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Dorris Henderson

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 10:00 am
by Charlie
Sent as an email by Ian Anderson:

I'm really sad to report the death of Dorris Henderson this morning,
from cancer.

Dorris Henderson, a.k.a The Lady Dorris, had first performed in
American folk clubs in the burgeoning folk scene of the late 1950s
and early 60s, in places like LA's Ash Grove and Troubadour and in
the Greenwich Village of the early Dylan era. At the same time, she
made a small appearance on a recording which has become legendary -
as the backing voice singing behind Lord Buckley on his famous
recording of The Nazz.

She brought her autoharp to England on a whim in 1965 as her brother
was stationed here in the US airforce. She made quite an impact, and
never went home. As Maggie Holland wrote when interviewing her for
fRoots in 1993, " Dorris Henderson was fairly unmissable in the folk
clubs of South East England in the mid 1960s. Black American women
singers accompanying themselves on autoharp and singing mainly
Appalachian songs were thin on the ground, especially ones who had a
penchant for mini-skirts and told excruciating jokes, often punchline
first, which made her laugh uproariously. Most important, she had one
helluva voice."

Soon she found an able accompanist in guitarist John Renbourn, and
the pair made two albums together, There You Go and Watch The Stars -
the former re-issued on CD in recent times by Ace Records. Following
that, she replaced singer Kerilee Male in the band Eclection with
Trevor Lucas, Gerry Conway and others, recording one single with them
before resuming her solo career.

In recent years, Dorris had mostly performed with her partner Matt McGann.