|Born||December 1, 1896|
Buffalo, New York
|Died||December 31, 1970 (aged 74)|
Born in Buffalo, New York, United States, Henderson moved to New York City and became a popular composer in Tin Pan Alley. He was one third of a successful songwriting and music publishing team with Lew Brown and Buddy De Sylva from 1925 through 1930, responsible for several editions of the revue called George White's Scandals and such book musicals as Good News, Hold Everything!, and Follow Thru. After De Sylva's departure, Henderson continued to write with Brown through 1933.
Henderson's biggest hit songs included "Annabelle" (1923), "Bye Bye Blackbird", "Has Anybody Seen My Girl?" (a/k/a "Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue"), "I'm Sitting on Top of the World" (all 1925), "The Birth of the Blues" (1926), "The Varsity Drag", "The Best Things in Life Are Free" (both 1927), "You're The Cream In My Coffee", "Button Up Your Overcoat" (both 1928), "You Are My Lucky Star", "I'm a Dreamer, Aren't We All", "(Keep Your) Sunny Side Up" (all 1929), "The Thrill Is Gone", "Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries" (both 1931), and "Animal Crackers in My Soup" (1935).
Henderson also worked as an accompanist to song and dance acts in Vaudeville. His last Broadway show was a resuscitation of the Ziegfeld Follies, one of several put on after Ziegfeld's death. Henderson's, in 1943, had the longest run of any Follies at 553 performances. He effectively retired from composing in the late 1940s, and worked on an opera which was never completed.
The 1956 film The Best Things in Life Are Free was a dramatization of the songwriting team of Henderson, Brown and De Sylva; Henderson was played by Dan Dailey. The film included many of the trio's songs.