Monday, 31 October 2011

Mono Mondays: Joe "Mr Piano" Henderson

Record Sleeve featuring a popular publicity shot of
Mr Piano
Remembered for helping Petula Clark get a start in her musical career and his popular 1958 hit Trudie Joe Henderson adopted the "Mr.Piano" tag after a concierge in a hotel he was staying at couldn't remember his name properly.

Scottish born composer and music arranger Joe adopted the title and became one of the most popular pop pianists on the British UK Chart of the 1950s along with Russ Conway and Winifred Atwell. His early single output on the Pye Nixa label largely consisted of medleys of popular songs with several session singers joining him as he played. It is strongly suggested that both Petula Clark and Alma Cogan feature on his first chart hit Sing it with Joe.

Joe, who wrote hits for Petula Clark and Anthony Newley among others scored major chart success in 1958 with his hit single Trudie. This was followed by further hits in the form of Chick, Treble Chance and Oh La La.

His diversity included an ability to play classic standards as well as dabble in popular music some hidden Henderson gems include Coffee Bar Jive and a rather funky mid 60s recording of Isle Of Capri.

After the hits declined he remained a popular draw in live shows and regularly appeared on The Arthur Haynes Show. in 1969 he took on a career as broadcaster regular presenting BBC Radio 2's Melody Time .

Joe presented his 50th Melody Time today in 1970. If anyone has any recordings from this series or indeed any of the daytime shows that Joe recorded for Radio 2 during the 1970s I'd love to hear from you.

Sadly Joe passed away in 1980 at the age of 60, but left a legacy of fabulous music.

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