1969, nur zwei Jahre nach seinem Abschluss an einer High School in Tampa, Florida, nahm Henry seine Gitarre und zog nach New York City. Er landete in der Innenstadt von Greenwich Village und trat in die Fußstapfen vieler populärer Musikikonen, die in Kaffeehäusern Volksmusik spielten und als Straßenmusiker arbeiteten. Innerhalb von sechs Monaten erregte Henry das Ohr eines CBS-Plattenmanagers, der ihm ein Vorsprechen für den damaligen A & R-Direktor von Epic Records, Don Ellis, einbrachte. Don mochte Henrys Original-Songs und seinen Gesang und brachte ihn ins Columbia-Aufnahmestudio, um seine Musik aufzunehmen. In Treffen, die der Idee folgten, dass Henry nach Nashville ziehen sollte, um seine Karriere fortzusetzen, wurde vorgeschlagen. Während die Gespräche mit Epic fortgesetzt wurden, bot ein Talentmanager aus Tampa Henry die Gelegenheit, nach Tampa zurückzukehren und ein Konzert in seiner Heimatstadt zu spielen. Henry stellte in New York eine Band namens Sienna zusammen und ging in die Probe. Mitglieder waren Jim Fish, Ray Gerber und Sean Emmitt. When Henry and the band got to Tampa they were introduced to drummer Monte Yoho who completed the group. The show in Tampa was such a success that they abandoned the idea of going back to New York and stared playing colleges and regional headlining dates. After a year of playing together some of the members left to go home or pursue different vocations. Henry and Monte added bass player Frank O’keefe and guitarist Hughie Thomasson and continued on as Sienna. They changed their name to the Outlaws and added guitarist Billy Jones. The Outlaws built quite a following around central Florida. In 1973 they hired a new manager and took their show on the road playing clubs and concerts throughout the Southeast and Midwest. Opening a show in Nashville one night with a fellow band from Florida called Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Outlaws made quite and impression on Skynyrd lead singer Ronnie VanZant. Ronnie called his manager the next day and said “we found a band that wants to whip our ass and they got em’ a Freebird” A partnership was formed between the Outlaws manager Charlie Brusco and Lynyrd Skynyd manager Alan Walden. They brought Clive Davis head of the new Arista label to Columbus Georgia to see the Outlaws and Clive committed to a record deal with the Outlaws that night after the show. The band went to L.A. in the spring of 1975 and started recording their debut album with legendary Doors producer Paul Rothchild. The debut Outlaws album roared up the charts on the strength of songs like “There Goes Another Love Song”, “Knoxville Girl”, and the classic “Green Grass And High Tides”. Their first album quickly went gold, as the Outlaws became a rock radio favorite. With newfound stardom they set out on a coast-to-coast tour with the Doobie Brothers. In the years that followed the Outlaws would turn in unforgettable performances sharing the stage with bands like the Allman Brothers, the Marshall Tucker band, the Charlie Daniels Band, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The Outlaws did many of the American Rolling Stones dates in 1975 and in 1976 toured the United Kingdom with the Who. With all this they rose to the ranks of arena headliners.
After recording the defining first three Outlaws albums Henry left the band in 1977 to start the Henry Paul Band and signed a multi-album deal with Atlantic Records. The band’s first album “Grey Ghost” featured the classic self-titled song written by Henry and Barry Rapp as a tribute to Ronnie VanZant and Steve Gaines. The Henry Paul Band would carve out it’s own legacy as a blistering hot guitar band and continued to tour on the strength of consistent rock radio air play and a top 40 single “Keepin’ Our Love Alive” off their third album “Anytime”. They toured with the Rolling Stones in the United States in 1982 and built an enormous following with their legendary live performances.
In 1983 Henry returned to the Outlaws and started writing a new album with co-founder Hughie Thomasson. They once again took their show on the road and played to legions of Outlaw fans in the United States and Europe. In 1985 they signed with the Pasha/CBS record label and went to LA again to record a new Outlaws album “Soldiers Of Fortune”. The album was released in 1986 and featured the civil war documentary “Cold Harbor” and “One Last Ride” The Outlaws did a coast-to-coast tour in 1986 and 87 with Stevie Ray Vaughn in support of their new album and continued to keep the Outlaws musical legacy alive.
Henry left the Outlaws in 1989 to go to Nashville and start a new career in country music. He met Van Stephenson and Dave Robbins in 1990 and started a songwriting relationship with his newfound partners that would lead Henry to a publishing deal with EMI and the formation of the country trio BlackHawk. Henry with Blackhawk would sign his second record deal with Clive Davis and Arista Records in 1992 and under the guidance of Arista/Nashville vice-president Tim Dubois BlackHawk’s first album would produce 5 hit singles and sell in excess of three million copies. BlackHawk’s second album “Strong Enough” Would produce four more hit singles and sell well over a million copies. BlackHawk was nominated for numerous ACM and CMA awards and won the TNN Star Of Tomorrow award and Billboard’s “touring group of the year”. With more hit songs and continued album sales BlackHawk toured continually through the nineties. They lost founding member Van Stephenson to cancer in 2001 and moved over to the Columbia label where they released the album “Spirit Dancer” in Van’s honor. BlackHawk continued to tour on the strength of the top 40 hit “Days Of America” off that album.
In 2005 the three surviving original members of the Outlaws reunited for a 30th anniversary “Reunion Tour”. Henry, Hughie and Monte Yoho were joined by former Outlaws David Dix, and Chris Anderson, as well as Randy Threet, and Dave Robbins. Henry did the reunion tour and left to continue his work with Dave Robbins and BlackHawk at the end of 2005.
Hughie Thomasson and the other continued on until Thomasson’s untimely death in 2007. Henry returned to the Outlaws and with surviving member Monte put the band back together with Chris, Randy, Dave, and added former Henry Paul Band lead guitarist Billy Crain. Today the Outlaws are poised to go back in the studio with Eagles and former Outlaw producer Bill Scymczyk to record a new classic Outlaws album for 2011. Henry and Dave also have a new BlackHawk album ready to come out in early 2011 as well. Henry continues to tour with both bands and continues on a remarkable career that took him from New York to Nashville.
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