Henry Jerome

Photo of Henry Jerome
  • Birth Name

    Henry Jerome Pasnick
  • Born

    November 12, 1917
    New York, New York
  • Died

    March 23, 2011 (age 93)
    Plantation, Florida
  • Featured Vocalists

    David Allen

Trumpeter Henry Jerome had a long career in the music industry, both as a bandleader and an executive. Jerome never had any big success with his orchestra but managed to find the right commercial appeal to keep him active well into the late 1950s. Beyond that, he worked as A&R director at two major labels before founding his own in the 1970s.

Jerome formed his first orchestra in the late 1930s, which was labeled as a swing band when it played the Nut Club in New York in April 1938. In mid-1939, he organized a new orchestra known as the Stepping Tones, which spent two-and-a-half years at Child’s Paramount Restaurant in Times Square, where it attracted a large following among high school students. Reviews described the band as “approaching” mickey mouse status. Dick Finney and Dobbie Dobson were vocalists in November 1941.

The Stepping Tones left Childs in October 1942 and took up residence at the Pelham Heath Inn, where they gained exposure to a national audience with broadcasts five times a week on the Mutual Network. Vocalists in March 1943 were Kay Carlton and bassist Charlie Karroll. The orchestra left the Pelham in July of that year for the Hotel Roosevelt in Washington, D.C., which offered them continued airtime six days a week.

In early 1944, Jerome reorganized again, forming Henry Jerome and His New Orchestra, focusing on a more commercial sound. David Allen sang in early 1944. Bea Abbott joined as female vocalist in July, originally for a nine-day stint but was hired long-term. Bob Stewart was male vocalist in July and August 1944. In September, Jerome lost seven musicians and had to reorganize again. He reorganized a further time in March 1945. The band recorded for music publisher Joe Davis’ Beacon label in 1946. Davis used the label to promote his songs.

Jerome had finally found the right commercial formula by November 1947, when he consciously tried to emulate the sound of the late Hal Kemp. He continued using Kemp as a model into the 1950s. The orchestra recorded four sides for Pleasant Records in December 1947. Dick Judge was vocalist, remaining into at least early 1948. Hal Barton sang in late 1948, along with pianist Marty Napoleon and trombone player Moe Sadwick. Doris Kavanaugh joined as female vocalist in December 1948. London Records released four Jerome sides acquired from Davis in late 1949. The band recorded on that label until 1952, when they switched to MGM, where they remained until 1954.

Of note in Jerome’s later line-up was future Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan on bass clarinet and future Nixon-administration White House Counsel Leonard Garment on saxophone. It was this association from Jerome’s band that made the two men friends and eventually caused Garment to recommend Greenspan for the job of Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. Nixon later named Greenspan as Fed Chairman.

Jerome remained active with a band until 1959, when he took the position of A&R director for Decca and Coral Records. There he worked with a number of early rock and roll groups. He also continued to release music of his own, including a series of popular orchestrated albums called “Brazen Brass.” In 1967, he became A&R head at the United Artists label, leaving in late 1970. Most music industry jobs were moving to the West Coast at that time, and Jerome wished to remain in New York. After working as an independent producer for two years, he founded his own label, Green Menu, in 1973.

In July 1977, Jerome picked up the baton again to lead a band at the Rainbow Room in New York. In 1981, he became a partner in Metropolitan Studios, a New York audio, video, television and film production center. Jerome continued working as a producer into at least the late 1990s, when he had his own publishing firm.

Henry Jerome passed away in 2011 at age 93.


  1. “Night Club Reviews: Nut Club, New York.” Billboard 23 Apr. 1938: 20.
  2. “Orchestra Notes.” Billboard 22 Jul. 1939: 10.
  3. “Jerome at Childs With Tones' Crew.” Down Beat Sep. 1939: 36.
  4. “Orchestra Notes.” Billboard 2 Dec. 1939: 20.
  5. “Orchestra Notes.” Billboard 30 Aug. 1941: 17.
  6. “Orchestra Notes.” Billboard 13 Sep. 1941: 11.
  7. “On the Stand: Henry Jerome.” Billboard 29 Nov. 1941: 10.
  8. “Dig This One!” Down Beat 1 Dec. 1941: 1.
  9. “Chicks Is Wunnderful, but - !” Down Beat 15 Jul. 1942: 35.
  10. “Jerome Band to Pelham Heath.” Down Beat 15 Oct. 1942: 11.
  11. “Orchestra Notes.” Billboard 17 Oct. 1942: 24.
  12. “Dialings for Dancetime.” Down Beat 1 Dec. 1942: 16.
  13. “Bands Dug by the Beat: Henry Jerome.” Down Beat 1 Apr. 1943: 12.
  14. “Henry Jerome Goes to Capital.” Down Beat 15 Jul. 1943: 23.
  15. “On the Air: Henry Jerome.” Billboard 31 Oct. 1942: 22.
  16. “On the Stand: Henry Jerome.” Billboard 29 Jul. 1944: 16.
  17. “Music Grapevine.” Billboard 19 Aug. 1944: 16.
  18. Advertisement. “Henry Jerome and His New Orchestra.” Billboard 19 Aug. 1944: 26.
  19. “Music Grapevine.” Billboard 30 Sep. 1944: 14.
  20. “Jerome Comes Up with Fine New Crew.” Down Beat 1 Apr. 1945: 2.
  21. Advertisement. “A Jackpot for the Jukes.” Billboard 18 May 1946: 34.
  22. “Advanced Record Releases.” Billboard 25 May 1946: 33.
  23. “Sidemen Switches.” Down Beat 17 Jun. 1946: 3.
  24. “On the Stand: Henry Jerome.” Billboard 22 Nov. 1947: 36.
  25. “Music As Written: New York.” Billboard 20 Dec. 1947: 22.
  26. “11th Hour Booking.” Down Beat 24 Mar. 1948: 13.
  27. “Henry Jerome Band Best Copy Of Old Kemp Crew So Far.” Down Beat 6 Oct. 1948: 7.
  28. “On the Stand: Henry Jerome.” Billboard 11 Dec. 1948: 20.
  29. “Strictly Ad Lib.” Down Beat 29 Dec. 1948: 6.
  30. “Music As Written.” Billboard 31 Dec. 1949: 30.
  31. “Sidemen Switches.” Down Beat 20 Oct. 1950: 4.
  32. “Henry Jerome.” Down Beat 21 Apr. 1954: 37.
  33. “Executive Turntable.” Billboard 18 Feb. 1967: 4.
  34. “Executive Turntable.” Billboard 21 Nov. 1970: 8.
  35. “Special Merit Spotlight.” Billboard 11 Sep. 1971: 55.
  36. “Brunswick Runs With Xmas 45.” Billboard 11 Dec. 1971: 72.
  37. “Jerome to Head Firm.” Billboard 9 Jun. 1973: 35.
  38. “Top Single Picks.” Billboard 9 Apr. 1977: 70.
  39. “Inside Track.” Billboard 30 Jul. 1977: 78.
  40. “$50 Million New York Studio On The Way.” Billboard 27 Jun. 1981: 33.
  41. “Singles Reviews: Adult Contemporary.” Billboard 3 Mar. 1984: 59.
  42. “Album Reviews: Pop.” Billboard 24 Dec. 1988: 84.
  43. Lichtman, Irv. “Words & Music.” Billboard 12 Sep. 1998: 49.