A Birmingham-born musician who went on to work with some of the biggest stars in showbusiness has died at the age of 87.
Skitch Henderson, who worked with Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby and won a Grammy award, died of natural causes.
Born Lyle Russell Cedric Henderson in Birmingham in 1918 to Scandinavian parents, he moved to the United States in the 1930s.
His early motivation for music came from his mother and was further enhanced by a study, under Arnold Schoenberg, where he developed a strong connection to classical music.
His big break came in 1937 when he deputised as pianist in a show starring Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney.
But it was through his friendship with Bob Hope that Henderson's music career really took off, a friendship that began when Henderson played piano for Dolores Reed, who later married Hope.
Through Hope he met Bing Crosby, who came up with Henderson's nickname Skitch - as a result of his ability to quickly sketch out musical scores.
Henderson's music career was interrupted by the Second World War, during which he flew with both the RAF and United States Army Air Corps.
On his return, he travelled to Hollywood where he was band leader and director on an NBC radio show that featured Frank Sinatra, and Henderson became Sinatra's musical director when they went on the road together.
The television revolution of the 1950s led to new opportunities and numerous awards for film and television scores, including a Grammy, in 1963, for conducting Great Scenes From Gershwin's Porgy and Bess.
Henderson continued to work tirelessly in his 80s, performing as a guest conductor with many of the world's greatest orchestras.
They included the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
He is survived by his wife Ruth and their two children.