Skitch Henderson

Genres: Jazz Pop / Rock
Decades Active: 1960s 2000s

Biography

Lyle Russell Cedric Henderson, 27 January 1918, Halstad, Minnesota, USA (some sources quote Birmingham, England, a confusion arising from an early promoter who thought an English birthplace sounded more glamorous), d. 1 November 2005, New Milford, Connecticut, USA. After studying at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, Henderson undertook further studies with Arnold Schoenberg. Despite his classical training, Henderson began playing piano in dance bands, some of which he also led. In the early 40s he accompanied leading artists such as Judy Garland and Bing Crosby, for whom he acted as musical director on radio. Crosby was also responsible for Henderson’s unusual nickname, derived from Sketch Kid (because he made piano sketches for orchestras). After serving in the Army Air Corps during the war Henderson set up his own big band, but by the early 50s had become Frank Sinatra’s musical director. Later, he went into the studios of NBC. From 1954-57 he...

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