Henry Small (singer)

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Henry Small
Henry Small in 2015.jpg
Small, 2015
Background information
Birth name Henry Cave Small
Born (1948-02-29) February 29, 1948 (age 69)
Beacon, New York, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • composer
  • multi-instrumentalist
  • radio personality
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • violin
  • brass
  • mandolin
Years active 1960s–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website smallworldstudios.com

Henry Cave Small (born February 29, 1948) is an American born Canadian singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist and radio personality.[1] In a career spanning more than 40 years, Small has been a member of three rock bands: Prism, Scrubbaloe Caine, and Small Wonder.

With Prism, Small enjoyed great success and recognition in the early 1980s. His first studio album with the band was Small Change, released in 1981. It was the band's most commercially successful studio album on the Billboard 200, being their first and only album to the make the Top 100. The lead single, "Don't Let Him Know", co-written by Jim Vallance with Bryan Adams, became Prism's first and only Top 40 hit in the US. It went on to peak at number-one on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in 1982, and stayed in the charts for just over four months.[2] Their follow-up album, Beat Street, released in 1983, however, was more of a solo album by Small than a Prism album as it features no founding members of the band and relied heavily on session musicians. After Prism broke up in 1984, Small worked with the Who's bass guitarist John Entwistle, singing the lead vocals on his sixth solo album The Rock which was released ten years since it was first recorded, in 1996. He has also worked with Eddie Money, Doug Cox, and Richie Zito.

Small pursued a solo career and released his debut album Time in 2002. He is currently working as a morning radio personality at CIFM-FM in Kamloops, British Columbia.

Early life

Henry Cave Small was born on February 29, 1948, in Beacon, New York. He learned how to play the violin at an early age, but in high school discovered other kinds of music. He was bullied as a child because of his height, which lead to confrontations.[3]

Musical career

1969-1970: The Gainsborough Gallery

In late 1969, Henry Small joined the Calgary band the Gainsborough Gallery. Though he did not appear on their only album Life Is a Song, he was present for several live performances before the band broke-up. His vocals and violin playing added a new dimension to the bands overall sound.

1971–1975: Scrubbaloe Caine

From 1970–1975, Small was a member of the band Scrubbaloe Caine. Other members included Paul Dean later of Loverboy, and the band was produced by David Kershenbaum from RCA. The band released one studio album, Round One in 1973. They broke-up in 1975, after being unable to find a new recording contract.[4]

1976–1977: Small Wonder

In 1976, Small formed the band Small Wonder with James Phillips, Jerry Morin, and William King. They released their debut album, Small Wonder, in the same year. In 1977, they released their second album Growin'.[5] Small Wonder brought Small a three-year songwriting contract with Irving Almo Music. During this period, he made a guest appearance on Burt Sugarman's The Midnight Special.

1981–1984: Prism

From 1981–84, Small was a member of the rock band Prism. As the band were preparing to record their follow-up album to Young and Restless in the summer of 1981, lead singer Ron Tabak was fired. Various reasons cited were his conflicts with other band members, several run-ins with the law, and lack of songwriting ability. Around the same time, keyboardist John Hall left the band. Small was brought in, and the new four-piece line-up of Small, guitarist Lindsay Mitchell, bass player Al Harlow, and drummer Rocket Norton recorded the album Small Change, which was released later in 1981. The first track on the album "Don't Let Him Know", written by Jim Vallance (using his real name) and Bryan Adams, became Prism's first Top 40 hit in the US and a number-one single on Billboard's new Rock Tracks chart.[2] Their follow-up single "Turn on Your Radar" also charted, becoming their fifth and final song to chart in the U.S.

By the end of the tour for Small Change, Mitchell, Harlow and Norton had individually left Prism. With Mitchell's departure, Prism now had no founding members left.

In 1982, the band's touring line-up was Small, guitarist Paul Warren, bass player John Trivers, keyboardist Robyn Robbins, and Doug Maddick on drums. Although the band had essentially broken-up by the end of 1982, Small decided to continue recording as a solo artist but using the Prism name. He assembled a group of session musicians including Richie Zito, Alan Pasqua, Mike Baird and backing vocalists Bill Champlin (Chicago), Bobby Kimball (Toto) and Timothy B. Schmit (Eagles) to assist him. Together, this ad hoc line-up released the album Beat Street under the Prism name in 1983. The album was not a commercial success, and failed to have any charting singles in Canada. Small, by now the band's only member, was dropped from his label, and essentially retired from using the Prism name in early 1984, and the 'band' became defunct.

1985–present

In 1996, John Entwistle, bass guitarist for the Who, released his sixth solo album titled The Rock. This was his only solo album on which he did not sing any of the lead vocals, a role filled instead by Small. The album was actually recorded over an 18-month period in 1985 at Entwistle's Hammerhead Studios in England and was meant to be released by his own label, WEA Records. Legal issues kept it in the vaults for ten years, and the album was then released in four different editions between 1996 and 2005, with separate covers for each. AllMusic wrote of the album "There's no questioning the technical skill of the performances—this band sounds tight and expert throughout, and Entwistle and [Zak] Starkey are a mighty rhythm section.[6]

Discography

Prism

Year Album
1981 Small Change
1983 Beat Street

Solo

Year Album
2002 Time

References

  1. ^ Henry Small, CanadianBands.com 
  2. ^ a b Billboard Rock Tracks chart, March 27, 1982 
  3. ^ History, SmallWorldStudios.com 
  4. ^ Scrubbaloe Caine, CanadianBands.com 
  5. ^ Lost Treasures: Small Wonder, retrieved 2 September 2015 
  6. ^ The Rock, AllMusic, retrieved 2 September 2015 

External links

  • Official website
  • Henry Small at AllMusic
  • Henry Small discography at Discogs
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