Frank "Haywood" Henry

Born: Jan. 7, 1909 Birmingham, Alabama

Died: Sept. 15, 1994

Saxophone/clarinet/flute; one of the most versatile woodwind musicians in jazz; worked with Erskine Hawkins Band, Tiny Grimes, Earl Hines, Sy Oliver, & the NY Jazz Repertory Company.

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

 

 

Frank Haywood Henry (born January 10, 1913 in Birmingham – died September 15, 1994 in the Bronx, New York) was a jazz saxophonist and clarinetist. Henry was a member of the Bama State Collegians at the Alabama State Teachers College and later toured with the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra. He continued his career as a session musician and collaborator well into the 1980s.

Henry's mother played piano and his older sister was a well-known music teacher who served as organist at 16th Street Baptist Church. He learned quickly to voice melodies by ear on a tin flute and picked up clarinet at Lincoln Junior High School where his sister taught. At Industrial High School he finally learned to read music. He and some friends formed a 10-piece dance band called the Moonlight Serenaders and Henry switched to tenor saxophone.

Soon after high school, Henry was recruited to join the Alabama State College band for a competition performance at the Elks Club convention in Detroit, Michigan. The band injected jazzy interpretations into their march program and won second place. As a member of that group he was awarded a scholarship to attend the Montgomery college, where he also played football and ran track. He joined the Bama State Collegians and was accepted into the all-star "Greater Bama State Collegians" which toured the midwest to promote the college and raise funds.

After college, Henry performed in a religious ensemble before Hawkins invited him to join his orchestra, which had a regular gig at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. After years of vibrant competition with other big-name orchestras like Ellington's, Lionel Hampton's and Bunny Berigan's, the craze for big-band sound eventually dwindled. After he left the Hawkins orchestra he worked with Tiny Grimes, Julian Dash and Fletcher Henderson through the 1950s and stood in a few times for Harry Carney in Duke Ellington's Orchestra.

Henry had a knack for improvising accompaniment for rhythm and blues tracks. His skill at sight-reading, transposing and doubling lead parts insured a high demand with record producers. As a session player he appeared on over 1,000 rock and roll records in the 1950s and 60s. He continued to perform as a collaborator with Wilbur DeParis, Max Kaminsky, Snub Mosley, Louis Metcalf, Earl Hines, Sy Oliver, and the New York Jazz Reportory Company. He performed in the Broadway orchestras for Ain't Misbehavin' and continued to play well into the 1980s, joining fellow Hawkin's alumni for reunion performances and recording in 1971.

As a band leader, Henry recorded three albums between 1957 and 1983. He was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in the inaugural class of 1978.

Henry recorded three albums as a leader: one for Davis Records in 1957, one for Strand early in the 1960s, and the last for Uptown in 1983. Henry died of heart failure at his Bronx, New York home in 1994. He was survived by his wife, Arvenell, and two children, Fabian and Diane.

Discography

Henry, Haywood (1957) Davis Records

Henry, Haywood (196_) Strand Records

Henry, Haywood (1983) The Gentle Monster. Uptown Records

References

Voce, Steve (September 19, 1994) "Obituary: Haywood Henry". The Independent

Watrous, Peter (September 23, 1994) "Haywood Henry, 81, Clarinetist And Saxophonist for Big Bands" New York Times

Dance, Stanley (2001) The World of Swing: An Oral History of Big Band Jazz. New York, New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0306810166

Source: http://www.bhamwiki.com/w/Haywood_Henry

 

 

 

Frank Haywood Henry (January 10, 1913 – September 15, 1994)[1] was an American jazz baritone saxophonist. He was a 1978 inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama,[1] Henry began on clarinet before choosing baritone as his primary instrument. He continued to play clarinet on occasion throughout his career. He was a member of the Bama State Collegians in 1930, then returned to play with them again from 1934, including under Erskine Hawkins. He played with Hawkins into the 1950s.

Following his time with Hawkins, Henry worked with Tiny Grimes, Julian Dash (1951), and the Fletcher Henderson Reunion Band (1957-58), and occasionally stood in for Harry Carney in the Duke Ellington Orchestra. He also played on over 1,000 rock and roll records in the 1950s and 1960s, many of them anonymously and often alongside Mickey Baker. In the 1960s he played with Wilbur DeParis, Max Kaminsky, Snub Mosley, Louis Metcalf, Earl Hines (1969-71), Sy Oliver (1972-80), and the New York Jazz Repertory Company. He also worked in the orchestras of Broadway shows such as Ain't Misbehavin' in the 1970s. He participated in an Erskine Hawkins reunion ensemble in 1971, and performed well into the 1980s.

Henry recorded three albums as a leader: one for Davis Records in 1957, one for Strand early in the 1960s, and the last for Uptown in 1983.

References

1^ a b Thedeadrockstarsclub.com - accessed July 2010

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haywood_Henry

 

 

An unsung player, Haywood Henry was one of the finest baritone-saxophonists of the swing era; so good in fact that he occasionally substituted for Harry Carney with Duke Ellington's Orchestra. Henry started on clarinet (which he continued using as a double throughout his career) and tenor before focusing on the baritone. Henry played with the 'Bama Street Collegians in 1930 when he was attending Alabama State Teachers College, freelanced a bit and then officially joined the group in 1934 after coming to New York; they would soon be known as the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra. Henry was a fixture with Hawkins from 1934 into the early 1950's, taking occasional solos. In his post-Hawkins years, Henry played with Tiny Grimes, recorded with Julian Dash (1951), was with the Fletcher Henderson Reunion Band of 1957-58 and was busy recording over 1000 rock and roll records over a ten-year period (often with Mickey Baker), appearing anonymously on many hit records. Henry also worked with Wilbur DeParis in the early 1960's and later gigged with Max Kaminsky, Snub Mosley, Louis Metcalf, Earl Hines (1969-71), Broadway shows (including Ain't Misbehavin'). Sy Oliver's Orchestra (1972-80) and the New York Jazz Repertory Company. Henry recorded with an Erskine Hawkins reunion group (1971) and was active into the late 1980's. As a leader, Haywood Henry recorded an album apiece for Davis (1957), Strand (early 1960's) and a definitive outing for Uptown (1983).

Source: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/p85423/biography

Obituary: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-haywood-henry-1449761.html

More info: http://www.nytimes.com/1994/09/23/obituaries/haywood-henry-81-clarinetist-and-saxophonist-for-big-bands.html

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