Billy Preston George Harrison
Billy Preston was once called the "Fifth Beatle" because he played on a number of their albums and was the only other musician to be credited on a Beatles recording: the artists on the number-one hit "Get Back" are given as "The Beatles with Billy Preston" This week in 1973 Billy Preston was No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Will It Go Round In Circles', his first of two US chart toppers. The following year Preston went on a world tour captured on a live album that Henry worked on with Billy.
Some classic jazz singers are so iconic, that there is no need to even mention there last name...Ella, Billie, Lena and of course... Della. Long before Della Reese become a super star actress playing Tess, the lead role on the 1994–2003 television show Touched by an Angel, she was a legendary, gospel, pop and Jazz singer in the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's. One of the very first records that Henry worked on was her Grammy nominated, eponymous LP "Della" recorded in 1960.
Hall of Fame songwriter Jimmy Webb was born today in 1946. Webb penned the platinum-selling classics, "Up, Up and Away", "By the Time I Get to Phoenix", "Wichita Lineman", "Galveston", "The Worst That Could Happen", "All I Know", "MacArthur Park and many others. But, Webb was first signed as a songwriter to Motown records in 1965. Henry worked on several projects with Jimmy Webb including and entire album of Webb songs recorded by the Supremes in 1972.
Henry cut three albums with Joan Baez : Where Are You Now, My Son in, Gracias À La Vida, in 1974 and the immensely popular Diamonds and Rust in 1975, which many have called her greatest recording ever. Immediately after the release of the LP, Baez joined the infamous Bob Dylan "Rolling Thunder Revue Tour", a traveling circus of performers The tour played to sold out audiences for nearly two years and on the final weeks Henry and Joni Mitchell joined the circus with Henry capturing the sound.
Brian Highland burst onto the music scene as a sixteen year old singer in 1960 with perhaps the silliest, but most memorable of the bubblegum era hits: "Itsy-Bitsy Teeny-Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini". But Brian matured and in a 1966, Henry cut "The Joker Went Wild" LP with Brian and legendary musician/composer/arranger/producer Leon Russell. Henry went on to work with Leon and Joe Cocker at A&M in 1969.
Woodstock launched Joe Cocker's career like a shooting star. Directly after Woodstock, Cocker went in the studio with Henry and Denny Cordell. The resulting album, aptly titled simply, Joe Cocker is the definitive Cocker LP. The album ranks as the finest among all records in Joe Cocker's long career and includes two incredible Lennon McCartney covers Let It Be and Something In The Way She Moves as well as covers of songs by Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell, and Bob Dylan.
Woodstock rocked the world from August 15 - August 18, 1969 and Joni Mitchell's song, Woodstock recorded by Crosby Stills and Nash became an anthem for an entire generation. The irony is that the song was written by someone who was never there... and yet Joni captured the essence of the event so viscerally, that to this day, it is synonymous with the concert. Joni's own heartfelt version appears on the Ladies of The Canyon LP that Henry cut with her in 1970.
Henry worked with Leonard Cohen on "Recent Songs" and introduced Leonard to Roscoe Beck's band "Passenger". Passenger then backed Cohen on tour and Jennifer Warnes joined the tour as a solo/back-up singer. Seven years later, Jennifer, Roscoe and Henry reunited for "Famous Blue Raincoat", a gorgeous, entire album of songs by Leonard Cohen. Famous Blue Raincoat sold over 1 million copies and has consistently been cited as one of the most perfectly recorded albums ever.
The career of the band Crazy horse is inextricably intertwined with Neil Young. but Crazy Horse had a successful career of their own, including two critically acclaimed LP's with Henry. Tragically, one of Neil's most famous songs, "The Needle and the Damage Done", was inspired in by the heavy heroin use of Crazy Horse member Danny Whitten. Danny eventually died while battling his drug problems. Henry recorded "The Needle..." as part of Neil Young's most celebrated album, Harvest.
The lives of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have been interwoven for five decades. Both Canadians who launched their careers out of the folk scene in the mid 1960s. Joni came to Los Angeles after a chance meeting in Florida with Neil's bandmate David Crosby and some say that the love of her life was Neil's other friend and CSNY band member, Graham Nash. Henry's life and work was inextricably bound to both of them over four decades of recordings and friendship.
Perhaps the best quote about the Monkees comes from band memeber Micky Dolenz who once quipped, "The Monkees becoming a real band was the equivalent of Leonard Nimoy (who played the alien officer Spock in Star Trek) really becoming a Vulcan. But boy did they ever... At their peak in 1967, the band outsold both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. As of 2012, their albums and singles have sold over 65 million copies worldwide. Henry worked on their first two blockbuster LP's.
Quincy Jones career has spanned more than 60 years. He has a record setting 79 Grammy nominations, 27 Grammy awards and was named one of the most influential Jazz musicians of the 20th century. His career defies classification for he has shown genius as a record producer, conductor, arranger composer, television producer, film producer, instrumentalist, magazine founder, record company executive, humanitarian, and jazz trumpeter. Henry worked on many projects with Quincy over the years.
In the summer of 1967, the Mamas and the Papas were at the apex of their career, coming off a string of hits including Monday Monday, and California Dreamin' .They performed to a sell out crowds at at the Monterey Pop Festival and their next gig was at the Hollywood Bowl. Rising sensation, Jimi Hendrix was their opening act! Henry worked on the classic Mamas and Papas albums, with legendary record producer Lou Adler.
Although the Doors' active career ended in 1973, their popularity has never faded. They have sold over 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the top selling bands of all time. Over forty years after they stopped recording, they have nearly 17 Million fans on Facebook. After Jim Morrison's death in 1971 Henry cut their very last album, Full Circle, with the three remaining members, Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger and John Densmore.
Neil Young Live.
Neil Young has had an unparalleled career spanning 50 years. Henry worked on many projects with Neil including "Harvest", the #1 selling album in 1972 and "Live From the Cellar Door", an intimate acoustic set released in 2013. Here he is in a portrait that Joni Mitchell sketched backstage in the 1960's
Happy Solstice Everyone! Tonight at 4:30 AM the Paul Winter Consort (founders of modern day Earth Music) will celebrate the dawn with a Summer Solstice concert in Manhattan. Henry cut the original Winter Consort Album at A&M in 1968.
Joni and Judy Collins
One of Joni's Mitchell's most loved songs - Both Sides Now - has been recorded 969 times! But the first commercially released version was by Judy Collins in 1967. Joni's version of the song first appeared on the album Clouds, that she and Henry worked on together in 1969.
Miles Davis and John Coltrane
Early in his career, Henry was a DJ in Las Vegas. His radio show "Helpful Henry The Housewives Delight" was a huge hit on KENO radio. His good friends in Vegas included Miles Davis and John Coltrane who played together in the mid 1950's as the "First Great Quintet". The rivalry, tension, and mutual respect between Coltrane and Miles was formative for both of their careers. John Coltrane died today in 1967, but his genius is re-discovered by each new generation of musicians
Fool On The Hill Sergio Mendes
With the world Cup in full swing in Brazil, it reminded us that it was a rare event, when another band had a bigger hit with a Beatles song, then the Fab Four themselves. But "Fool On A Hill" was one, that Henry Cut With Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66!
Before there was Mariah and Whitney, the original five octave virtuoso was Minnie Riperton. Minnie fought courageously against breast cancer, but died this week in 1979 at the age of only 31. But in her brief recording career, she left a legacy of incomparable work that continues to inspire and amaze. Henry cut her last LP, simply titled "Minnie" in 1979.
Well last night certainly was a marvelous night for a SuperMoon Dance!! We couldn't help but think that there must have been some other marvelous nights when Henry worked with Van Morrison on the album Common One. In talking about that album, Henry once recalled: "I was very lucky to work with him on Common One. The whole album was done in about two weeks in the hills above Nice, France. There were some fantastically magical nights. The basic tracks and vocals were all done live. The only things
Don and Phil Everly
Rolling Stone Magazine has often called the Everly Brothers the most important vocal duo in Rock 'N Roll History. In fact the Beatles referred to themselves as "the English Everly Brothers" and Paul Simon said "Phil and Don were the most beautiful sounding duo I ever heard". To this day they hold the record for most top 100 records by a rock duo. But they were also known for their angry break-ups and tearful reunions. Henry cut Don Everly's first solo album in 1971.
Chris Hilman / Gram Parsons
Chris Hilman was a founding member of the Byrds, the group that started the folk rock revolution. In 1966 he wrote "So You Want To Be A Rock 'n Roll Star", and he sure did! In a career that has spanned 5 decades and included stints with the Byrds (with David Crosby), Manassas (with Steven Stills), The Flying Burrito Bros (with Gram Parsons and soon to be Eagle, Bernie Leadon) and the Souther-Hilman-Furay (with JD Souther and Richie Furay ). Chris Hilman helped shape the history of Rock 'n Roll a
Jackie De Shannon
Before Joni, before Janis even before Joan, there was Jackie --- DeShannon. She dated Elvis, wrote songs with everyone from Jimmy Page to Randy Newman and opened for the Beatles on their inaugural North American tour. She was the very first female, singer songwriter of the rock era and Henry was there at the beginning, working on her earliest LP "Jackie De Shannon" in 1963.
Joni Mitchell Graham Nash
Graham Nash--the legendary musician and founding member of the iconic bands Crosby, Stills & Nash and The Hollies-- has written "Wild Tales", a candid and riveting autobiography that belongs on the reading list of every classic rock fan. From the opening salvos of the British Rock Revolution to the last shudders of Woodstock, he has rocked and rolled wherever music mattered. Henry was their through it all , even wiring the music system in Graham and Joni's Laurel Canyon home...!