Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I Hardly Know What to Say

Shannon - Henry Gross

The early 1970's saw the rise of the "sensitive male" singer-songwriter, from James Taylor to Jim Croce, Cat Stevens to Paul Simon. From its beginnings in acoustic folk music, this genre evolved into a radio friendly form that was immensely popular at the time and remains a favorite for many a Baby Boomer.  What it lacks in edge and hipness it makes up for in melody, heart and facial hair.   Like any style, it generated a lot of forgettable songs, but also a number of classics that have endured.  Such is Henry Gross's #6 hit from 1976, "Shannon."


Event though the lyrics never specify who/what Shannon is, it became common knowledge that the song is about losing a beloved dog.  That subject resonated deeply with listeners who could relate to the difficulty of such a life event - and the deal was sealed by a memorable melody, heartfelt vocals, and lush production.



Though he is best known for singing a song so sincere that it's taken a fair amount of guff for being "corny," Henry has a great sense of humor, as evidenced in many of his other songs as well as in his answers to my questions about "Shannon" below.