Henry Lee Summer

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Henry Lee Summer
Born (1955-07-05) July 5, 1955 (age 63)
Brazil, Indiana, U.S.
Genres Rock, Pop, AOR
Occupation(s) Songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1978–Present
Labels Epic Records
Website Henry Lee Summer

Henry Lee Summer (born Henry Lee Swartz; July 5, 1955) is an American rock singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer from Brazil, Indiana, best known for his hit singles "I Wish I Had A Girl" and "Hey Baby".


Summer planned on being a basketball player and even received a scholarship to play at a college in Montana, however, he ultimately decided to pursue a career in music. Summer began as a singer and drummer then taught himself to play guitar and keyboards. Throughout the late 70's and early 80's he toured the American Midwest and South. He released two independent albums with the help of his manager James Bogard under their own Majestic Records label. In 1987 Bogard signed Summer to Epic Records CBS Associated Records A&R executive Tony Martell.

Summer recorded several successful albums on Epic Records in the 80s-90s and toured with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eddie Money, The Doobie Brothers, Chicago, Don Henley, Robert Palmer, Cheap Trick, 38 Special, and Richard Marx. Summer also shared the stage with John Mellencamp at a show in Indianapolis (1988) and another in Bloomington, Indiana (1992) that each drew over 40,000 fans.

Recording and touring musicians working with Summer throughout his career on Epic Records included - Jimmy Rip (guitar), Graham Maby (bass), Leigh Foxx (bass), SteveAbigail BassMichael Organ (drummer), Mimi Mapes (vocals), Sheila Lawrence (vocals), Tony Bowles (guitar), Tim Harr (guitar), Rick Benick (guitar), Michael Read (keyboards), Doug Sisemore (keyboards), and Gene Boccia (bass).

On February 9, 2014, he was inducted into the Wabash Valley Musicians Hall of Fame.

Hit songs

Summer's song "I Wish I Had a Girl" (#1 Mainstream Rock Hit, #20 on Billboard's Hot 100) was originally recorded for his 1985 independent album Time for Big Fun, but the song was re-recorded and released on his self-titled debut album on Epic Records three years later (1988). This revamped version became the "hit."

Summer's song "Hey Baby" (#18 on the Billboard Hot 100) was released in 1989 from his album I've Got Everything on Epic Records. Summer was credited as producer for both the album and the single.

Film soundtrack songs

Henry Lee Summer produced, composed, arranged, or contributed lead vocals to several songs for movie soundtracks including -

Iron Eagle II “If You Were My Girl” (Summer: lead vocal) produced by Mike Chapman, Tri-Star Pictures (1988)

Twins “No Way of Knowing” (Summer: producer, lead vocal, some instruments) Universal Pictures, WTG (1988)

Queens Logic “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” (Summer: lead vocal) New Line Cinema, Epic (1991)

Sniper “Medicine Man” and “Turn It Up” (Summer: composer, producer, lead vocal) Columbia Pictures (1993)

Striking Distance “The Boys and the Girls are Doin’ it” (Summer: lead vocal) Columbia Tri-Star Pictures (1993)

The Raffle “I Wish I Had A Girl” (Summer: composer, lead vocal) Capstone Pictures (1994)

Legal problems

In September 2006, Summer was arrested after the car he was driving crashed into several vehicles in an Indiana neighborhood. Summer pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and was sentenced to a year's probation and ordered to pay a fine.[1]

In May 2009, Summer was again arrested in Indianapolis. He was charged with multiple counts including possessing methamphetamine.[2] In June 2009 Summer entered the voluntary drug treatment center Cumberland Heights in Nashville, Tennessee. On November 10, 2009 in a resolution of all charges Summer pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to a year's probation and 120 hours of community service.[3]

In November 2010, Summer was arrested for violating his probation by not completing community service and not regularly calling his probation officer.[4] In January 2011 Summer was released from probation having fulfilled all his obligations. He is currently living and performing in the Indianapolis, Indiana, area.[5]



  • Stay with Me (Majestic Records, 1984)
  • Time for Big Fun (Majestic, 1985)
  • Henry Lee Summer (Epic Records, 1988) U.S. #56[6]
  • I've Got Everything (Epic, 1989) U.S. #78 (Summer credited as Producer)
  • Way Past Midnight (Epic, 1991)
  • Slamdunk (Sony Records, 1993)
  • Smoke and Mirrors (Moon Pie Records, 1999)
  • Live (Midwest Artists Distribution, 1999)
  • Big Drum (self-released, 2001)


Year Title Chart positions[6]
Hot 100
1988 "I Wish I Had a Girl" 20 1
1988 "Darlin' Danielle Don't" 57 9
1988 "Hands On the Radio" 85 28
1989 "Hey Baby" 18 6
1991 "Till Somebody Loves You" 51
1992 "Turn It Up"


  1. [1][dead link]
  2. [2] Archived May 20, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Murray, Jon (2009-11-10). "Marion County | Indianapolis Star". indystar.com. Retrieved 2014-05-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Henry Lee Summer to rock at Nick's | Journal and Courier". jconline.com. Retrieved 2014-05-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Henry Lee Summer talks about drug addiction - 13 WTHR Indianapolis". Wthr.com. Retrieved 2014-05-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 Eleanor Ditzel (1955-07-05). "Henry Lee Summer | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-05-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links