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Frank Sinatra During Show at Constitution Hall
ORIGINAL CAPTION: Frank Sinatra dedicated his show at Constitution Hall May 15 to his recently deceased heroes: Count Basie and Gordon Jenkins. Washington Post's critic Geoffrey Himes reported Sinatra, at 68, "sang with the spare and unerring times of Basie... he was able to toss off lines as seemingly casual asides but still give them an enviable high style with his precise phrasing". (UPI PHOTO/Sam Seagal/FILES)
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Gordon Hill Jenkins (May 12, 1910 – May 1, 1984) was an American arranger, composer and pianist who was an influential figure in popular music in the 1940s and 1950s, renowned for his lush string arrangements. Jenkins worked with the Andrews Sisters, The Weavers, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald, among other singers.

Jenkins was born in Webster Groves, Missouri. He started his career doing arrangements for a St Louis radio station. He was then hired by Isham Jones, the director of a dance band known for its ensemble playing, and this gave Jenkins the opportunity to develop his skills in melodic scoring. He also conducted The Show Is On on Broadway. Jenkins married high school sweetheart Nancy Harkey in 1931 and had three children: Gordon Jr., Susan, and Page. In 1946, he divorced Harkey and married Beverly Mahr, one of the singers in his band. They had a son, Bruce.

After the Jones band broke up in 1936, Jenkins worked as a freelance arranger and songwriter, contributing to sessions by Isham Jones, Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman, Andre Kostelanetz, Lennie Hayton, and others. In 1938, Jenkins moved to Hollywood and worked for Paramount Pictures and NBC, and then became Dick Haymes' arranger for four years. In 1944, Jenkins had a hit song with "San Fernando Valley".

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Gordon Jenkins."
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