Gordon Henderson Orchestra Scrapbook
1 scrapbook, .2 l.f. (86 pages)
August 1928 - June 1939
Provenance and Acquisition Information
Purchased by the Center from Savoy Books, Lanesborough, Massachusetts, in July 2001. The scrapbook was possibly assembled by Gordon Henderson himself during the 1920s and 30s. No other information is available as to the provenance.
Agency History/Biographical Sketch
Gordon Henderson was a percussionist and orchestra leader in California during the 1920s and 30s. Little is known about his early life; a newspaper ad from the scrapbook indicates that he was born out West. Henderson was percussionist with Walt Roesner in Hollywood and Paul Whiteman before becoming an orchestra leader. His orchestra titles included Gordon Hendersons Orchestra, Gordon Henderson and His Recording Orchestra, Palm Court Orchestra, Palace Hotel Orchestra, Famous NBC Orchestra, and Bohemian Garden Orchestra. Personnel of the band (fluctuating from 10 to 16 members) and accompanying vocalists are mentioned in several newspaper articles.
Scope and Content
This scrapbook documents the engagements of the Gordon Henderson Orchestra, a popular dance orchestra in California. The majority of the scrapbook consists of newspaper clippings advertising and describing the orchestra at various venues from 1928 to 1933. There are 37 black and white photographs of the orchestra, individual members, and accompanying singers. A small scattering of programs, pamphlets, post cards, telegrams, and magazine clippings complete the scrapbook.
The newspaper clippings provide a chronology of the orchestras performances and recordings. Beginning in 1928, the orchestra played at the Palm Court in the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Briefly the orchestra went to Hollywood where they recorded sound for Disneys Mickey Mouse cartoons and various sound pictures such as Captain of the Guard, Is Everybody Happy, King of Jazz, The Kiss Waltz, Little Caesar, and others. They returned to the Palace Hotel May 1931. On April 15, 1933 the orchestra opened in Mission Beach in San Diego. Other engagements included Bohemian Gardens in Los Angeles, Egyptian Ballroom in Ocean Park, Community Dances in Pasadena, and various broadcasts, contests, and dances in California. They could also be heard on various radio stations, namely NBC, CBS, KPO, and KFWB. The orchestra was billed as having perfect dance music rhythm, melody, syncopation, unusual instrumentations, snappy breaks and clever vocalists.
A note about provenance:
For documentation of the original arrangement of the scrapbook, please see the notebook marked “GORDON HENDERSON SCRAPBOOK – PHOTOGRAPHS” located in the main reading room. The black and white photographs in the notebook document all the material contents of the scrapbook as it was received from the dealer. The entire scrapbook has also been photocopied as it was originally received and is available to researchers. The photocopy is shelved with the original scrapbook in Manuscripts.
A note about conservation:
The Henderson scrapbook underwent conservation treatment by the conservation staff of the Tennessee State Library and Archives in 2002/2003. All of the original items from the scrapbook have been dismantled, deacidified, and remounted in an archival scrapbook by CPM staff. All original pages with writing on them have been kept and placed accordingly. Some of the original pages and items were torn and damaged. These have been repaired, when possible, and placed in the archival scrapbook. (Conservation completed June 2003, LPC.)
This notebook documents the Gordon Henderson Orchestra scrapbook in the condition and arrangement in which it was originally received. The photographic images herein provide a record of the arrangement of the materials, and not necessarily their content. Photocopies of the scrapbook pages are available for research and are located with the manuscript scrapbook. All of the original items from the scrapbook have been dismantled, deacidified, and remounted in an archival scrapbook by CPM staff. All original pages with writing on them have been kept and placed accordingly. Some of the original pages and items were torn and damaged. These have been repaired, when possible, and placed in the archival scrapbook. (Conservation completed June 2003, LPC.)
Gordon Henderson may have assembled and placed all of the materials found in the scrapbook, but it is possible that a member of his family or someone else created it. Please see the inventory description in the Special Collections Inventory notebooks located in the main reading room for further information.
PublisherCenter for Popular Music, Middle Tennessee State University