November 22, 2017
Jon Hendricks, a jazz singer who became famous in the 1950s with the vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross by putting lyrics to well-known jazz instrumentals and turning them into vocal tours de force, died today in New York City. He was 96. Joni often cites the group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross as a major early influence. Joni recorded their song Twisted on Court and Spark, the first song not written by herself that she released on one of her albums.
In a 1986 interview, Joni said "Friends of mine who were older than me and in college began talking about Lambert, Hendricks and Ross as the hottest new sound in jazz. Their record flipped me out, but it was already out of print. I had to finally buy it off somebody and pay a lot, maybe fifteen dollars, which was unheard of at that time. But you couldn't get the record anywhere. Lambert, Hendricks and Ross were my Beatles. In high school, theirs was the record I wore thin, the one I knew all the words to."