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Fletcher Henderson Orch - "Charley, My Boy" (1924)

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Published on Aug 19, 2010

Charley, My Boy
Words: Gus Kahn
Music: Ted Fio Rito
Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra
Recorded July 30, 1924
Regal 9680

Personnel:
Fletcher Henderson - piano, arranger, director
Elmer Chambers, Howard Scott - cornet
Charlie Green - trombone
Don Redman - clarinet, alto sax
Coleman Hawkins - tenor sax, baritone sax
Charlie Dixon - banjo
Ralph Escudero - brass bass
Kaiser Marshall - drums

Fletcher Henderson (1898 - 1952) was born in Cuthbert Georgia, attended Morehouse College in Atlanta and earned a degree in chemistry. In 1920 he arrived in New York for further study but instead took a job as a song demonstrator for a publishing house. In 1921 he was house pianist for new Black Swan record company. He recorded and toured with Ethel Waters and was accompanist for leading blues singers Bessie Smith, Clara Smith, Trixie Smith, Ida Cox, Alberta Hunter, Ma Rainey and Rosa Henderson. He led his first band in 1923 and won a job at Club Alabam in New York and using Don Redman arrangements. Played Roseland Ballroom later in 1924. Young trumpet player, Louis Armstrong, joined band in 1924 and stayed until November 1925. Continued to lead outstanding jazz bands throughout the 1920s. In the late 1920s, Henderson seemed to lose interest somewhat, perhaps because of an auto accident that left him scarred. 1929 - 1930 recording output dropped and bookings in Depression were less frequent. Then landed good spot at Connie's Inn in Harlem and recordings increased. Henderson began arranging in the early 1930s. Arrangements were simple but swung mightily, featured great sax section work, with spots for jazz solos enhanced by section work in background. Achieved fame with great arrangements for Benny Goodman orchestra. Began long run at Chicago's Grand Terrace in 1936. Henderson disbanded in 1939 but continued arrangements for Goodman. Worked with own band off and on during the 1940s. In December 1950 a stroke caused partial paralysis and ended active career. His main contributions to jazz was organizing first important swing band, later writing arrangements for it and Goodman that gave big band swing its distinctive voice.

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