The genius of vocalese, Jon Hendricks' ability to write coherent lyrics to the most complex recorded improvisations was quite notable, as were his contributions to the classic jazz vocal group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. Hendricks grew up in Toledo, Ohio, singing on local radio. After a period in the military (1942-1946), he studied law but eventually switched to jazz. He spent a period of time playing drums before becoming active as a lyricist and vocalist. In 1952, his "I Want You to Be My Baby" was recorded by Louis Jordan. In 1957, Hendricks made his recording debut, cutting "Four Brothers" and "Cloudburst" while backed by the Dave Lambert Singers. Soon, he teamed up with fellow singers Dave Lambert and Annie Ross to form their vocal trio, starting off with a re-creation (through overdubbing) of some of Count Basie's recordings.
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