ON THIS DAY in 1897, America’s greatest composer was born. Thenceforth the musical boasting of the Old World was silenced; for if Europe can point to Mozart, America can point to Fletcher Henderson.

Published in: on December 18, 2011 at 5:44 am  Comments (2)  

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  1. How typically American to celebrate as our greatest composer a man who merely arranged the performance of a song written by Owen Murphy and Jay Gorney. Next thing you know they’ll be claiming that all these immigrants from all over the world are really great Americans, obscuring their true heritage as East Swindonians and West Baklavans..

    • Dr. Boli regrets, of course, that the only recordings readily available show Mr. Henderson in his role as orchestra leader rather than composer. His best works are still jealously guarded by copyright law. Even in those, it is usually true that he merely arranged tunes by other songwriters, in the same way that Beethoven merely arranged a little waltz by Diabelli.

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