"I was born to sing," proclaims William "Bill" Randall Henderson, a Chicago native who came into the world on March 19, 1926-and that he has! Bill is a virtuoso performer whose heart is a vault filled with a wide range of music expressions waiting for the song of release. He has already put his personal stamp on many wonderful works of great composers and lyricists of popular music. Those who have heard him on record or in concert can attest to his marvelous genius.
Bill Henderson has spent many years cultivating and honing two distinctly separate yet complementary careers in music and film. His stage credits include film and television projects such as City Slickers, Maverick, Lethal Weapon 4, ER, Cold Case, Hill Street Blues, and The Twilight Zone. As much as he loves the camera, Bill is most at home with his musical profession-he was born to sing, it is his greatest gift! In 1959, his recording of Horace Silver's Senor Blues, announced his arrival as a jazz vocalist and since then he has worked with the greatest jazz masters such as Oscar Peterson, Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis and many others. He has rightfully been compared to, and appreciated by, renowned singers such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Johnny Hartman and has several recordings to his credit.
In the last seven years, Bill Handerson has come full-circle returning, with great commitment, to the work he loves so dearly. His latest recording, released earlier this year, Bill Henderson: Live at Kennedy Center is receiving significant airplay on radio stations across America. He also recorded on Charlie Haden's exquisite 1999 CD, The Art of the Song, where he shares singing honors with another equally incomparable vocalist, the late Shirley Horn. Touring with Haden took him throughout U.S. and to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Additionally, he has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the past two years, at the Hotel Algonquin's famed Oak Room, and in the Rose Room at the Lincoln Center Jazz Program's new home both in NYC. There have also been the unusual and surprising occasions such as being feted by the Philadelphia Swing Dance Society who danced to choreography based on Bill's recordings.
Bill Henderson is such a master; the words, harmonies, and rhythms are his media. With him every note, every word, every phrase is a brush stroke. And every performance is a transporting masterpiece.
excerpts written by James Zimmerman