Michael Henderson

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Michael Henderson
Henderson singing at Sunset Junction Festival in Los Angeles, California
Henderson singing at Sunset Junction Festival in Los Angeles, California
Background information
Born (1951-07-07) 7 July 1951 (age 70)
Yazoo City, Mississippi, United States
GenresR&B, jazz, funk, soul, pop
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, record producer, arranger
InstrumentsVocals, bass, guitar, saxophone
Years active1970–present
LabelsBuddah Records, Arista, EMI-Capitol
Associated actsMiles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Ray Parker, Jr., Jean Carn, Norman Connors

Michael Henderson (born 7 July 1951)[1] is an American bass guitarist and vocalist best known for his bass playing with Miles Davis in the early 1970s and on early fusion albums such as Jack Johnson,[2] Live-Evil, and Agharta,[3] along with a series of his own R&B/soul hits and others featuring him on vocals, particularly the Norman Connors produced hit, "You Are My Starship" in 1976 and other songs in the mid to late-1970s.[4]


Henderson was born on 7 July 1951[5] in Yazoo City, Mississippi. In the early 1960s he moved to Detroit, playing as a session musician.[6]

He was one of the first notable bass guitarists of the fusion era as well as being one of the most influential jazz and soul musicians of the past 40 years. In addition to Davis, he has played and recorded with Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, the Dramatics, among many others.[6]

Before working with Davis, Henderson had been touring with Stevie Wonder, whom he met at the Regal Theater in Chicago while warming up for a gig. Davis saw the young Henderson performing at the Copacabana in New York City in early 1970 and reportedly said to Wonder simply "I’m taking your fucking bassist."[7] After almost seven years with Davis, Henderson focused on songwriting and singing in a solo career that produced many hit songs and albums for Buddah Records until his retirement in 1986.[6] Although known primarily for ballads, he was an influential funk player whose riffs and songs have been widely covered. He is also known for his ballad vocalizing on several Norman Connors hit recordings, including "You Are My Starship" and "Valentine Love", performed with Jean Carn.[6]

Henderson performing in 1971, with Miles Davis.

Solo discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Label Peak chart positions
1976 Solid Buddah Records 173 10
1977 Goin' Places 49 18
1978 In the Night Time 38 5
1979 Do It All 64 17
1980 Wide Receiver 35 6
1981 Slingshot 86 14
1983 Fickle 169 41
1986 Bedtime Stores EMI America 30
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.


Year Single Peak chart positions
US Dance
US Pop
1976 "Time"
"Be My Girl" 23 101
1977 "Won't You Be Mine" 82
"I Can't Help It" 27 103
"You Haven't Made It to the Top" 80
1978 "Take Me I'm Yours" 3 88
"In the Night-Time" 15
1979 "To Be Loved" 62
"Do It All" 56
1980 "Reach Out for Me" 78
"Prove It" 27
"Wide Receiver" 42 4
"You're My Choice"
1981 "Make It Easy on Yourself" 68
"(We Are Here to) Geek You Up" 51
1983 "Thin Walls"
"Fickle" 33
1986 "Tin Soldier" 86
"Do It to Me Good (Tonight)" 17
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.


With Miles Davis[edit]

With Stevie Wonder[edit]

With The Dramatics[edit]


  1. ^ McCall, Michael (1997). Erlewine, Michael; Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris; et al. (eds.). "Michael Henderson". All Music Guide to Country: The Experts' Guide to the Best Recordings in Country Music. AMG All Music Guides. Hal Leonard Corporation: 88, 208. ISBN 9780879304751. 0879304758.
  2. ^ Cole, George (2007). The Last Miles: The Music of Miles Davis, 1980-1991. University of Michigan Press. p. 268. ISBN 9780472032600.
  3. ^ Freeman, Philip (2005). Running the Voodoo Down: The Electric Music of Miles Davis. Hal Leonard. p. 127. ISBN 9781617745218.
  4. ^ "Michael Henderson: He's now captain of his own starship". Ebony. Vol. 36, No. 3. Johnson Publishing Company. January 1981. p. 68. ISSN 0012-9011.
  5. ^ "Happy birthday to Michael Henderson". Soul Tracks. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d Wynn, Ron. "Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  7. ^ Jung, Fred (15 December 2003). "A Fireside Chat With Michael Henderson". Allthatjazz.com. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Chart History - Michael Henderson: BILLBOARD 200". Billboard. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  9. ^ "Chart History - Michael Henderson: TOP R&B/HIP-HOP ALBUMS". Billboard. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  10. ^ "Chart History - Michael Henderson: DANCE CLUB SONGS". Billboard. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  11. ^ "Chart History - Michael Henderson: HOT R&B/HIP-HOP SONGS". Billboard. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  12. ^ "Michael Henderson Top Songs / Chart Singles Discography". Music VF. Retrieved 12 October 2021.

External links[edit]