In Morgan Hill, California in the early 70’s, records like “The Band” by The Band and “Honky Chateau” by Elton John prompted Don Henry to begin writing his own lyrics to Jim Croce melodies. Then he learned to play guitar with a Paul Simon songbook. After that it was an education in The Beatles, Cat Stevens, Harry Nilsson, Carole King, Cat Stevens, and Joni Mitchell.
Then Randy Newman’s ‘Good Old Boys’ and ‘Old Number One’ by Guy Clark changed his life. In April of 1979, at 19, Don made his way to Nashville.
After spending 4 years as the tape copy/librarian for Tree Publishing Company, cataloging some of the best songs by some of the best songwriters in Nashville (Sonny Throckmorton, Bobby Braddock, Harlan Howard, and Curly Putman), Don’s own songs started getting recorded and he was moved to full-time staff songwriter. Ray Charles, Conway Twitty, the Oak Ridge Boys, T.G. Sheppard, John Conlee and Kathy Mattea are just a few who recorded Don’s songs during this period.
In 1990, Don and Jon Vezner received song of the year awards for co-writing Mattea’s critically acclaimed hit, “Where’ve You Been”. Awards from the Grammys, as well as from the Academy of Country Music, the Country Music Association, and the Nashville Songwriters Association International culminated it “Where’ve You Been” becoming the first song ever to be so honored by all four organizations.
In 1991 “Wild In The Backyard” was released on Sony/Epic Records. Billboard’s Ken Schlager chose the debut album as one of 1991’s Top Ten records, as did Larry McClain of BAM magazine. Rolling Stone liked it enough to profile Don in their “New Faces” column.