Start Henry Horne
Henry Horne - A great musician that's coming back
Henry Horne, one of the founders of The Horne section (THS) and most know for writing the eternal and incredible dance track "Lady shine" in 1984, describing his musical life on PSFS. As a small boy during late 60's and early 70's Horne was in the middle of the heat of the uprising sun of Philly soul in the town it self. Surrounded by this prosperous environment he later developed his drumming skills in Philly by members of The Butlers, later known as Frankie Beverly and Maze. He was also a close friend of Harold Melvin with whom he toured during the 90's until one year before Melvin passed away. Horne has a broad experience and multitalented musical ability that he generously gives numerous examples of in this interview!
Tell us about you musical background before the Horne section (THS)? Are you self learned or what kind of education do you have?
Well before the Horne Section I hadn't really done anything major. I am self taught. I started playing drums at the age of 7. I still jump at the chance to play drums whenever I can. I still have a strong passion for playing drums. I remember the times I was playing with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes 1993 and we were in Atlantic City playing one of the lounges. I was playing bass for Harold. We were there for 2 nights and the 2nd night the drummer couldn't make it. I call my close friend Norman Smith who had been the bass player for Teddy Pendergrass. Norman had also played with Harold so he of course new all the material so I brought him to the gig the 2nd night and I played drums. That 2nd night was unbelievable in Atlantic City. Harold Melvin and I were very,very,very close! I learned a lot from him and miss him dearly. I started playing guitar also the same time I learned how to play drums in 1967. My next door neighbor who was about 16 was the drummer in a band called The Butlers. The would rehearse for hours everyday. My parents couldn't stand that loud music coming through the wall of that basement. My brother and I loved it. My next door neighbor would teach me things on the drums when the band wasn't practicing and sometimes they would let us come in and watch. The band changed the name to Raw Soul and years later the name changed to Frankie Beverly and Maze. One of the guitars back then when it was the Butlers was a cat named Theodore Life (T Life). Years later he wrote a song called "Shame" for Evelyn Champagne King. I started learn how to play the bass when I was about 18. The keyboard thing came about the time I turned 20 years old.
How did you meet up with the other musicians of THS and what year were you officially assembled?
THS hadn't never really become a band. I did all the rhythm tracks (live drums and drum machine, all keyboards and synth bass, guitar, percussion, and background vocals) Roger Garnette did the lead and background vocals and brought in 4 horns players I knew who used to work with the Tramps. Sly Smithers on trumpet, Grearald Chavis on trumpet, Harold Watkins on trombone and Rubin Henderson on tenor saxophone. I met Roger in 1980 from a friend of mine. He was with a trio that my friend Leroy Roebuck wanted me to produce but Roger was the only one that could sing. So Leroy and I decided to just make up a totally different type of act. I had tons of material. Roger was able to sing anything I had. I always copyrighted my material under the name the Horne Section since I had always done all of my own tracks. We decided to make a group out of it so Roger and I became this dynamic duo called the Horne Section. He didn't like to write much so I wrote all of our material. For 2 years we where just cutting a bunch of demos but just couldn't get a deal. Finally Leroy and I decided to take a chance on one of our songs (Lady Shine) and try to do on our own label. This was 1983-1984 Another friend of ours Alan Lott got a hold of one of our 12" singles and took it to 4th and Broadway. Island re-mixed and re-mastered it and re-released it in the UK.
Who came up with the idea of "Lady shine"? Was it an easy to find melody or did it take some longer time to "catch"?
It was pretty easy. Back then music, melodies and lyrics would come to really easy. I cant say that today though.
Who wrote the lyrics and did you have any particularly inspiration when it comes the choice?
I did the lyrics and there was no real inspiration. Just watching the beautiful girls on a TV dance show called Solid Goal. The show would like a top 10 countdown every week. We all use to like watching the Solid Gold dancers.
As I understand it no other tracks were released, why not?
Well, our deal with 4th Broadway was only for 1 12" single. The were considering doing another single but we got some bad people mixed up in our camp like bad management and crooked lawyer and everything went sour and just fell apart. Roger and I just couldn't find our way back into the business at that time. We just let it go.
I know that in Europe "Lady Shine" came on Fourth & Broadway records but in US there was a very rare release on Roebuck Records? What company was the main one for you?
Roebuck Records was the label I started up with Leroy Roebuck. I actually put all that together as well. We couldn't think of a name for the label so I used his last name since it was different.
THS didn't live long according to my knowledge, why did the band disbanded, what year and under what kind of circumstances?
We disbanded in 1985 because as I mentioned earlier, we had gotten some bad people involved. Things really started changing in a negative way between the manger, lawyer and they even had Leroy and I going against each other. Roger and I always remained close and never had any differences. I do still talk to Leroy Roebuck. As a matter of fact, I talked to him yesterday. He's gonna be doing promotion for me on my Gospel project. I haven't see or heard from Roger in about 8 years.
After THS, where were you heading in music, especially in the context of the huge changes in the mid 80's of black music?
Well, at 42 it's too late to be an R&B artist but plenty of room to be a huge Gospel artist. Leroy has some great young R&B acts that I'll be producing for him in the near future. I plan to make a mark out there in that Gospel field. Mary Mary, Trinity 5-7,Yolanda Adams, Donnie McClurkin, there all doing a fantastic job.
What have you been up to since the 80's until today?
After THS I started playing for people. I played bass for Eugene Wilde for a brief period then joined Pieces of a Dream as a side man doubling on guitar and keybords. I played with Pieces from 1986-1988. Then I got kicked outta there because they claimed the wanted to go back to working as a trio, which they hadn't done since my departure. I met Harold Melvin during the time I was working with Pieces in 1987 and he and I became really close. He and I started writting a lot together and then we built a studio in his basement and after Pieces thats where I spent 80% of my time. In Harold basement. I then started going out and playing with him and the Blue Notes. Whatever he needed, I covered. If he needed a guitar player I had it. If he needed a keyboard player I had it covered. Most of the gigs I play on with him were mostly on keyboards. I stayed with Harold from 1987 til 1996 I took off before he passed in 1997. I had gotten kinda tired going around in circles and I was a single parent at the time with a 6 year old daughter so I went to truck driving school and became a professional truck driver. The was the last thing he said to me. That I wasn't no truck driver. I was a Producer. But I needed to make some changes in my life. I moved from Philly and I had been driving for the 2nd largest trucking outfit in the country. JB Hunt Transport. I drove for this company from 1996 to July 2002. The day Harold died, I tore up the top of one of their tractors trying to get to his house. The truck was to big for the streets in his neighborhood and I caught a couple of low tree branches.
As I know you're up to a new record under your own name and we all wonder how's the work progressing?
The new album is going well and the release date is set for August 1st. The album is being produced by myself and co-produced by Henri McMillian. The Artist name on the album will be Myster Horne.
In brief, what's your point of view on today's musical environment in general, and black music in particular?
The music today is getting a little nerve wrecking. A lot of these singers project the same exact style and tracks. Wheres the music in some of it. Ja-Rule is cool. He sounds like nobody else. Usher has his own style. Joe has great tracks and a nice vocal.
By PATRIK B. ANDERSSON - PATRIKS SOUL FUNK SPECIAL
A great thanks to Henry Horne for his open minded attitude and generous answers! A great thanks also to DJ Ed for the picture of the US released maxi single. Full size picture of the Fourth and Broadway release can be found here
Interviewed on PSFS in February 2003 by Patrik B. Andersson. All rights reserved
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