The Fletcher and Horace Henderson Collection contains original scores and band books, loose sheet music, both original and published, from both Fletcher and Horace's libraries, playlists, lyrics, photographs, personal papers and correspondences, newspaper clippings, jazz publications, an oral history manuscript of an interview with Horace, audio tapes, and other personal memorabilia documenting the lives and careers of the two brothers as pianists, band leaders, and arrangers. The majority of the material dates from the mid 1920s to the early 1980s.
Series 1: Fletcher and Horace Henderson's Music ca. 1930s - 1980s Boxes 1-68.
Original band books and scores, lyrics, playlists, loose music, and published music either arranged or used by Fletcher or Horace Henderson during their careers as pianists, band leaders, and arrangers. The series is organized into six subseries: Subseries 1A: Horace's Band Books, Subseries 1B: Loose Music, Subseries 1C: Original Scores, Subseries 1D: Lyrics, Suberies 1E: Playlists, and Suberies 1F: Published Music.
Suberies 1A, ca. 1940s -1980s, boxes 1-21. Horace Henderson Band Books. Each Band Book stands on its own, and is identified by the musician who used it or the location where the music was performed. Some performers include Gail Brochman, Eddie Calhoun, and George Reed. Many of the band books were used for performances at the Trianon Ballroom in Chicago.
Subseries 1B, ca. 1930s - 1980s, boxes 22-58. Music in boxes 22-54 comes from Horace Henderson's band library, and boxes 55-58 from Fletcher Henderson's band library. The music consists of full scores, piano scores, and parts arranged or used by Horace or Fletcher Henderson. Arranged alphabetically by title; FS - Full Score, PS - Piano Score, and P - Parts. * Indicates an overlap between loose music, and music known to have been performed at the Trianon Ballroom in Chicago. **Indicates an overlap between Horace and Fletcher's Libraries. The music is arranged alphabetically by music title.
Subseries 1C, ca. 1930s - 1940s, boxes 59-60. Original scores arranged by Fletcher Henderson, many for Benny Goodman and other bandleaders, including AHoneysuckle Rose@, AKing Porter's Stomp@, and AStealin' Apples@. There is also a complete band book written and arranged by Fletcher. Arranged alphabetically by title.
Subseries 1D, ca. 1940s - 1980s, box 61. Original lyrics used in performances by Horace Henderson's bands. Arranged alphabetically by title where identified.
Subseries 1E, ca. 1940s - 1980s, boxes 62-63. Playlists compiled in preparation for performances by Horace Henderson's orchestras, listing titles played at various performances. Un-arranged.
Subseries 1F, ca. 1920s-1980s, boxes 64-68. Published sheet music and books for piano/vocal parts. Includes art music, method books, popular music, fake books, and music book covers. Folders are arranged by type of publication, and the music is arranged alphabetically by title within each folder.
Series 2: Photographs, ca. 1920s - 1980s Boxes 69-70.
Photographs documenting the lives of both Fletcher and Horace Henderson's personal lives and careers. Photographs are arranged by category including Fletcher Henderson Candids with Friends, Horace Henderson Candids, Performance Marquees, and both brothers with their orchestra. Some unique pictures include portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Henderson (Fletcher and Horace's parents), candids of Fletcher with Benny Goodman, and Horace with Lena Horne.
Series 3: Personal Papers and Correspondences, ca. 1920s - 1980s Boxes 71-78. Programs and broadsides, newspaper articles, letters, essays, publications, and other personal documents tracing the lives of Horace and Fletcher, as well as some personal items of their parents. The series is divided into six subseries: Subseries 3A: Programs and Broadsides, Subseries 3B: Newspaper Articles and Clippings, Subseries 3C: Personal Papers and Correspondences, Subseries 3D: Miscellaneous Publishings, Subseries 3E: Transcript of an Oral History Interview, and Subseries 3F: Henderson Family Scrapbook.
Subseries 3A, ca 1930s - 1980s Boxes 71-72. Contains broadsides and ad clippings promoting both Horace and Fletcher's performances, along with programs for various jazz festivals. There are also three sets of Las Vegas Programs, advertising the weekly happenings during the years Horace was performing there, mainly at the Riviera Hotel and Casino (1959-1961). These include; Ken's Spotlight Las Vegas, Fabulous Las Vegas Magazine, On The Go, and other miscellaneous circulations. Arranged by category (Fletcher's broadsides, Horace's broadsides, Programs), and by date within each set of publications or programs.
Subseries 3B, ca. 1950s - 1980s, Boxes 73 & 78. Contains newspapers, articles, and clippings, ranging from 1951 to 1986, documenting the lives of Fletcher, Horace, and some of their contemporaries (ie: Duke Ellington) through the eyes of the media. Arranged by categories; reference to Fletcher, Horace, or Miscellaneous. Box 73 contains the oversized articles.
Subseries 3C, ca. 1920s-1980s, Box 74. Contains letters, contracts, and other personal documents of Fletcher, Horace, and their parents. Also contains a copied photo collection of Horace, a manuscript of AHorace Henderson Presents his Interpretation of Jazz@, and an essay (author unknown) about Fletcher's influence on jazz.
Subseries 3D, ca. 1960s - 1980s, Box 75. Contains miscellaneous publishings collected from the various locations Horace lived and worked. Includes weekly circulations from Denver and the surrounding area where Horace lived from the mid sixties until his death, along with various music magazines that he subscribed to (ADownbeat@, AInternational Musician@). Arranged by date within each category.
Subseries 3E, ca. 1975, box 76. Contains the original transcript of the Oral History Interview of Horace Henderson, for the Smithsonian Institution, performed by Tom MacCluskey on April 9-12, 1975.
Subseries 3F, box 77. Contains a Henderson Family Scrapbook which includes photographs of Fletcher's and Horace's father and mother, and various newspaper clippings commending the careers of Mr. Henderson, Horace, and Fletcher. The scrapbook's original order has been maintained.
Series 4: Audio Tape Recordings ca.1970s - 1980s Boxes 79-80.
Contains a collection of recordings of live performances of Horace's orchestra in various Denver area locations such as the Esquire Supper Club and the Petroleum Club. Also includes a sample tape, a brief Atest@ recording by Horace and Angel, a radio tribute to Horace, and a few miscellaneous mix tapes. The tapes are arranged by date when available. Box 79 contains the original copies, and box 80 contains the duplicates.
The collection is arranged into four series.
Series 1: Horace and Fletcher Henderson's Music, 1954-1955
Series 2: Photographs, 1942-1977
Series 3: Horace and Fletcher Henderson's Personal Papers, 1937-1987
Series 4: Horace Henderson Audio Tapes, 1978-1983, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Fletcher Hamilton Henderson, Jr. (a.k.a. Smack) was born on December 18, 1897 in Cuthbert, Georgia. He was born into a middle class black family, and as a child studied European art music with his mother, a piano teacher. His sister later became the head of the music department at the Tuskeegee Institute in Alabama, and his younger brother, Horace, would eventually follow in his footsteps as a jazz musician, arranger, and band leader. Horace W. Henderson (a.k.a. Little Smack) was born on November 22, 1904. He also studied piano with his mother and sister, and like his brother, began formal music training as a teenager. Fletcher Henderson attended Atlanta University where he earned a degree in chemistry and math in 1919.
In 1920, Fletcher Henderson moved to New York City to find a job as a chemist. Because employment in this field was hard to come by, especially for African Americans, he began working as a song demonstrator for the Pace Hardy Music Company. Shortly after Fletcher Henderson's arrival Harry Pace founded Pace Phonograph Corporation to produce records on the Black Swan label in 1921. Fletcher joined Pace's music team and was responsible for contracting and leading a jazz bands to accompany the label's singers.
In 1924, Fletcher's orchestra, under the direction of Don Redman, began to perform at Club Alabam (sic) on New York City's Broadway Avenue. That same year he and the band was offered a job performing at the Roseland Ballroom, where the band remained for ten years and gained national fame. His band was no different than the hundreds of dance bands, springing up across the country in response to the growing demand for social dance music, such as Count Basie's Orchestra, King Oliver and his Dixie Syncopators, and McKinney's Cotton Pickers. Don Redman left the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra in 1927 to direct McKinney's Cotton Pickers. However the music collaboration of Redman and Henderson had by then established what would become the "standard" big band arrangement for several decades, specifically the dynamic interplay between the brass and reed sections of the orchestra that included interspersed solos made famous by such esteemed soloists of the band as Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins. Some of the band's most notable recordings made between 1924 and 1925 include Copenhagen and Sugarfoot Stomp.
By this time Horace Henderson had formed his own college jazz band in 1924, The Wilberforce Collegians, after transferring from Atlanta University to Wilberforce University to pursue a music degree. His older brother sent him arrangements and piano parts used by the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra for performances by the Collegians. Later that year Horace Henderson left the university to travel and perform with his band in New York City. His newly formed band included such notable musicians as Benny Carter and Ben Webster. While in New York he also began playing as a guest musician in his brother's band and learning from such legends of jazz as Coleman Hawkins, Buster Bailey, Louis Armstrong, and Don Redman that were working for the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra. During a Smithsonian Institution sponsored oral history interview with Tom MacCluskey, Horace recalled late night jam sessions at Hawkins' (Hawk) apartment where they would play through pieces from "Fletch's" library and analyze each individual's performance. We would "stop and discuss what had transpired during that session, you know, that particular tune. And man, that was a lesson...It was a session that was actually to help everybody, so that they would try things out and take another tune, and use these particular little points that Hawk would tell 'em.'"
Until the 1930s, the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra was the principal model for big jazz bands. However, his management of the band and its finances led to frequent band break-ups. In 1934, severe financial problems forced Fletcher to sell some of his best arrangements to Benny Goodman. Horace Henderson and others suggested Goodman's rapid rise in popularity among swing bands for white audiences was largely due to Fletcher Henderson's innovative band arrangements. Fletcher Henderson continued to lead bands until 1939 when he joined Goodman's orchestra as a full time staff arranger. In 1941 he returned to band leading and arranging, but suffered a severe stroke in 1950. Fletcher was partially paralyzed from the stroke, and died on December 29, 1952.
Horace, also, formed many bands throughout the 1930s and 40s, and became a sideman for leaders such as Don Redman (1931-33) and, most notably, his brother. He was a pianist and arranger for Fletch's band intermittently between 1931 and 1947. During this time, Horace spent a lot of time in Chicago with Fletcher's band at the Grand Terrace, and formed his own band at Swingland. Horace also worked as a freelance arranger for Benny Goodman, Charlie Barnet, and Earl Hines3. From November 1942 through August 1943, Horace was the leader of the 732nd Military Police Band in Joliet, Illinois. The position was first offered to Louis Armstrong, who turned it down and recommended Horace for the position. After leaving the army, he played with Fletcher's band for two years. Horace began writing for Charlie Barnet in 1944, where he first came across Lena Horne. During a job at the Paramount, Charlie had Called Horace to say that his vocalist had laryngitis, and he needed a new singer. Horace went to the Apollo in Harlem in search of some talent, and they sent him to the Regent where he could find Lena Horne. She joined Charlie's show the next day, and from there went on to fame. Horace joined her for an extended tour as a pianist and arranger, and later worked with Billie Holiday3.
Horace moved to Denver with his wife, Angel, in the late 1960s. The Horace Henderson Combo performed at many nightclubs and resorts in the Denver area, including Estes Park, the Broadmoor Hotel, and the Petroleum Club. He began playing the organ in 1970 because the clubs didn't want to pay for four or five piece bands, and with an organ to replace the piano, a bass player was no longer necessary3. Horace continued to lead bands in the Denver area until his death on August 29, 1988.
Although both brothers had a major impact on the future of jazz, Horace is often thought of merely as a shadow to his more celebrated brother. Fletcher Henderson's career as a pianist, bandleader, and arranger is one of the most important in jazz history. Bands of leaders such as Count Basie, Charlie Barnet, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, and Benny Goodman all played arrangements, which were either written or influenced by Fletcher Henderson. Fletcher constantly surrounded himself with the most talented musicians of his era, and patterned the basic formula, which were imitated throughout the big band era.
However, at least thirty of Fletcher's arrangements, many for Benny Goodman, are accredited as Horace's work. His arrangement Hot and Anxious was based on the traditional riff that later became the basis for Glenn Miller's In the Mood. Christopher Columbus is the most notable example of Horace's potent piano style, which is often noted to be stronger than his brother's. Although the brothers had differences, Horace insists that they did not involve music. Fletcher's style and success had a huge influence on Horace's career, and he was incredibly grateful for all his brother taught him. In an interview in April of 1975, he was quoted as saying, "I idolize his way of thinking because he was successful. You don't fight success, you join it." 3
1. Biographical information derived from The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, edited by Barry Kernfeld (New York: Macmillan Press Ltd, 1988).
2. The Pace Phonograph corporation was the first African-American-owned recording company in the United States. Historical information derived from The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Black Music; Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians, by Eileen Southern (USA: Greenwood Press, 1982).
3. Interview with Horace Henderson, April 2-12, 1975, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
The Fletcher and Horace Henderson collection was acquired by the museum in December of 2001, donated by Barbara and Barry Lewis.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
The papers of Anne Valk— a specialist in oral history, public history, and the social history of the 20th-century United States measure 3.75 linear feet and date from 1964 to 1997. The collection contains oral history interviews and documents acquired or created by Dr. Valk during her extensive research of key figures in D.C. community activism for her book, Radical Sisters: Second-Wave Feminism and Black Liberation in Washington D.C. (University of Illinois Press, 2010).
Research files and ephemera from the following people, organizations, and publications are represented in the collection: Josephine Butler (DC Statehood Party; Adams Morgan Organization), Etta Horn (Southeast Neighborhood House's Band of Angels; National Welfare Rights Organization), Dorothy Burlage (Southeast Neighborhood House), Betty Garman (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), Judy Richardson (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), Bernice Reagon (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), Marcia Sprinkle (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), Juanita Weaver (Quest), LaValleJones (Rape Crisis Center), Loretta Ross (Rape Crisis Center, National Black United Front, National Organization of Women), Peggy Cleveland (The Bridge), Joan Biren (DC Women's Liberation Movement), Cathy Wilkerson (SDS, Weather Underground), Tina Smith (SNCC), Off Our Backs newspaper, and Congress Of Racial Equality (CORE),
Biographical / Historical:
Anne Valk (1964- ) is a specialist in oral history, public history, and the social history of the 20th-century United States. Dr. Valk received a M.A. from Mount Holyoke College and a PhD in history from Duke University in 1996. Professor Valk has written extensively in the areas of women's history, history of feminism, and oral history. She teaches public history at the Graduate Center at City University of New York (CUNY) and is the director of the Center for Media and Learning/American Social History Project.
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Anne Valk papers are the physical property of the Anacostia Community Museum. Literary and copyright belong to the author/creator or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archives.
The papers of historian Henry P. Whitehead measure 156.91 linear feet and date from 1843 to 2010 (bulk 1945-1986). The collection documents Whitehead's careers, as well as his family and personal life. The collection also includes the personal papers of Tomlinson D. Todd, Elizabeth B. Delaney and the Howard Theatre Foundation. The combined collection is comprised of black theatrical memorabilia; materials relating to civil rights activities in the District of Columbia; and the African American experience in general. Included are playbills, sheet music, admission tickets, newspapers, magazines, books, photographs, clippings, flyers, brochures, pamphlets, sound recordings, research files, and other material.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of historian Henry P. Whitehead measure 156.91 linear feet and date from 1843 to 2010 (bulk 1945-1986). The collection includes the personal papers of Henry P. Whitehead, Tomlinson D. Todd, Elizabeth B. Delaney and the Howard Theatre Foundation. The collection is divided into four series.
Series I focuses on Whitehead and includes papers dating from 1843 to his death in 2011. This series includes biographical material including a large amount of appointment books, identification and membership cards, resumes, certificates, and personal and family material.
There is a limited amount of correspondence, which focuses on his personal relationships with family, friends, and general correspondence relating primarily to his work as a local historian.
Also found within Whitehead's papers are countless records from his time employed by the Washington DC government. Materials include memoranda, notes, research material, handbooks, guides, manuals, affirmative action info and records, affirmative action plans, promotion recommendations, recruitment plans and summaries, personnel files (complaints), civil actions and reports related too Whitehead's 37 years of government employment. It reflects the activities of numerous departments, primarily in regards to employment and affirmative action.
There are also a number of files that document Whitehead's involvement in numerous community organizations. Among the organizations in which Whitehead was involved include U Street Festival, Lincoln Corporation, and the U Street Theater Foundation. The papers of the U Street Foundation document the production and establishment of the annual U Street Festival. The Lincoln Theater Foundation and the U Street Theater Foundation papers document the efforts to reopen the Lincoln Theater. Also included are Whitehead's research on the Lincoln as well as old Lincoln Theatre programs. Additionally found within this series are documents and clippings on the economic development within Washington DC particularly in the Shaw/U Street location.
The majority of this series consists of printed material. Printed material in this series includes books, clippings, magazines, newsletters, newspapers, press releases, sheet music, programs as well as promotional material for several Washington DC theaters and organizations. There is a large quantity of theater programs dating from 1900-1986. The majority of the clippings and magazines are theater related topics, coupled with a miscellaneous selection of clippings on topics that presumably captured Whitehead's attention.
Research, notes and writings include a large amount of scrapbooks compiled by Whitehead of mostly photocopied clippings documenting Washington DC history, African American theater history, and general African American history. Five scrapbooks were compiled by an unknown source and were previously housed in the New York Public Library collection. Two scrapbooks are about general theater history one about Frances Starr and one about Margaret Anglin. There is also one scrapbook pertaiing to Mae Hall. Also included are a large amount of research notes and notebooks along with general miscellaneous notes.
There are several photographs of African Americans in the performing arts as well as images of Washington DC and several unidentified men, women, and children.
Audio recordings include 23 cassette from the Alexandria Church of God.
The remainder of the collection consists of the papers of Tomlinson D. Todd, Elizabeth B. Delaney, and those about the Howard Theatre.
The Howard Theatre papers are arranged in Series II and include documents relating to the Washington DC historic Howard Theatre and date from 1910 to 1986. The papers in this series predominantly document the Howard Theatre Foundation's efforts to reestablish and run the Howard Theatre in which Whitehead was the vice president. Records include business correspondence, founding documents, photographs, memoranda, press releases, member lists, financial records, clippings, and scrapbooks of clippings pertaining to the organization and theatre.
The correspondence in the collection include a handful of letters from the Washington DC government along with individuals and organizations. Also included is a large amount of interoffice memoradums.
Administrative records include lawsuits, resolutions, meeting minutes, grant proposals, press releases, memoranda, member lists, studies and reports.
Financial records include check stubs, receipts, invoices, bank statements, expenses, and contribution lists.
Printed material includes original and photocopied clippings relating to the history and coverage of the foundation activities. Mostly promotional material as flyers, brochures, and press releases along with programs. In particular two 1920 Howard Theatre programs.
The scrapbooks of original and photocopied clippings compiled by Whitehead chronicle the history of the theatre and coverage of the foundation activities.
There are three VHS cassette featuring Whitehead discussing the Howard Theatre. Also found in series 2 are numerous stock investment record books belonging to A.E. Lichtman one of the early managers of the Howard Theatre. In addition early correspondence between Lichtman and the Rex Amusement Company concerning operational management issues of the Howard Theatre.
The Tomlinson D. Todd papers are arranged in Series III and date from 1902-1986 they include organization files, collected printed materials, subject files, and personal papers.
The collection includes materials relating to organizations in which there was a relationship to Todd's work and in which he had an interest primarily during the 1940s and 1950s, organizations include the National Negro Congress (ca, 1946-1947); the Congress for Industrial Organizations (1943-1947); National Council of Negro Women (1947-1949); Committee for Racial Democracy in the Nation's Capital (1947-1948).
The subject files include documents from three of Todd's organizations; Institute on Race Relation, Club Internationale, and his radio program "Americans All". As well as printed material from Todd's alma mater Lincoln University.
The largest subject file is "Americans All" which includes radio scripts as well as audio recording of a few programs and public service announcements. Also found are several black and white photographs of Todd at the radio studio.
Printed materials include newspapers, leaflets, convention proceedings, and flyers, There are a large amount of programs ranging from church worship to convention as well as performance.
Also present is a small amount of personal papers, including resumes, certificates, admission tickets, family documents, and travel ephemera from his all expense paid trip to Nigeria.
There are a few photographs of Todd at functions and with notable individuals as well as some family, friends and travel.
Elizabeth's B. Delaney papers are arranged in Series IV and date from 1874-1973.
The papers primarily document her involvement in four organizations, the Grand Oder of Odd Fellow of Kentucky, the Order Eastern Star Kentucky, the State Federation of Colored Women's Clubs of Kentucky and the National Association of Colored Women. There is a small amount of printed material belonging to her son primarily the Alpha Phi Alpha material and Gospel Choral Sheet Music, and books.
The Scrapbook was complied by Whitehead consisting of photocopied clipping documenting the life of Elizabeth B. Delaney.
This collection is arranged into four series:
Series 1: Henry P. Whitehead papers
Series 2: Howard Theatre
Series 3: Tomlinson D. Todd
Series 4. Elizabeth B. Delaney
Henry Preston Whitehead Jr., was a native of Columbus Ohio. A graduate of Ohio State University, where he also attended law school and was a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity. Mr. Whitehead discovered Washington's "Black Broadway" in 1940, when he was a soldier in town on a weekend furlough. As he served in the Army in the South Pacific during World War II. Prior to moving to Washington DC Henry P. Whitehead worked for five years as a liquor inspector. Mr. Whitehead moved to Washington D.C. in 1949 and worked for the Post Office before working for the District of Columbia government where he stayed 21 years. He led several equal employment initiatives during the 1960s and 1970s, and was last employed as associate director of the District's Office of Human Rights. In 1980 after putting in 37 years of government service Mr. Whitehead retired.
Mr. Whitehead was an historian who led efforts to restore Washington's U Street cultural corridor and achieved recognition as an authority on and collector of black theatrical memorabilia. Mr. Whitehead worked to promote and preserve the city's rich African American cultural heritage.
Mr. Whitehead, served as the chairman and president for 10 years of the Howard Theater Foundation Inc., which he helped establish. There he led the effort to include Howard Theatre in the National Register of Historic Places.
Similarly he was an active member of the U Street Festival Foundation. He was an adviser to the Kennedy Center, Anacostia Museum, and other Smithsonian Institution units and contributed materials to their exhibitions. He was also a consultant to historical documentaries broadcast on public television and radio, including PBS's "Duke Ellington's Washington." His writings included "Remembering U Street," a book used for annual festivals in the historic area.
Mr. Whitehead was also the founder and board member of the Lincoln Theatre Foundation.
Henry P. Whitehead Jr. died on January 8th 2002 at the age of 84.
The collection was donated to the Anacostia Community Museum on September 1, 2005 by Michael A. Watkins.
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
The Henry P. Whitehead collection is the physical property of the Anacostia Community Museum. Literary and copyright belong to the author/creator or their legal heirs and assigns. Rights to work produced during the normal course of Museum business resides with the Anacostia Community Museum. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archives.