Jon Hendricks is alive and well and is, pretty much, the inventor of the jazz lyrics we call vocalese. If you've ever heard the Manhattan Transfer sing Birdland (and who hasn't) then you're already familiar with Mr. Hendricks' contribution to the world of the arts.
Today, I received reminders about Mr. Hendricks from two different directions. First there was a recent episode of the Fishko Files that features Mr. Hendricks and the link for that is below. Then, in today's Wall Street Journal, there's a wonderful profile of Mr. Hendricks: Lyrics for Miles and Monk.
I think we should pay our respects to Mr. Hendricks now, while he can appreciate them. Single-handedly, his work has added something beautiful and unique to our world.
From Wikipedia: For his work as a lyricist, jazz critic and historian Leonard Feather called him the "Poet Laureate of Jazz" while Time dubbed him the "James Joyce of Jive." Al Jarreau has called him "pound-for-pound the best jazz singer on the planet—maybe that's ever been".