Ray Henderson (born Raymond Brost, 1 December 1896, Buffalo, N.Y. – 31 December 1970, Freenwich, Conn.) was an American composer and pianist.
After studying at the Chicago Conservatory of Music, Henderson taught piano, was an organist, and played in dance bands in the Buffalo area. He moved to New York City and was a song endorser for publisher Leo Feist; he soon became a popular composer in Tin Pan Alley. In 1925, he began collaborating with Lew Brown and Buddy De Sylva. They worked together on many popular musicals. Among their hits were Birth of the Blues and their show Good News.
Henderson's biggest hit songs included 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 Best Things in Life Are Free (both 1927), , Button Up Your Overcoat (both 1928), You Are My Lucky Star, (Keep Your) Sunny Side Up (all 1929), , and Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries (both 1931).
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.
Works for Winds
- Alabamy Bound (arr. Hill) (1953)
- Birth of the Blues (arr. Teague) (1926/1942)
- Black Bottom
- Bye Bye Blackbird (arr. Osterling) (1989)
- Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue (arr. Sweeney) (1989)
- Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music. "Ray Henderson." Accessed 8 January 2017
- Ray Henderson, Wikipedia Accessed January 2017