Gordon Jenkins

From Wind Repertory Project
Gordon Jenkins


Gordon Jenkins (12 May 1910, Webster Groves, Mo. – 24 April 1984, Manibu, Calif. Was an American arranger, composer and pianist.

As a young man, Jenkins was assistant to his father as organist at a Chicago movie house. During the prohibition era, he played piano at a speakeasy in St. Louis. He was hired by Isham Jones as an arranger for his band, and when Woody Herman became leader of the band in 1936, Jenkins continued as arranger. He also did arranging for Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman, and André Kostelanetz.

In 1938, Jenkins was placed in charge of the west coast outlet of the National Broadcasting Company radio network. In 1945, he became a studio conductor for Decca records. He composed music for numerous productions and also wrote several hit songs. One of his enduring works while at Decca was a pair of Broadway-style musical vignettes, Manhattan Tower and California.

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