** Please note this post or page may contain affiliate links and ads, for more information read our full disclosure statement.

Fletcher Henderson

Fletcher Henderson (December 18, 1897 – December 29, 1952) was an American pianist, bandleader, arranger and composer, important in the development of big band jazz and swing music. He was one of the most prolific black musical arrangers and, along with Duke Ellington, is considered one of the most influential arrangers and bandleaders in jazz history. Henderson's influence was vast. He helped bridge the gap between the Dixieland and the swing eras. He was often known as "Smack" Henderson (because of smacking sounds he made with his lips).

Henderson recorded extensively in the 1920s for nearly every label, including Vocalion, Paramount, Columbia, Olympic, Ajax, Pathé, Perfect, Edison, Emerson, Brunswick, and the dime-store labels Banner, Oriole, Regal, Cameo, and Romeo.

From 1925–1930, he recorded primarily for Columbia and Brunswick/ Vocalion under his own name and a series of acoustic recordings as the Dixie Stompers for Harmony Records and associated dime-store labels (Diva and Velvet Tone).

During the 1930s, he recorded for Columbia, Crown (as "Connie's Inn Orchestra"), ARC (Melotone, Perfect, Oriole, Vocalion), Bluebird, Victor, and Decca. Starting in the early 1920s, he recorded popular hits and jazz tunes. In 1924 he and his band recorded 80 sides. His version of the pop tune "I Can't Get the One I Want", recorded about June 19, 1924, was issued on at least 23 labels.

In addition to Armstrong, lead trumpeters included Henry "Red" Allen, Joe Smith, Rex Stewart, Tommy Ladnier, Doc Cheatham and Roy Eldridge. Lead saxophonists included Coleman Hawkins, Buster Bailey, Benny Carter and Chu Berry.

Although Henderson's band was popular, he had little success in managing it. His lack of recognition outside of Harlem had to do more with the times in which he lived, apparently lackluster management, and the hard times that resulted after the 1929 stock market crash. Fletcher had a knack for finding talent, but he did not have much luck keeping it. On many occasions he lost talented members to other bandleaders. He also had trouble with finances. When the band split up in 1934, he was forced to sell some of his popular arrangements to Benny Goodman to keep them together.

After about 1931, his own arrangements became influential. In addition to arrangements for his band, he wrote arrangements for Teddy Hill, Isham Jones and Benny Goodman. He injured his shoulder in an auto accident in 1928. His wife, Leora, blamed the accident for his diminishing success. She said that John Hammond and Benny Goodman bought Henderson's arrangements to support him, that Goodman always gave Henderson credit for the arrangements and said that he played them better than his own. In addition, Goodman and Hammond organized broadcasts and recordings to help Henderson when he was ill.

Read more on Wikipedia

Listen to Fletcher Henderson on Swing City Radio.  We are a Big Band Radio Station playing a wide selection of Big Band and Swing music.

Swing City Radio plays Fletcher Henderson - Listen to our station and hear the songs:
Charleston Crazy
Tidal Wave
I'm Coming Virginia
Yeah Man
Hotter Than 'Ell
Hocus Pocus
Copenhagen
My Pretty Girl
Sugar Foot Stomp
Shanghai Shuffle (Arrastrapies Shangaiano)
Money Blues

Support Our Station

Big Band & Swing Christmas Music

Affiliate Link
Affiliate Link
Affiliate Link
Affiliate Link

Your Thoughts

Name

Email *

Message *