Will Hudson (Arthur Murray Hainer)

Will Hudson

Will Hudson (né Arthur Murray Hainer; 8 March 1908 Grimsby, Ontario – 16 July 1981 Isle of Palms, South Carolina) was a Canadian-born American composer, arranger, and big band leader who flourished from the mid-1930s through the mid-1950s. He co-wrote his two biggest hits “Moonglow” and “Organ Grinder’s Swing” in 1934 and 1936, respectively. Hudson’s scores were recorded by McKinney’s Cotton Pickers (1931), Erskine Tate (1931), Cab Calloway (1932), Fletcher Henderson (1933, 1934), Jimmy Lunceford (1933, 1934), Ina Ray Hutton (1934, 1936), the Mills Blue Rhythm Band (1935), Earl Hines, Don Redman, and Ray Noble. Arthur Murray Hainer grew-up in Detroit and graduated June 1926 from the city’s Southeastern High School. Hainer put together his first big band in Detroit in the early 1930s. As a possible impetus for adopting stage surname, “Hudson,” in the early 1930s, Will Hudson, in 1928, had been a clerk for the Hudson’s department store in Detroit on Woodward Avenue. That year (1928), he was listed as living with his parents in Windsor, Ontario — across the border from Detroit.

According to a Manifest by the U.S. Department of Labor, Hainer had moved from Canada to the United States November 14, 1909, and remained in the U.S. until July 14, 1928, before moving back to Canada, to reside at 152 Dougal, Windsor, Canada. He lived at 1805 West Grand (Detroit or Windsor?). The Manifest indicates that he moved out of Detroit November 7, 1929. At some point in during the early 1930s, Hudson became a staff arranger for Irving Mills, writing stock arrangements. Mills — notable in various roles in the development of swing and jazz — was as much a promoter of songwriters, arrangers, and big bands as he was a publisher. Mills was known to have included his name as co-author of works that he did not write, but published. This was a common method of including music promoters in royalties.


  • March, 08, 1908
  • Canada
  • Grimsby, Ontario


  • July, 16, 1981
  • USA
  • Isle of Palms, South Carolina

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