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The Uncrowned King of SwingFletcher Henderson and Big Band Jazz$
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Jeffrey Magee

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195090222

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195090222.001.0001

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Never Say “Never Again”

Never Say “Never Again”

(p.233) 10. Never Say “Never Again”
The Uncrowned King of Swing

Jeffrey Magee

Oxford University Press

Far from securing his position and income, Henderson's work for Benny Goodman initiated an unstable sequence of ups and downs that continued until his death in 1952. Goodman's success, and the unprecedented popularity of swing, spurred Henderson to form a new band, including trumpeter Roy Eldridge and saxophonist Chu Berry, which had mixed fortunes. The band enjoyed an extended residence at the Grand Terrace Café in Chicago, where Henderson had a hit with a piece titled “Christopher Columbus”. This chapter explores that tune's conflicting attributions and musical features. It continues with a survey of Henderson's posthumous legacy, noting how Henderson's style become the common tongue of big-band swing, how his music continues to appear on film and radio, and how the vicissitudes of Henderson's career speak to larger unresolved issues in American history and culture.

Keywords:   Roy Eldridge, Chu Berry, Christopher Columbus, Grand Terrace Café

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