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Skitch Henderson

(1.27.18-11.1.05)

Skitch Henderson

I first met Skitch Henderson in 1947 when he was a guest in the Vaughn Monroe Camel Caravan Show for radio and I was a member of Vaughn’s orchestra. Skitch’s basic training was in Hollywood. He started as a rehearsal pianist for the movie stars before they made soundtracks. Victor Young advised him to take conducting lessons, and he became a great interpreter of Young’s music.

From them on, we met in different settings. He was on the Tonight Show with Steve Allen. As conductor of the NBC Tonight Show Orchestra, Skitch assembled many of the best jazzmen in the business from some of the best jazz bands and orchestras of that time, including: Snooky Young (from Jimmie Lunceford), Clark Terry (Duke Ellington), Al Klink (Glenn Miller), Hymie Schertzer (Benny Goodman), Jimmy Maxwell (Benny Goodman) and Bob Haggart (Bob Crosby). That orchestra really was a good cross-section of jazz bands.

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