Top of page

Misbehavin’ Encouraged in Music Division

Share this post:

The following is a guest post from Music Archivist Chris Hartten.

Photograph of Luther Henderson. Luther Henderson Papers, Music Division, Library of Congress.

Broadway pianist, composer, and arranger Luther Henderson spent much of his career infusing the stage with his love for the storied roots of American jazz. Born in Kansas City on March 14, 1919, Henderson graduated from the Juilliard School of Music in 1942 before joining the Navy as a staff orchestrator two years later.

He burst onto the Broadway music scene with dance arrangements for Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song in 1958, followed by orchestrations for Do Re Mi in 1960. Henderson received widespread acclaim for his arrangements in the 1978 Tony Award winning  Ain’t Misbehavin’, a revue featuring the music of Fats Waller. His excellent work on Jelly’s Last Jam (1992) and Play On! (1997) cemented Henderson as one of the premier Broadway arrangers of the late 20th century. In addition to his stage collaborations, Henderson also provided arrangements for many leading performing groups and individuals, including the Canadian Brass, Placido Domingo, Mandy Patinkin, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He continued to promote the music of jazz legends with the concert series/recording Classic Ellington (1999-2000) and remained active with similar projects until his death in 2004.

The Music Division is home to the Luther Henderson Papers, a collection of music manuscripts, correspondence, subject files, photographs, business papers, and other materials related to Henderson’s career.

Comments (2)

  1. This article was interesting I think because it depicts a real lover of music. I can tell that Henderson is a real lover of music, and he has tried to do all he could for it’s diffusion.

  2. First of all thanks to the blog owner for writing about Luther Henderson.
    I always salute him…

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.