He told Henley if she could put together a band, she could have them.
As luck would have it, Henley happened to be out one night and spotted a couple of performers playing as a duo at the Plaza Lounge.
"They'd come up to Charleston from Naples, Florida. One of them was dating a girl from Charleston," she said.
Henley approached and asked them if they were interested in some work.
They seemed interested, but wary and told her they were headed back to Florida, but would be back in a few weeks.
Henley said when they came back, the three of them went out as a trio.
"Our first job was at The Greenbrier for BB&T, which was One Valley Bank back then," she said. "We played for 400 people. It was a really decent job, so they knew I was legit and not some crazy person trying to start a band."
The band grew quickly, adding a saxophone, bass and another guitar. Eventually, it became an eight-piece outfit playing around town and doing music at a lot of weddings.
"That's the biggest part of our jobs these days," she said. "I'd say about 85 to 90 percent of what we do is weddings and corporate events."
The band only plays a handful of public shows, like Live on the Levee, which she said is a critical show for a band like theirs.
"It's one of the few places where people can just come and hear us play," she said.
Henley doesn't usually sing with the band any more. She found a replacement and then another one a few years ago, but she has come in for a show by special request here and there.
"I sang at the daughter of a friend's wedding two years ago," she said. "He wanted me to sing for her first dance. He invited me back last year to sing at his second daughter's wedding."
There have been a few others, but they're usually requests by old friends.
Henley is content to let the band take the stage without her, though who knows what might happen if she gets them to come down her way to play.
The nightlife in her part of the country is vibrant.
"There's music seven nights a week, always something going on."
Charleston used to be a lot like that.
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.