Dorsey, Jimmy

Dorsey, Jimmy

(James Francis Dorsey), 1904–57, and his brother

Tommy Dorsey

(Thomas Francis Dorsey, Jr.), 1905–1956, both b. Shenandoah, Pa., American jazz musicians and bandleaders during the Big Band era. Jimmy Dorsey played the clarinet and alto saxophone, his brother the trombone. Toward the beginning of their careers in the late 1920s both were part of the Paul WhitemanWhiteman, Paul,
1891–1967, American conductor, b. Denver. Whiteman played viola in the Denver Symphony Orchestra and in 1915 joined the San Francisco Symphony. During World War I he was an army band leader.
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 Orchestra, and by the early 1930s both were successful pick-up and studio musicians. The two briefly had two bands together, the swing group of 1933–35 and another from 1953–56. Most of the time, however, each had his own band—Jimmy's a dance-oriented group and Tommy's more of a hot and sweet jazz ensemble that for awhile (1939–42) featured Frank SinatraSinatra, Frank
(Francis Albert Sinatra), 1915–98, American singer and actor, b. Hoboken, N.J. During the late 1930s and early 40s he sang with the Harry James and Tommy Dorsey bands, causing teenage girls to shriek and swoon over his romantic, seemingly casual renditions
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 as a soloist. The Dorsey bands were popular Big Band era (late 1930s to early 50s). Dorsey bands were featured in several Hollywood movies, and the brothers starred in a fictionalized film biography, The Fabulous Dorseys (1947).


See H. Sanford, Tommy and Jimmy: The Dorsey Years (1972, repr. 1980).

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The program - which focuses on the first four years of the Swing Era, from 1935 to 1938 - is called "Goody Goody." It explores the genre through the hits of Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Count Basie, Chick Webb, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and the Andrews Sisters.