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Skitch Henderson

Pianist + Bandleader + Composer
Born Jan 27, 1918

Lyle Russell Cedric “Skitch” Henderson was a pianist, conductor, and composer. His nickname ("Skitch") reportedly derived from his ability to quickly "re-sketch" a song in a different key.

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Skitch Henderson.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Skitch Henderson.


1918 Birth Born on January 27, 1918.


1937 19 Years Old He started his professional career in the 1930s playing piano in the roadhouses of the American Midwest, his major break being as an accompanist on a 1937 MGM promotional tour featuring Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney. … Read More


1948 30 Years Old He wrote Baby Made a Change in Me for the 1948 movie On Our Merry Way. … Read More
1950 32 Years Old Henderson married television personality Faye Emerson in 1950. … Read More


1958 40 Years Old He then married Ruth Einsiedel in 1958 and raised two children, Hans and Heidi. Hans was married to Sandra Watson for 18 years, before divorcing in 2000. Heidi was married to actor William Hurt from 1989 to 1992, and they have two sons.
1963 45 Years Old He conducted a 1963 recording for RCA of George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess with Leontyne Price and William Warfield, which won a Grammy.


1972 54 Years Old Skitch and Ruth Henderson owned and operated "The Silo," a renowned store, art gallery, and cooking school in New Milford, Connecticut from 1972 until his death.
1974 56 Years Old He was indicted on July 2, 1974, on charges of tax evasion for the years of 1969 and 1970 for claims about the value (allegedly $350,000) of a music library he donated to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. … Read More


2003 85 Years Old In 2003 Ruth and Skitch Henderson co-founded the Hunt Hill Farm Trust, an effort to preserve their farm's land and buildings and to celebrate Americana in music, art and literature through the creation of a living museum.
2005 87 Years Old 1 More Event
An affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution resulted in the Trust's inaugural exhibit: Skitch Henderson: A Man and His Music. On January 29, 2005, the Smithsonian awarded him the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal in recognition of his contributions to American culture. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skitch_Henderson.
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