by Kenny Kerner

Like most of the TAXI members we've profiled in the past, Chuck Henry was introduced to music at a very early age. He began playing piano at age four and by the time he turned six, he was already taking lessons. "I started playing piano as soon as I was big enough to climb up on the bench. I practiced an hour after school and then another hour with my dad after dinner. He's a classically-trained musician and he gave me a well-rounded knowledge of music."

During his formative years at high school, Chuck discovered "the cool harmonies and chords" of jazz and put together a small jazz group in college (Athens, Georgia) in the late-80s with his musical partner, Todd Nystrom. The pair had achieved some significant success in and around the Athens-Atlanta area with radio airplay and a CD that made its way to the Number One spot on the Jazz/Funk charts in England.

"We both entered a songwriting showcase in Atlanta and we won the top prize. It was the first jazz instrumental song to ever win. Part of the prize was free recording time and the record we made got lots of airplay on the smooth jazz station in Atlanta."

Name: Chuck Henry
Residence: Hollywood, CA
Age: 35
Occupation: Musician/Composer/Producer
Joined Taxi: 2000
Songs Forwarded: 94
Deals: 8
Henry graduated college with a BA in music, and trusted his career to managers who had really no direction planned for him. As a result, their 15-minutes of fame fizzled out.

With Todd tied down with a wife and children, Chuck Henry made the move to Hollywood on his own, hoping to land a deal for himself and his partner. "I'd always been able to make money with my music so when I got there I landed a job playing piano for Nordstrom--right in their department store. One of their trademarks is live piano music in the store. I also played other gigs and did some writing--enough to support myself."

In 1995, Todd and Chuck started a new group called Brave New World and that's when Chuck joined TAXI for the first time. "I would write the songs and he would fly out every few weeks to record his parts. We worked on the music together and then he flew home and I tried to get something happening with it. We were forwarded on just about every submission but I never once got a call back from the forwards. So after a year, I chose not to rejoin because of a lack of responses. So I tried to do it on my own again"

Chuck got pretty lucky in a hurry. Through contacts he made on his own, he managed to work out a deal with Noteworthy Records, sign it on July 6th, 1995, and watch it fall through on the very next day. "That wasn't too great," Henry recalled, "but I just brushed myself off and kept going. In 1998 I signed another deal with a jazz label called Brajo Records. We released an album called Worldwind in September of that year, but after some great reviews, the label declared bankruptcy and went out of business."

In early 2000, after growing tired of playing piano for 7-10 hours a day, Chuck Henry rejoined TAXI. "I was getting home at 10:00 p.m. after playing piano all day and that wasn't really conducive to creating songs. I looked over some old TAXI listings from 1995 when I was a member and I was amazed at all the TV/Film listings that they had. When I was a member in '95, it was to get a record deal for me and Todd and I never paid attention to all the other opportunities."

Henry began submitting material again and soon got his first forward from David Mellor who owns the Jaazz music production library. "Through my second membership in TAXI I got lots of material placed and signed deals with about 6-7 publishing companies and music libraries. I also signed a three-year, three-CD deal with Etherean Records--one of the leading world beat labels. I quit playing piano for a while and got into the world music vibe. The music and rhythms of the different cultures was quite intriguing to me. So I started combining the elements of the different cultures. It really shows how music is the language of the world. We're looking at a spring 2003 international release. The name of the group is World Radio"

Chuck's second membership with TAXI allowed him to take advantage of that company's vast network of film and TV listings. It also allowed him to grow as a songwriter and musician: "The challenge of having to write in so many different musical styles and always facing a deadline has allowed me to prepare a very diverse demo reel of my original material."

From now on, it looks like we'll have to refer to our Passenger Profile subject as Chuck Henry--International Recording Artist. And for those of you who did not renew your memberships, maybe it's time you, too, took a second look at TAXI!


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"I received a giant BMI check from TV airplay that I probably wouldn't have earned without TAXI."
— Julie Ann Bailey,
TAXI Member

"The TAXI Staff is an incredible support system and they are always on your side. Aside from writing songs, joining TAXI is the most productive thing a songwriter can do."
— Jose Gomez,
TAXI Member