R.I.P. Michael Henderson

Bass player and R&B singer Michael Henderson has died at age 71. Henderson started his career as a session player in Detroit during the 1960s. He worked with Aretha Franklin, The Dramatics, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye before joining Miles Davis’ band. Davis was going through his fusion period and Henderson recorded with him on 13 albums including Live-Evil, On The Corner, Jack Johnson and Agartha. Henderson’s voice became known to R&B fans in 1976 because of his featured vocals on Norman Connors’ “You Are My Starship.” His “Valentine Love” duet with Jean Carne was another Quiet Storm radio classic and he would record a solo version of the song for his first album Solid. He also recorded another much-revered duet for Connors as the other voice with Phyllis Hyman on “We Both Need Each Other.” Henderson was heard a lot on the radio during the ’80s thanks to his biggest hit “Wide Receiver” and “(We Are Here) To Geek You Up.” He was rare because few bass players can be influential as instrumentalists and then transition into a successful career as a singer in a different genre.¬† Henderson¬†never stopped touring and was active on social media. His family reported his passing on his Facebook page.¬†

Singer, Songwriter, Bass Innovator, Music Producer, Father and Son Michael Henderson has peacefully made his transition…

Posted by MICHAEL HENDERSON on Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Throwback:Michael Henderson-(We Are Here To)Geek You Up


Michael Henderson is a bass prodigy from Yazoo City, Mississippi who started his professional career as a 13-year player for Billy Preston, Motown, The Detroit Emeralds and The Fantastic Four. Henderson would tour with Stevie Wonder where he was spotted by jazz icon Miles Davis who took him from Wonder for his own band. He played with Davis throughout his fusion period in the ’70’s and became the only musician to do so. A meeting with Norman Connors culminated in him writing and performing the duet “Valentine Love” with Jean Carne for Connors’ Saturday Night Special album. Collaborative work with Connors would continue and he would pen another essential and successful duet, “We Both Need Each Other” with Phyllis Hyman for the You Are My Starship album. Henderson also wrote and sang lead on the title song and this progress lead to a solo deal with Buddah Records. Solid would be his artist debut in 1976 and the project included “Be My Girl” and the solo version of “Valentine Love.”

Goin’ Places would be his second solo album and it was another complete effort. “At The Concert” with Robert Flack, “Let Me Love You,” and “I Can’t Help It” were a few of the classics that have been pillaged by numerous rap producers. In The Night Time was the follow-up to go Gold on the strength of “Take Me I’m Yours,” “Whisper In My Ear,” “In The Night Time” and “We Can Go On.” The polished grooves were a mainstay and Do It All, his fourth solo effort held “Riding” and “In The Summertime” which were two enjoyments from the entirely pleasing set. Wide Receiver in 1980 was his commercial coup for a single that grabbed b-boys and clubs. “Prove It” and “You’re My Choice” are also from the Wide Receiver album. Slingshot came next in 1981 and it is where “(We Are Here To) Geek You Up,” “In It For The Goodies” and “Slingshot,” the song originates in his rich catalog of slow and funk jams. There would be two more albums on Buddha, Fickle and Bedtime Stories. “You Wouldn’t Have To Work At All,”“Fickle” and “Tin Soldier” were a handful of notable songs from his last two runs in the ’80s. Michael Henderson’s music is constantly being recycled and he still performs and reminds everyone why he is one of the most important bass players in the history of music.

Norman Conners With Michael Henderson And Jean Carne-Valentine Love

The obligatory Valentine’s Day jam.