Henry Jerome

Photo of Henry Jerome
  • Born

    November 12, 1917
    New York, New York
  • Died

    March 23, 2011 (age 93)
    Plantation, Florida

Trumpeter Henry Jerome formed his first or­ches­tra in the mid-1930s. The ten-piece out­fit re­ceived some no­to­ri­ety via re­mote broad­casts on ABC from the Green Room at the Edison Hotel. Though barely ad­e­quate mu­si­cally, Henry Jerome and His Stepping Tones found steady work on the ho­tel ball­room cir­cuit dur­ing the late 1930s and early 1940s. Kay Carlton was vo­cal­ist.

Jerome com­pletely re­or­ga­nized in 1944, mod­ern­iz­ing his sound. His new lineup fea­tured bop arrange­ments, cour­tesy of Johnny Mandel, which were sur­pris­ingly ahead of their time. Vocalists in­cluded David Allen. 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.

Though Jerome’s new sound ex­cited crit­ics, it proved too non­com­mer­cial, and he dis­banded in the late 1940s, be­com­ing mu­si­cal di­rec­tor at Decca. While there, he re­leased a se­ries of pop­u­lar or­ches­trated al­bums called Brazen Brass.” He also recorded on the MGM la­bel dur­ing the 1950s. In 1959, he took the po­si­tion of A&R di­rec­tor at Coral Records, where he worked with a num­ber of early rock and roll groups. During the 1960s, he recorded an al­bum on the United Artists la­bel. Jerome also com­posed the theme songs to two pop­u­lar tele­vi­sion pro­grams, The Soupy Sales Show and Winky-Dink and You.