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Singer Bill Henderson Dies at 90

Recorded with Oscar Peterson, Horace Silver; was also successful actor

Bill Henderson

Vocalist Bill Henderson died of natural causes in Los Angeles on April 3, according to an official press release from his music publisher. In addition to his career in jazz, Henderson was also a successful actor. He was 90.

Born in Chicago on March 19, 1926, William Randall Henderson began singing at age 4. His career in music began in earnest during the 1950s, when he worked with Ramsey Lewis and other artists. Lewis was featured on Henderson’s debut album cut for Vee-Jay in 1958, Bill Henderson Sings. That same year, Henderson recorded the single “Señor Blues” with pianist Horace Silver, for Blue Note.

During his career, Henderson sang with Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Quincy Jones, and the Charlie Haden Quintet. In 1963 he released Bill Henderson with the Oscar Peterson Trio (pianist Peterson, bassist Ray Brown, drummer Ed Thigpen), on Verve.

Henderson performed at the Playboy Jazz, Monterey Jazz and Litchfield Jazz festivals. He also appeared at the Kennedy Center, the Hotel Algonquin’s Oak Room and at Lincoln Center.

Henderson’s acting credits include film and television projects such as Lethal Weapon 4, Buckaroo Banzai, White Men Can’t Jump, ER, Hill Street Blues, The Twilight Zone Happy Days Sanford and Son The Jeffersons, Good Times, NYPD Blues and My Name Is Earl.

In his 80s, he released a self-produced album, Beautiful Memory, co-produced by Lynne Robin Green.

Originally Published