Skip to main content

Brick Fleagle and Luther Henderson papers and collection of jazz recordings

 Collection
Identifier: PIMS-0073
Brick Fleagle and Luther Henderson were jazz musicians and arrangers who were business partners and close friends. The Brick Fleagle and Luther Henderson papers and collection of jazz recordings contain manuscript and published scores of Fleagle's and Henderson's compositions and arrangements, personal papers of Brick Fleagle, photographs, and recordings.

Dates

  • 1929-1977

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is partially processed. Materials may be made available for use at the discretion of the archivist of the Arthur Friedheim Library at the Peabody Institute. Contact peabodyarchives@lists.jhu.edu for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright. All requests for permission to publish or perform materials in this collection must be submitted in writing to the archivist of the Arthur Friedheim Library.

Extent

40 Cubic Feet (Approximately 78 boxes and 6 linear feet of unboxed material.)

Biographical / Historical

Brick Fleagle and Luther Henderson were notable jazz musicians and composers. Jacob Roger Fleagle, known professionally as “Brick,” was an acoustic guitarist and arranger. He learned the banjo at 17 years old, eventually switching to the guitar. Fleagle studied composition at the Peabody Conservatory in 1925 and 1929 with Frederick Weaver. He worked with many different bands, including Sam Robbins and the Baltimoreans in 1926 and Rex Stewart's band beginning in 1936. Fleagle started his own band at the Arcadia Ballroom in New York in 1935 while writing arrangements for other bands and musicians around the country, including Chick Webb, Jimmy Lunceford, Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, Sonny Greer, and Luther Henderson. Fleagle and Luther Henderson began a music-copying business in 1946. Fleagle later went on to work for radio stations and recording studios before passing away in 1992.

Luther Henderson was a pianist, composer, and arranger. He was born in 1919 and grew up in Harlem, where music was an early influence in his life. After studying math for a short time in college, Henderson attended the Juilliard Institute and received a bachelor's degree in music in 1942. He then joined the U.S. Navy and became the Naval Band arranger and later the staff orchestrator of the US Navy School of Music in 1944. Henderson received his master’s degree at the New York University Graduate School of Music in 1946.

Henderson was an arranger and composer for more than 50 Broadway musicals, including Jelly's Last Jam, starring Gregory Hines, for which Henderson received a Tony nomination for best score. During his career Henderson also arranged dance music and was music director for several television shows. Henderson maintained close professional relationships with musicians such as Duke Ellington, for whom he wrote some symphonic orchestrations.

The archives of the Arthur Friedheim Library mounted an exhibit of the Fleagle and Henderson collection in 1994.

Scope and Contents

The collection contains primarily material created by Brick Fleagle between 1929 and 1977, as well as some papers of Luther Henderson and a collection of jazz recordings.

The Brick Fleagle and Luther Henderson papers and collection of jazz recordings (1929-1977) are arranged in four series. Series 1 contains published scores by Brick Fleagle and other composers. Series 2 includes manuscript scores and gig books. Series 3 contains a large collection of mostly commerical jazz recordings on formats such as reel-to-reel tapes, audiocassettes, CDs, and phonographic records. Series 4 includes photographs and personal papers of Brick Fleagle.

Other Finding Aids

Partial inventories of scores in series 1 and 2 and of recordings in series 3 are available offline. Please contact the Peabody Archives for more information.

Custodial History

Luther Henderson inherited the personal papers of Brick Fleagle. Fleagle's manuscripts and collection of recordings were combined with Henderson's own materials.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Luther Henderson in 1993.

Processing Information

Partially processed by Sean Campbell in 2016 and by library staff in the late 1990s.

Repository Details

Part of the Peabody Archives Repository

Contact:
Arthur Friedheim Library
1 E. Mount Vernon Place
Baltimore MD 21202 USA