Riffs Obits
Published November 2, 2005
Skitch Henderson's Final Flip
Skitch Henderson 1918 - 2005

A sad note is sounding today, beloveds, as we hip you to the final flip of one of televisions legends, Skitch Henderson. Henderson, age 87, died at his family home in New Milford, Connecticut on Monday, November 1, 2005.

Henderson will be long remembered for an illustrious career in music, both conducting and arranging.

He was the conductor of The Tonight Show orchestra in 1955 when Lord Buckley was invited to perform by host Steve Allen. Immediately upon obtaining the stage Buckley shanghaied Henderson, a very young Andy Williams and three audience members for five minutes of pure, unrehearsed physical madness echoing Buckley's old Vaudeville days. Buckley, ever the Svengali, commanded his troops to take off their shoes, strip to tee shirts and rolled up pant legs, and follow him in a circular dash around the stage. This was followed by attempts at hand stands and two person somersaults. At the end of this "act" no one was quite sure exactly what had just taken place. Henderson, ever good natured and professional, returned to the bandstand and took up his baton once again.