Willie Henderson (musician)
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Willie Henderson (born August 9, 1941 in Pensacola, Florida) is an American R&B and soul musician. Henderson moved to Chicago with his family while still a child, and began playing the baritone saxophone. He gigged with local artists like Otis Rush, Syl Johnson, Alvin Cash, and Harold Burrage while in his twenties, and began working for Brunswick Records in 1968 as the label's Chicago studio bandleader.
Henderson and producer Carl Davis did arrangements for musicians such as The Chi-Lites, Jackie Wilson, Tyrone Davis, and Barbara Acklin; Henderson played on many of these records and also did some production work himself, especially for Tyrone Davis, with whom he had a string of R&B and Hot 100 hits in the late 1960s and early 1970s on Brunswick subsidiary, Dakar.
Henderson also released several singles, which included "Funky Chicken (Part I)", as Willie Henderson and the Soul Explosions (#22 R&B, #91 pop); the Lowrell Simon-written 1974 instrumental "Dance Master", "Break Your Back" and "Gangster Boogie Bump", on Playboy Records. He also released two albums on Brunswick in 1970 and 1974.
Henderson left Brunswick in 1974 and began working independently as a producer. He produced the group Essence for Epic Records and former Brunswick singer, Barbara Acklin for Capital Records, continuing to produce into the 1980s and occasionally self-releasing singles on his label, NowSound. He formed the Chicago Music Organization in 1999, and still occasionally performs in the Chicago area.
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With Donny Hathaway
- Everything Is Everything (Atco, 1970)
With Eddie Harris
- Eddie Harris Sings the Blues (Atlantic, 1972)
- Willie Henderson at Allmusic.com