Jack’s Song Of The Day: Don Henley

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don henley Jacks Song Of The Day: Don Henley

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Hey [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Don Henley[/lastfm], today is your birthday!

And all Jack FM wants to do is dance and make romance.

His voice is one of the most recognizable in music.

Born in Gilmer in 1947, Don Henley grew up in the small east Texas town of Linden.  After high school, he spent a year at Stephen F. Austin University before transferring to North Texas State, where he left after two years to spend time with his dying father.

In 1970, Don moved to Los Angeles to record an album with his first band, Shiloh.  Shortly thereafter, he met [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Glenn Frey[/lastfm], and both became members of [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Linda Ronstadt[/lastfm]‘s backup band.  Touring with her was the catalyst for the formation of one of rock music’s greatest and most successful bands.

Formed in September 1971, the [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Eagles[/lastfm] have sold over 120 million albums worldwide, making them the best-selling American band in history.  They have released seven studio albums, six of which went to #1, including 1976’s Hotel California.  That album spent eight weeks in the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart, and it remains the band’s highest-selling album with over 16 million copies sold in the States alone.  The Eagles scored five #1 singles, 17 Top 40 singles and six Grammy Awards.  But in 1980, after a difficult tour riddled with personal tensions, the band decided to go their separate ways.

Inspired by his good friend, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Stevie Nicks[/lastfm], Don Henley decided to launch a solo career and, in 1982, released his debut album, I Can’t Stand Still.  The album reached #24 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart and was certified gold.  The second single, “Dirty Laundry,” became a huge hit for Don, peaking at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.  The single itself sold one million copies.

Following the success of his debut, Don released his second solo album in 1984.  Building the Perfect Beast was another home run for the former Eagles drummer.  The album landed at #13 on the charts, and three million copies were sold.  It produced four Top 40 singles: “Boys of Summer,” “All She Wants to Do Is Dance,” “Not Enough Love in the World” and “Sunset Grill,” which is Jack’s Song of the Day.  “Sunset Grill,” about a real hamburger restaurant on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, peaked at #22 on the Billboard Hot 100.  It also features [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Patty Smyth[/lastfm] on harmony vocals and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Randy Newman [/lastfm] on the synthesizer.

In 1989, Don Henley released his most successful album to date, The End of the Innocence.  Fueled by singles like “ The Heart of the Matter,” “The Last Worthless Evening” and the title track, the album sold over six million copies and peaked at #8 on Billboard‘s 200 chart.

1994 saw the long-awaited reunion of the Eagles.  The band embarked on the aptly-named Hell Freezes Over tour, which produced a successful live album of the same name.  Over the years, the Eagles have continued to tour sporadically, and in 2007, they released Long Road Out of Eden, their first full studio album in nearly 30 years.

Since reuniting with the Eagles, Don Henley has divided his time between the band and his solo career.  He has also become an outspoken environmental and political advocate.  In 1990, he founded the Walden Woods Project to help protect the area from development.  Plus, he co-founded the Caddo Lake Institute and the Recording Artists’ Coalition with [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Sheryl Crow[/lastfm].

Don Henley is set to release his fifth studio album sometime later this year.  It is said to be a country album featuring special guests such as [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Ronnie Dunn[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Alison Krauss[/lastfm].  Don continues to tour with the Eagles and also as a solo artist.  He has several shows planned in California for the fall and will be with the Eagles at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in November.

Here’s Don Henley performing one of Jack FM’s favorite songs, “New York Minute.”  It’s a song about appreciating the things in your life, like air conditioning!

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