Courtesy - Swampland.com
by Michael Buffalo Smith
He was a member of the legendary Southern Rock band The Outlaws, He also scored big with his own Henry Paul Band, and as a member of Top 40 country band Blackhawk. Now, Henry Paul is touring and recording with a new set of Outlaws, as well as assembling a new Blackhawk record that will feature some of his classic rock pals. Life is good for the Florida rocker. We caught up with Henry for this long awaited GRITZ interview.
I know you were born in New York. You moved to Florida at a really young age, right?
I was eight. I was in third grade. I’ll never forget it. It was great man, (laughs) it was like culture shock. I mean, I come from a working family farm that grew a thousand acres of sweet corn. We’d hire 70 migrant workers to go into the field and care for it. When I got to Florida my parents split. My mom packed her stuff up in her 1957 Oldsmobile and we drove down 301 to Lakeland. I kept thinking to myself that there were going to be like indians and natives in the jungle down there. I wasn’t that far off. (Laughs) The obvious emotional issues on the table were large. But getting there and being turned loose in the orange groves and the phosphate pits and the many, many lakes and fishing - it was huge. It was also an unusual time in our country. Segregation was front and center. Nobody was pulling punches. It was very graphic and clear where people stood. That was a shock to me, because where I came from we didn’t see much of that.