The Beatles song "Help!" for the documentary, All This and World War II; both occurred in 1976. Gross' recording career slowed, but with CBS Records he made "Love Is the Stuff" and with Capitol Records, in 1981, along with Bobby Colomby, produced the What's in a Name album.
As a session guitarist Henry performed on many records by other artists including Jim Croce (I Got A Name, ABC Records 1973) Judy Collins (Home Again, Elektra/ Asylum 1984), and Andy Kim (Baby, I Love You, Steed/Dot Records 1970).
His songs have been recorded by a variety of artists including Judy Collins, Mary Travers, Cyndi Lauper, Jonathan Edwards, Henry Paul, Blackhawk, Southside Johnny, Garry Tallent and Rob Stoner.
In the 1980s, Gross performed in the road company production of Pump Boys and Dinettes with a cast featuring Jonathan Edwards (Sunshine) and Nicolette Larson (Lotta Love). Gross moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1986 and signed a publishing deal with Pic-A-Lic Music, a company owned by legendary songwriters Roger Cook and Ralph Murphy.
Gross continued his songwriting and recording career in Nashville. In 1993, he released the album Nothing But Dreams on his own record label, Zelda Records, named after his mother. He had a Top 40 Country Radio hit, "Big Guitar" for the Arista recording group Blackhawk, fronted by his good friend, Henry Paul. Gross released I'm Hearing Things on Zelda Records in 2001. He has also written and currently performs a one-man show called "One Hit Wanderer", chronicling the highlights and funniest moments of his life in and out of the entertainment business.
He continues to record in Fort Myers, Florida with multi-instrumentalist and recording engineer John McLane, having produced four albums with 74 tracks: One Hit Wanderer (2006), Foreverland (2007), Rhymes and Misdemeanors and Right as Rain (2011). A single was released, "What a Christmas", the same year. As a further accomplishment, he released a trio album in 2011 with Jonathan Edwards and Henry Paul, titled Edwards, Gross & Paul.
In 2016 Henry traveled to the UK to support long time friend and fellow music legend Joe Brown on his Just Joe UK tour. Joe and Henry played a selection of hits from Joe and Henry's discography as well as a selection of rock and roll and country hits. The tour was a resounding success with the vast majority of the shows selling out.
In October of 2017, the pair went back on the road with the same show, this time backed up by the live album recording during the 2016 tour. The tour ran through October and November 2017 before breaking for Christmas.They went back on the road in 2018 from January through March.