Bill Henderson sang blues, ballads, and swing tunes in the tradition of Joe Williams and Ernie Andrews, but with his own personality.
He started singing professionally in 1952, performed in Chicago with Ramsey Lewis, moved to New York, and started recording as a leader in 1958. He had a hit with "Señor Blues" (recorded with Horace Silver), and Jimmy Smith's trio backed Henderson on one date. During his period on Vee-Jay (1959-1961), his sidemen included Ramsey Lewis, Booker Little, Yusef Lateef, and Eddie Harris and, in 1963, Henderson was featured on a full album (for MGM) accompanied by the Oscar Peterson Trio. Although he made one further record in 1965 (for Verve) and was with Count Basie during 1965-1966, Bill Henderson never really received the fame that his talents deserved. He settled in Los Angeles, worked as an actor, and occasionally led a group containing both pianist Dave MacKay and pianist/vocalist Joyce Collins. Henderson (who recorded several albums for Discovery in the late '70s and early '80s) performed regularly in the Los Angeles area and remained in prime form into the 21st century. He died in April 2016 at the age of 90. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi