Henry Jerome

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Henry Jerome
Birth name Henry Jerome Pasnik
Also known as Al Mortimer
Van Grayson
Born (1917-11-12)November 12, 1917
New York City
Died March 23, 2011(2011-03-23) (aged 93)
Genres Sweet dance music, big band
Occupation(s) Bandleader, Musician, Arranger, Composer
Instruments Trumpet
Years active 1932–1986
Labels Decca
United Artist
Associated acts Henry Jerome and His Orchestra
Brazen Brass

Henry Jerome (né Henry Jerome Pasnik; November 12, 1917 in New York City – March 23, 2011 in Plantation, Florida) was an American big band leader, trumpeter, arranger, composer, and record company executive.[1] Jerome formed his first dance band in 1932 in Norwich, Connecticut. His bands flourished throughout the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s. Jerome went on to become A&R director at Decca Records in 1959 and A&R director for Coral Records, a Decca subsidiary, in the late 1960s.[2][3][4]

Formal education[edit]

Jerome attended primary and secondary schools in Norwich, public for the former and Norwich Free Academy for the latter. He also attended the Juilliard School of Music, studying trumpet with Max Schlossberg (1873–1936) and composition and orchestration with William Vacchiano.[5][6]


Early days

Jerome formed his first professional orchestra while in the eighth grade — in 1931, when he was 14.

First passenger ship

While in high school Jerome received an offer from the American Export Lines for his orchestra to perform on a ship sailing from New York to Europe. Without quitting school, Jerome secured permission from the Norwich Free Academy to accept the job.[7]

1932 to 1937

In addition to performing aboard passenger ships, Henry Jerome and His Orchestra performed at clubs, hotels, ballrooms, and theaters throughout the United States, and began performing on radio and TV in 1940.

Dinner at the Green Room

On February 28, 1948, Henry Jerome and His Orchestra were booked at the Green Room of the Hotel Edison, in New York, to fill a 9-day gap between Claudia Carroll's closing and Alvy West–Buddy Greco's opening on March 26.[8] From then on,[9] Henry Jerome and His Orchestra performed regularly there. In 1952, ABC Radio Network began broadcasting the show, weekly, calling it, Dinner At The Green Room.[7][10] Songs such as "Homing Pigeon", "I Love My Mama", "Nice People", "Night Is Gone", "Until Six", and "Oh, How I Need You, Joe" became staples of East Coast airwaves. According to a review in the December 11, 1948, issue of Billboard, Jerome had perfected the style of Hal Kemp, a more mellow, soft, and sweet style that suited many hotels.[11] The Billboard reporter, Hal Webman (1923–2004), went on to become an A&R executive with Jerome's future employer, Decca.[12]

Executive roles in recording

Jerome was A&R director at Coral Records, Decca Records, and MCA Records from 1959 to 1968. He became A&R director of United Artists Records from 1968 to 1970. In 1971, he became president of Green Menu Music Factory, collaborating with Kim Gannon, Leonard Whitcup, Bobbi Martin, Norman Simon, Angelo Musulino.[5]

Selected compositions[edit]

  • "Stay With Me"
  • "For the Love of Him", words & music by Bobbi Martin & Al Mortimer, United Artists Music (1970) OCLC 744467615
  • "Have a Good Day"
  • "Oh How I Need You Joe"
  • "There Are No Rules"
  • "Nice People"
  • "Night Is Gone"
  • "I Love You So"
  • "I Love My Mama"
  • "Song of Exodus" ("Let My People Go")
  • "Even a Clown Can Cry"
  • "Singing a Happy Song"
  • "Kiss Me Goodnight"
  • "Rock Billy Boogie"
  • "The Christmas Party of the Eight Reindeer"
  • "I Think of You"
  • "Tomorrow"
  • "John F. Kennedy Was His Name"
  • "The Game of Life" ("It's the Only Game in Town")
  • "Give a Woman Love"
  • "Your Baby Blue Eyes", music & lyrics by Johnny Burnette, Dorsey Burnette, Paul Burlison, & Al Mortimer OCLC 498787874
  • "You're Undecided"
  • "You Are Mine" (canto alia vita)
Instrumental works
  • "Brazen Brass" (theme)
  • "Tipica Serenada"
  • "Until Six"
  • "Soupy's Theme"
  • "The Soupy Shuffle"
  • "Lullaby in Dixieland"
  • "Henry's Trumpets"


Henry Jerome used two pseudonyms: Van Grayson and Al Mortimer, both published as co-composer as a way of getting a royalty cut for musicians that he put on salary.

Notable songs that credit Al Mortimer


Grammy Award
Nominee Genre Category Title Performing
14th Annual Grammy Awards (for recordings released in 1969)
Composers: Burt Bacharach, Hal David
Producers: Henry Jerome, Phil Ramone
Cast, including: Jerry Orbach, Jill O'Hara,
Edward Winter, Donna McKechnie,
A. L. Hines, Marian Mercer
& Paul Reed
Musical Theater Best Musical
Theater Album
Promises, Promises Promises, Promises
the entire
Broadway production

Notable members of Henry Jerome's Orchestra[edit]

Selected discography[edit]

In the early 1960s, Henry Jerome and His Orchestra recorded eleven albums under the name, "Brazen Brass", from which four singles reached the top 10, worldwide — Jerome conceived the idea and Dick Jacobs did the arrangements.[1] Some music historians attribute Jerome's inspiration for Brazen Brass to Billy May's Big Fat Brass album that won a 1959 Grammy, for Best Performance by an Orchestra or Instrumentalist with Orchestra.[17]

Selected radio broadcasts[edit]

Henry Jerome and His Orchestra[edit]

Treasury Varieties
  1. "The Third Man Theme", Frank H. Waldecker (1909–1995) (announcer), Hal Barton (vocal), Joe Grimm (Joe Grimaldi) (vocal), Maurie Allen (vocal), The Three Jays. 29:50[18]
One Night Stand
Manhattan Melodies
  • 33492: October 21, 1957, Program #141, 15 minutes[18]
  • 33545: 1960, Program #300
  1. "Stompin' at the Savoy" (date is approximate), 15 minutes[18]
Army Bandstand
  • 32987: 1961, Program #129
  1. "Ciribiribin" (date is approximate)[18]
Here's To Veterans
  • 56286: 1950, Program #189
  1. "Button, Button, Who's Got The Button?" (date is approximate), 14:23 OCLC 451130168[18]
  • 31770: Program #1026
  1. "Walking My Baby Back Home", 15 minutes[18]
  • 51653: Program #865. Veterans Administration syndication. "Henry Jerome's Brazen Brass"
  1. "In The Mood", 14:26[18]
  1. "Would I Still Be The One In Your Heart" ("If I Pretend You're Not On My Mind?"), Hal Barton (vocal)
  2. "How's The Little Woman?" Hal Barton (vocal)
  3. "But Me, I Love You", Jolly Joe Grimm (Joe Grimaldi) (vocal; ensemble, trio)
  4. "Lyin' Kisses", Jolly Joe Grimm ( Joe Grimaldi) (vocal, ensemble)
  5. "Don't Say Goodbye", Hal Barton (vocal)
  1. "Did Anyone Ever Tell You Mrs. Murphy?"
  2. "Everything They Said Came True"
  3. Medley:
"You Walk By"
"It's The Little Things"
"I Must Have Done Something Wonderful"
  1. "Daddy's Little Girl"
Hal Barton (vocals with ensemble), 12:10[18]
  1. "Dearie", Jolly Joe Grimm (Joe Grimaldi) (vocal, trio, ensemble)
  2. "Canasta Song", Jolly Joe Grimm (Joe Grimaldi) (vocal, trio, ensemble)
  3. "Shawl of Galway Grey" (vocal-Hal Barton, ensemble)
  4. Medley:
"Yesterday's Roses"
"A Cow A Plow And a Frau"
"With My Eyes Wide Open, I'm Dreaming"
With Hal Barton, Jolly Joe Grimm (Joe Grimaldi) (vocals) 12:32[18]


  • Jerome became a member of ASCAP in 1951.[5]


  1. ^ a b Franklin, Kelly-Ann (April 6, 2011). "Norwich native, Grammy-winning musician lived generously and humbly, friends say". The Bulletin. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  2. ^ Who's Who in the World 24th edition, 2007, New Providence, New Jersey: Marquis Who's Who (2006) OCLC 427525629, 182761457, 449902472
  3. ^ William Franklin Lee III, PhD (1929–2011), American Big Bands, pg. 156, Hal Leonard Corporation (2005) ISBN 0634080547; ISBN 9780634080548
  4. ^ The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, by Colin Larkin, Muze (1998) OCLC 39837948
  5. ^ a b c ASCAP Biographical Dictionary, Fourth edition, compiled for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, by Jaques Cattell Press, New York: R.R. Bowker, 1980 OCLC 7065938, 802158882
  6. ^ Henry Jerome, (brief biography), by David Bernhart, Big Band Academy of America, Mar. 2009, pg. 1
  7. ^ a b Jerome Say Band Career Began at 12, by Joey Sasso, Lewiston Evening Journal, May 16, 1953
  8. ^ New York: Henry Jerome, Billboard Magazine, March 6, 1948, pg. 22
  9. ^ New York: Henry Jerome, Billboard Magazine, September 16, 1950, pg. 24
  10. ^ The Big Band Almanac, by Leo Walker (né Leo Edward Walker; 1910–1995), Da Capo Press, pg. 214 (1989) OCLC 723503126, 18873553
  11. ^ Review: Henry Jerome, by Harold (Hal) Webman (1923–2004), Billboard (magazine), December 11, 1948, pg. 20
  12. ^ Paid Death Notice: Harold Webman, New York Times, October 16, 2004
  13. ^ Economist’s Life, Scored With Jazz Theme, by David Leonhardt, New York Times, September 18, 2007
  14. ^ a b Interview: Johnny Mandel (Part 2), by Marc Myers, JazzWax October 21, 2008
  15. ^ Henry Jerome (biography), by Eugene Chadbourne, AllMusic, retrieved 20 May 2013
  16. ^ Counterpoint: The Journey of a Music Man, by Joe Harnell & Ira Skutch, Xlibris Corp. (publisher) (2000) OCLC 47724607
  17. ^ Billy May, Space Age Pop Music (music blog) Brussels, Belgium: www.spaceagepop.com, Brad Bigelow, editor (retrieved 21 May 2013)
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Jerome and His Orchestra, Henry, www.radiogoldindex.com, Newtown, Connecticut: RadioGOLDINdex, J. David Goldin (born 1942), editor, database updated as of April 28, 2013