Don Henley

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Donald (Don) Henley (born July 22, 1947 in Gilmer, Texas) is a rock musician most noted as the drummer and one of the lead singers of the band The Eagles.

Professional History

Don Henley moved from Linden, Texas after he dated singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks (of Fleetwood Mac) to Los Angeles in 1970 to record an album with his early band, Shiloh. Henley and Nicks wrote Leather and Lace to each other. Shiloh was bankrolled by fellow Texan Kenny Rogers, then flush with cash from his band "The New Edition." Shortly thereafter, Henley met Glenn Frey through Amos Records in Los Angeles. They both became members of Linda Ronstadt's backup band, which two month later became its own act, The Eagles.

The first Eagles album was released in 1972 and contained the hit song "Take It Easy," as well as Henley's first hit songwriting attempt, "Witchy Woman." As the seventies progressed, Henley's raspy vocals replaced Glenn Frey's twangy tenor as the focal point of the Eagles "sound." The band broke up in 1980; during the Eagles' existence Henley co-wrote (usually with Frey) most of the band's best-known songs, notably "Desperado" and "Hotel California".

Following the breakup of the Eagles, Henley embarked on a successful solo career. His first solo release, 1982's I Can't Stand Still, was a moderate seller and was followed two years later by Building the Perfect Beast, which featured layered synthesizers and was a marked departure from the Eagles' country-rock sound. A single release, "The Boys of Summer", reached #1 on the Billboard magazine's pop charts (the song would become a hit again in 2003 for The Ataris). Henley's next album, 1989's The End of the Innocence, was equally successful. A long period without a new recording followed, as Henley waited out a dispute with his record company and participated in an Eagles reunion tour and live album. Henley finally released another solo studio recording, Inside Job, in 2000. He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Henley founded the non-profit Caddo Lake Institute to underwrite ecological education and research. As part of the Caddo Lake Coalition, CLI helps protect the Texas wetland where Henley spent much of his childhood.


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