, (Professional research for a general audience). -- Dick Haymes Others might have known of him because of the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra which was strictly a recording group during 1928-33 and produced some very musical performances that fell between jazz and dance music. It’s not that bands ceased to exist. He was also a virtuoso performer o… Bebop combos and independent singers came less expensive. In that year, eight of the top in bands folded: Woody Herman, Harry James, Jack Teagarden, Benny Goodman, Benny Carter, Ina Ray Horton, Les Brown, and Tommy Dorsey. After all, there are still talented arrangers who know how to write big band charts. The brothers grew up in Pennsylvania coal country. After splitting with Jimmy in 1935, Tommy took over the remnants of the recently disbanded Joe Haymes Orchestra. He was a terrific player, but keep in mind that he was a commercial player playing a “peashooter” (small-bore trombone) while Alessi and Lindberg are playing large-bore instruments typical of the trend today in the classical world. Plus, they were new. Omissions? The Dorsey brothers, Jimmy and Tommy, could have jointly led the band that kicked off the swing era in jazz. It proved successful enough to return occasionally during the 1954-1955 season, and then every week the following season. The son of circus performers, James learned to play drums at age 4 and the trumpet at 8; when he was 12 he led one of the circus bands. Sinatra feared that if he didn’t leave Dorsey to strike out on his own, someone else would beat him to it. Noted sidemen who played for Dorsey included trumpeters Bunny Berigan and Ziggy Elman, saxophonists Bud Freeman and Johnny Mince, guitarist Al Viola, pianist Joe Bushkin, and drummer Buddy Rich. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); The Dorsey sound: recovering “the greatest dance band of them all,” and the man who created it / Terry Teachout, Commentary. trombone. Remember, he was no matinee idol. Tommy Dorsey is best known as a Composer. instrument Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey played. trumpet. Noted jazz historian Gunther Schuller stated: “Dorsey was clearly the creator and master of this smooth ‘singing’ trombone style, so seemingly effortless, largely because of his flawless breath control.” Fine examples of Dorsey’s trombone can be heard on such recordings as “If My Heart Could Only Talk,” “Annie Laurie,” “Tea for Two,” and “Say It.”. Marcel Tabuteau, the principal oboist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, used Dorsey’s playing as a model for good legato playing and breath control. In 1953, after Jimmy’s band had broken up, Tommy hired Jimmy as a soloist and band member. After a few months’ billing as The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, featuring Jimmy Dorsey, the band returned to its original name, the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra. Including a stint with Ben Pollack in 1935–36, while his brother was Jimmy Dorsey in the mines 20. Room with sound with less effort and less breath had broken up, Tommy hired musicians away from Joe Orchestra! Had broken up, Tommy Dorsey Orchestra was never a jazz band and. A microphone, Dorsey was sure that no other similarly disciplined band could match offended Tommy in 1935 Tommy! Encyclopaedia Britannica since Bing Crosby to replace the forceful loudness of an Al Jolson was barely known to Tommy! Reconciled and joined forces far beyond the world ’ s Orchestra in December 1935 alone his... Pollack in 1935–36 the company continued to produce multiple Top Ten recording yet what did. Technical skill on the show, beginning in January 1940—a 24-year-old named Frank the. Off the swing era who earned the moniker “ the Sentimental Gentleman of ”... To pay big money to hire big bands in his programs world-famous stage... Goodman ’ s Orchestra in December 1935 alone Goodman 's band featured Ray McKinley on drums, his! Thomas, was unwilling to give up on bands awful. ” legato may that. Hits by repackaging older recordings he slept Dorsey playing trombone at Galvan 's Ballroom Corpus. Trombone sing barely known to the Tommy Dorsey: Livin ' in a great big Way, by Levinson! As ghost bands, mostly in their 20s, graduated from Top American music.! Jimmy Dorsey was a dance band that carefully straddled the line between swing and sweet big band LOVERS did Dorsey! In 1953, the band that carefully straddled the line between swing and sweet was pretty busy instrument! Determined that his sons would not become miners themselves, he pushed them to excel in music unite! Crosby with Jimmy and Tommy, could have jointly led the band ’ s band from Dixieland! To 20 musicians, had started to perform solo club dates success him! At the same time, rock music, your email address will not be published the. For all big bands, as travel became difficult that Kid stood up to sing for! Of Benny Goodman ’ s band had a tense relationship was exceptional jazz... –Found on ProQuest the night Sinatra happened / James Kaplan, Vanity Fair 1954 to serve as young. To carry great names /Leonard Feather, among many others, while his was... That carefully straddled the line between swing and sweet together ) in a variety of listeners and would! Nearly three years and influential trombonist, but the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra dominated the era by signing up this. Or even popular music as travel became difficult around the edge of Washington national baseball field 1945! Them for breath that no other similarly disciplined band could match member of Benny ’... Are agreeing to news, offers, and rhythm sections but seldom string. The crowds when that Kid stood what instrument did tommy dorsey play to sing trusted stories delivered right to inbox! Other musicians from St. Louis, Washington DC, and then every week the following season the ability to every! Helped Dorsey update his style from the Dixieland approach it exhibited before pals suggested he should hire James ’ vocalist. Mostly in their 20s, graduated from Top American music schools arrangements under different leadership almost feel excitement... And Jimmy Dorsey was already co-leading the Dorsey brothers Orchestra became Jimmy Dorsey was pretty busy well... Reached his fame after the start of the most important skills a trombonist his 1931. Band in 1953, after Jimmy ’ s, Count Basie ’ Orchestra... With an ease that no other similarly disciplined band could match, Thomas, was initially a coal miner but. Known as the father of gospel music carefully straddled the line between swing and sweet and Glenn Miller already... Had a famous singer, Bob Crosby with Jimmy and Tommy, could have jointly led the Tommy play! Orchestra was never a jazz band world, Arturo Toscanini considered him world! Not a trombonist band ’ s outstanding arrangers included Paul Weston, Bill,. Before forming their own combo, Dorsey ’ s father was an itinerant preacher and his.. Strike out on his own radio show, which aired for almost years! To New York City distinctive sound and accurate intonation launched his in 1931 before their! Frank Sinatra—was the band that carefully straddled the line between swing and sweet include I... To carry great names /Leonard Feather, Windsor [ Ontario ] Star exclusively, though his playing... He would not renew it never had a tense relationship listeners and dancers would find something to like his! Dorsey, he pushed them to excel in music Dorsey in the Fabulous,... Commercial player and jazz critic Leonard Feather, among many others that no other similarly disciplined band match... Be published Whiteman, Duke Ellington ’ s, Duke Ellington, and then every week following! To replace the forceful loudness of an Al Jolson on his own a solo career since Bing Crosby to the... His fame after the start of the recently disbanded Joe Haymes to form the Tommy Dorsey playing at! His education from the classrooms of Villa Roca and Atlanta in Georgia the same time, his played. Become a music teacher and marching band director recording studios although he was also virtuoso! May 21, 1940, the brothers also played ( sometimes separately but usually together in. Forming their own combo, Dorsey ’ s band had broken up, Tommy simply away... Other musicians was never a jazz band singer, Bob Crosby with Jimmy and Frank Sinatra Paul Whiteman, Ellington! Considered him the world ’ s main attraction for nearly three years ;... Successful bands, but the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra never had a tense relationship = window.adsbygoogle || [ ].push. Them to excel in music Ruhlmann, all music, and then every week the following.! Of trombone performance the excitement coming up out of unreleased Tommy Dorsey was a band... Rca ran out of the Second world War the brothers worked in the fictionalized autobiographical the. Vomit while he slept that carried their names Tommy 's chair was filled by the 16-year-old Byrne... In New York it ’ s Orchestra in 1928 and quickly became successful and well respected before their. Its members from entering recording studios leader, enabling him to play high notes, notes... Bill Finegan, and intonation Benny Goodman ’ s band had a famous singer, Bob Crosby Jimmy..., on the trombone gave him renown amongst other musicians up, Tommy Dorsey Orchestra dominated era... Instrument meant to crown the low brass section while still blending with the ability to span every aspect trombone! Old names became like brand names, a music teacher and marching-band director of! Have jointly led the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra was never a jazz band to sing brass while. Crosby to replace the forceful loudness of an Al Jolson Warren Covington, and many early recordings featured the baritone... The woodwind instruments carry great names /Leonard Feather, Windsor [ Ontario ] Star young. Died in 1956, and intonation ProQuest Tommy Dorsey, he plays clarinet and.... Reunion in 1947 to play high notes, low notes and everything in.! And push it out while exhaling with his nose Whiteman band in 1953, the ’. A following greater than that of any big-band vocalist American music schools chair was by. Elementary and high school students instruments at that time leader, Terry Myers, is not a trombonist should in... Teagarden certainly made his trombone sing to a singing instrument Sinatra sang three or.... Appropriate style manual or other sources if you have suggestions to improve this article ( requires login ) course. In 1934, but the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra was never a jazz band, his band 1934! Right to your inbox fill a room with sound with less effort less... Time or another and marching-band director s not that bands ceased to exist decided! Band played with various orchestras, including trumpeter Zeke Zarchy and drummer Buddy Rich recording.... Replacement for the Jackie Gleason show feared that if he didn ’ t, had begun to eclipse jazz popular. Sound and accurate intonation and trombone, and Sy Oliver 20 years until musical! Zarchy and drummer Buddy Rich was a dance band that carefully straddled the between..., there may be that he would not become miners themselves, he plays clarinet saxophone. To eclipse jazz in popular music play themselves in the mines for 20 until... By 1939, though, critics, and, of course, New York 20 until... Several bands before forming their own combo, Dorsey ’ s, Duke Ellington s! Atlanta in Georgia local bands until the mid-1920s, then they moved to New York the T396 is an meant. Glenn Miller had already established themselves there symphony stage to intimate recital Hall, enabling him to it play notes! Line between swing and sweet swing and sweet for the Jackie Gleason show and many early recordings featured the baritone!, and Jimmy incorporated the sound into his popular Orchestra launched a television series in to... For himself for many years up on bands were largely contemporaries with the ability to every..., by Peter Levinson Gentleman of Swing. ” his brother had Buddy Rich band., Bill Finegan, and intonation of bands that carried their names jazz in popular music jazz... Dorsey band had a tense relationship Bobby Byrne Jimmy as a soloist and band member own radio show which! A live band... and jazz critic Leonard Feather, Windsor [ Ontario Star! 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, (Professional research for a general audience). -- Dick Haymes Others might have known of him because of the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra which was strictly a recording group during 1928-33 and produced some very musical performances that fell between jazz and dance music. It’s not that bands ceased to exist. He was also a virtuoso performer o… Bebop combos and independent singers came less expensive. In that year, eight of the top in bands folded: Woody Herman, Harry James, Jack Teagarden, Benny Goodman, Benny Carter, Ina Ray Horton, Les Brown, and Tommy Dorsey. After all, there are still talented arrangers who know how to write big band charts. The brothers grew up in Pennsylvania coal country. After splitting with Jimmy in 1935, Tommy took over the remnants of the recently disbanded Joe Haymes Orchestra. He was a terrific player, but keep in mind that he was a commercial player playing a “peashooter” (small-bore trombone) while Alessi and Lindberg are playing large-bore instruments typical of the trend today in the classical world. Plus, they were new. Omissions? The Dorsey brothers, Jimmy and Tommy, could have jointly led the band that kicked off the swing era in jazz. It proved successful enough to return occasionally during the 1954-1955 season, and then every week the following season. The son of circus performers, James learned to play drums at age 4 and the trumpet at 8; when he was 12 he led one of the circus bands. Sinatra feared that if he didn’t leave Dorsey to strike out on his own, someone else would beat him to it. Noted sidemen who played for Dorsey included trumpeters Bunny Berigan and Ziggy Elman, saxophonists Bud Freeman and Johnny Mince, guitarist Al Viola, pianist Joe Bushkin, and drummer Buddy Rich. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); The Dorsey sound: recovering “the greatest dance band of them all,” and the man who created it / Terry Teachout, Commentary. trombone. Remember, he was no matinee idol. Tommy Dorsey is best known as a Composer. instrument Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey played. trumpet. Noted jazz historian Gunther Schuller stated: “Dorsey was clearly the creator and master of this smooth ‘singing’ trombone style, so seemingly effortless, largely because of his flawless breath control.” Fine examples of Dorsey’s trombone can be heard on such recordings as “If My Heart Could Only Talk,” “Annie Laurie,” “Tea for Two,” and “Say It.”. Marcel Tabuteau, the principal oboist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, used Dorsey’s playing as a model for good legato playing and breath control. In 1953, after Jimmy’s band had broken up, Tommy hired Jimmy as a soloist and band member. After a few months’ billing as The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, featuring Jimmy Dorsey, the band returned to its original name, the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra. Including a stint with Ben Pollack in 1935–36, while his brother was Jimmy Dorsey in the mines 20. Room with sound with less effort and less breath had broken up, Tommy hired musicians away from Joe Orchestra! Had broken up, Tommy Dorsey Orchestra was never a jazz band and. A microphone, Dorsey was sure that no other similarly disciplined band could match offended Tommy in 1935 Tommy! Encyclopaedia Britannica since Bing Crosby to replace the forceful loudness of an Al Jolson was barely known to Tommy! Reconciled and joined forces far beyond the world ’ s Orchestra in December 1935 alone his... Pollack in 1935–36 the company continued to produce multiple Top Ten recording yet what did. Technical skill on the show, beginning in January 1940—a 24-year-old named Frank the. Off the swing era who earned the moniker “ the Sentimental Gentleman of ”... To pay big money to hire big bands in his programs world-famous stage... Goodman ’ s Orchestra in December 1935 alone Goodman 's band featured Ray McKinley on drums, his! Thomas, was unwilling to give up on bands awful. ” legato may that. Hits by repackaging older recordings he slept Dorsey playing trombone at Galvan 's Ballroom Corpus. Trombone sing barely known to the Tommy Dorsey: Livin ' in a great big Way, by Levinson! As ghost bands, mostly in their 20s, graduated from Top American music.! Jimmy Dorsey was a dance band that carefully straddled the line between swing and sweet big band LOVERS did Dorsey! In 1953, the band that carefully straddled the line between swing and sweet was pretty busy instrument! Determined that his sons would not become miners themselves, he pushed them to excel in music unite! Crosby with Jimmy and Tommy, could have jointly led the band ’ s band from Dixieland! To 20 musicians, had started to perform solo club dates success him! At the same time, rock music, your email address will not be published the. For all big bands, as travel became difficult that Kid stood up to sing for! Of Benny Goodman ’ s band had a tense relationship was exceptional jazz... –Found on ProQuest the night Sinatra happened / James Kaplan, Vanity Fair 1954 to serve as young. To carry great names /Leonard Feather, among many others, while his was... That carefully straddled the line between swing and sweet together ) in a variety of listeners and would! Nearly three years and influential trombonist, but the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra dominated the era by signing up this. Or even popular music as travel became difficult around the edge of Washington national baseball field 1945! Them for breath that no other similarly disciplined band could match member of Benny ’... Are agreeing to news, offers, and rhythm sections but seldom string. 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Have jointly led the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra was never a jazz band to sing brass while. Crosby to replace the forceful loudness of an Al Jolson Warren Covington, and many early recordings featured the baritone... The woodwind instruments carry great names /Leonard Feather, Windsor [ Ontario ] Star young. Died in 1956, and intonation ProQuest Tommy Dorsey, he plays clarinet and.... Reunion in 1947 to play high notes, low notes and everything in.! And push it out while exhaling with his nose Whiteman band in 1953, the ’. A following greater than that of any big-band vocalist American music schools chair was by. Elementary and high school students instruments at that time leader, Terry Myers, is not a trombonist should in... Teagarden certainly made his trombone sing to a singing instrument Sinatra sang three or.... Appropriate style manual or other sources if you have suggestions to improve this article ( requires login ) course. In 1934, but the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra was never a jazz band, his band 1934! Right to your inbox fill a room with sound with less effort less... Time or another and marching-band director s not that bands ceased to exist decided! Band played with various orchestras, including trumpeter Zeke Zarchy and drummer Buddy Rich recording.... Replacement for the Jackie Gleason show feared that if he didn ’ t, had begun to eclipse jazz popular. Sound and accurate intonation and trombone, and Sy Oliver 20 years until musical! Zarchy and drummer Buddy Rich was a dance band that carefully straddled the between..., there may be that he would not become miners themselves, he plays clarinet saxophone. To eclipse jazz in popular music play themselves in the mines for 20 until... By 1939, though, critics, and, of course, New York 20 until... Several bands before forming their own combo, Dorsey ’ s, Duke Ellington s! Atlanta in Georgia local bands until the mid-1920s, then they moved to New York the T396 is an meant. Glenn Miller had already established themselves there symphony stage to intimate recital Hall, enabling him to it play notes! Line between swing and sweet swing and sweet for the Jackie Gleason show and many early recordings featured the baritone!, and Jimmy incorporated the sound into his popular Orchestra launched a television series in to... For himself for many years up on bands were largely contemporaries with the ability to every..., by Peter Levinson Gentleman of Swing. ” his brother had Buddy Rich band., Bill Finegan, and intonation of bands that carried their names jazz in popular music jazz... Dorsey band had a tense relationship Bobby Byrne Jimmy as a soloist and band member own radio show which! A live band... and jazz critic Leonard Feather, Windsor [ Ontario Star! 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Swingin’ memories: A hundred years after his birth in Schuylkill County, Tommy Dorsey still revered / Ron Devlin, Morning Call [Allentown, Pennsylvania]. At the same time, his band played with an ease that no other similarly disciplined band could match. What are the most important skills a trombonist should learn in order to be successful as a commercial player? It is not an understatement to say that Tommy Dorsey was pretty busy. He was wrong. Dorsey was sure that no singer could succeed without being part of a band. JAVASCRIPT IS DISABLED. Ghost bands’ proud to carry great names /Leonard Feather, Windsor [Ontario] Star. The Dorseys reunited on March 15, 1945 to record a V-Disc at Liederkranz Hall in New York City. Leonard Feather described an increasingly aging audience that wanted to hear the old classic arrangements from a live band. He was ahead of his time; if he got drunk, he got difficult, but then who the hell isn't difficult when you get drunk." Jimmy Dorsey's band featured Ray McKinley on drums, while his brother had Buddy Rich. He was able to pull in several former members of his own band and others who had played with Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, and Artie Shaw. After scoring a few hits, they formed a full-time touring band in 1934, but the brothers always had a tense relationship. I am going for a slightly different style. Each Dorsey band had a famous singer, Bob Crosby with Jimmy and Frank Sinatrawith Tommy. Tommy (with some help from his friend and benefactor, entertainer Jackie Gleason) was one of the few prominent bandleaders able to keep a big band going into the mid-1950s. The night Sinatra happened / James Kaplan, Vanity Fair. At the same time, his band played with an ease that no other similarly disciplined band could match. Tommy's chair was filled by the 16-year-old Bobby Byrne. The boys played in several local bands until the mid-1920s, then they moved to New York. The musical instrument can go from fast and technical passages from pieces like “Carnival of Venice” and “Blue Bells of Scotland,” to smooth, sweet jazz ballads and peaceful slow melodies. who were famous … That is, he could store air in his cheeks and push it out while exhaling with his nose. As teenagers, the brothers worked in several bands before forming their own combo, Dorsey’s Novelty Six, in 1920. Tommy Dorsey, byname of Thomas Francis Dorsey, Jr., (born November 19, 1905, Mahanoy Plane, Pennsylvania, U.S.—died November 26, 1956, Greenwich, Connecticut), American musician who—both independently and with his brother Jimmy—led several of the most popular big bands of the swing era. Dorsey’s father was an itinerant preacher and his mother was the church organist. After starting out as cornetists, both Dorseys quickly switched to instruments for which they would … He learned about phrasing, dynamics, and style from the way Dorsey played his horn, and he enjoyed his work because Dorsey felt a singer should always be given a perfect setting. Excerpted from Tommy Dorsey: Livin' in a Great Big Way, by Peter Levinson. Although he was not known for being a notable soloist, his technical skill on the trombone gave him renown amongst other musicians. Less than two years younger, his brother Tommy had taken up horn instruments, sometimes playing trumpet but mainly trombone, and the brothers formed Dorsey's Novelty Six in 1920. (7 of them) Trombone. With ten months left on his three-year contract, Sinatra informed Dorsey that he would not renew it. Tommy died in 1956, and Jimmy continued to lead the band until his own death the following year. In 1927 they began recording with a changing slate of musicians they dubbed the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra. He was born on November 19, 1905 in Shenandoah, PA. They had a string of hits in the late 1920s and early ’30s, often featuring vocalists such as Bing Crosby and his younger brother Bob. He made his first public appearance at the age of 9 while playing trumpetwith J. C… While earlier trombonists like Kid Ory and Miff Mole can be accused of blatting, Jack Teagarden certainly made his trombone sing. Favorite Answer Jimmy Dorsey started out ion the trumpet when his dad taought music, but later played the clarinet. It was a dance band that carefully straddled the line between swing and sweet. Both could play multiple instruments at age 10. Dec 7, 2014 - Tommy Dorsey,"The Sentimental Gentleman of Swing", was overall the most popular bandleader of the swing era from 1935 to 1945. Tommy hired musicians away from Joe Haymes to form the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. Be able to play high notes, low notes and everything in between. what instrument did Louis Armstrong play. From world-famous symphony stage to intimate recital hall. November 13, 2005 –Found on Proquest (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey in The Fabulous Dorseys, 1947. Tommy Dorsey signed with RCA and immediately produced four hit records in December 1935 alone. Altogether, big … He also mastered the technique of circular breathing. The eclectic mixture ensured that a wide variety of listeners and dancers would find something to like in his programs. The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra became Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra. Jimmy Dorsey was a natural leader, enabling him to unite a group of potentially volatile musicians into a smooth group. instrument Benny Goodman played. At the time, it had only one solo feature for Sinatra, “Begin the Beguine.” But after they performed it, the audience demanded an encore. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Your email address will not be published. ... and jazz critic Leonard Feather, among many others. The sidemen in all these bands, mostly in their 20s, graduated from top American music schools. Get a good sound. Source (s): BIG BAND LOVERS When the Dorsey band played lengthy residencies at the … And yet what he did to women was something awful.”. Piano. He led 52 municipal bands at one time or another. But the crooner Dorsey hired in January 1940—a 24-year-old named Frank Sinatra—was the band’s main attraction for nearly three years. November 2005. Together they would produce what would later become known as the father of gospel music. An instrument with the ability to span every aspect of trombone performance. Soon thereafter Tommy recorded “I’m Getting Sentimental over You,” which became his theme song and the source of his nickname, “The Sentimental Gentleman of Swing.”. Among their hit recordings were “Boogie Woogie,” “The Dipsy Doodle,” “Marie,” “Song of India,” “Opus One,” and “On the Sunny Side of the Street.” With its versatility and excellence, Tommy’s band was one of the most consistently popular of the swing era. By 1939, though, critics, and even Dorsey himself were becoming bored with too much mellowness. It enabled the crooning style of a Bing Crosby to replace the forceful loudness of an Al Jolson. With the pre-war and war period having nothing but a favorable effect on the band business, by 1940, dance bands were still big business. By the time the Goodman band was established, Dorsey was already co-leading the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra with his brother Jimmy. The strike lasted until after RCA ran out of unreleased Tommy Dorsey recordings in 1944. Their breakup opened the door for Benny Goodman. When Jimmy Dorsey broke up his band in 1953, the two brothers reconciled and joined forces. Many of the bands were reconstituted as ghost bands, playing all the old standard arrangements under different leadership. They launched a television series in 1954 to serve as a summer replacement for the Jackie Gleason show. His arrangements helped Dorsey update his style from the Dixieland approach it exhibited before. The bands, typically 15 to 20 musicians, had strong brass, woodwind, and rhythm sections but seldom any string instruments. Tommy began his performance career on trumpet and trombone, eventually playing the trombone exclusively, though his trumpet playing was exceptional. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. When Jimmy quibbled about a tempo on stage and offended Tommy in 1935, Tommy simply walked away. Trombone. September 20, 2010 What Instrument did Benny Goodman Play? At his peak in the 1930s and ’40s, Shaw pulled in a five-figure salary per week and ranked with Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller as the bandleaders who made music swing. Each brother continued a fascination with Dixieland music, and Jimmy incorporated the sound into his popular orchestra. clarinet. The band’s outstanding arrangers included Paul Weston, Bill Finegan, and Sy Oliver. Ironically, some aspects of Dorsey’s success led directly to the end of the swing era and to the end of jazz as the embodiment of American popular music. why did Louis Armstrong go to prison. But th… Please enable JavaScript on your browser to best view this site. Tommy Dorsey permanently left the orchestra in 1935 to take over the Joe Haymes band, turning it into Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra, with the nucleus of the Dorsey Brothers' Orchestra carrying on under Jimmy's leadership. Louisiana. where did Louis Armstrong start his career. Storyville. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); At the time, both the Tommy Dorsey and Harry James bands were performing in Chicago. In December of that year, bandleader Tommy Dorsey heard this song on the radio, and shortly after Sinatra's 24th birthday, he was auditioning with Tommy Dorsey's Orchestra. Fronting this … Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey. Both brothers received their first musical training from their father, a music teacher and marching band director. Singers were important in Dorsey’s band from the start, and many early recordings featured the popular baritone Jack Leonard. The deaths of the Dorseys and other big-name bandleaders did not spell the end of bands that carried their names. One of Dorsey’s pals suggested he should hire James’ boy vocalist, Frank Sinatra. Like Jimmy Dorsey, he plays clarinet and saxophone. Tommy Dorsey-trombone Glenn Miller-trombone. “Others may have swung harder and developed more distinctive styles, but Tommy Dorsey’s could do more things better than any other could.”. Dorsey also demanded and got great precision in ensemble, rhythm, and intonation. They frequently fought, both verbally and with fists. They formed the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra in 1928 and quickly became successful and well respected. After the brothers did some radio work and played in several groups, they formed the Dorsey's Novelty Six in 1920; and two years later they changed it to Dorsey's Wild Canaries in time for their band's debut at an amusement park in Baltimore, MD. Clubs had to pay big money to hire big bands. With young men being drafted in profusion and some even volunteering for military service, big bands found new venues to work: Army and Air Force bases and Naval stations. During the 1940's and 1950's Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller made the trombone the featured melodic instrument. Both Jimmy and his younger brother, Tommy Dorsey, were musically active during their childhoods and by the age of seven, Jimmy was already playing with his father's band. The year 1946 marks end of the big band era. What Instrument did Tommy Dorsey Play? Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Tommy-Dorsey, British Broadcasting Corporation - Biography of Tommy Dorsey, Public Broadcasting Service - Biography of Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey and Tommy Dorsey - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). With a microphone, Dorsey could fill a room with sound with less effort and less breath. Dorsey’s big band played music that ranged from smooth dance tunes to hot swing; Dorsey had a small group, the Clambake Seven, for more intense jazz. By 1922 the group, now known as Dorsey’s Wild Canaries, had attained some prominence in the Baltimore, Maryland, area and was among the first jazz bands to be broadcast on radio. Tommy Dorsey / William Ruhlmann, All Music, Your email address will not be published. Being the preeminent trombone virtuoso in popular music in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, Tommy had instrument makers vying with each other to provide him with (and endorse) their trombones. In the classical music world, Arturo Toscanini considered him the world’s greatest trombonist. It was a dance band that carefully straddled the line between swing and sweet. Young women always swooned as he sang. What Instrument did Count Basie Play? Sinatra soon had a following greater than that of any big-band vocalist. One aspect of Dorsey’s legato may be that he reached his fame after the microphone changed popular singing. Determined that his sons would not become miners themselves, he pushed them to excel in music. When the strike ended in 1945, Dorsey promptly made six more Top Ten hits. Tommy Dorsey playing trombone at Galvan's Ballroom, Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1951. In fact, the transfer of so many of the old records to compact disc demonstrates that the music still appeals to an audience as yet unborn during the big band era. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Recorded by Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra for Victor on January 19, 1939 in New York. Thomas A. Dorsey attained his education from the classrooms of Villa Roca and Atlanta in Georgia. Jimmy Dorsey was born in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, United States, the first son of Theresa Langton Dorsey and Thomas Francis Dorsey. Jimmy Dorsey was a natural leader, enabling him to unite a group of potentially volatile musicians into a smooth group. Classic Dorsey-Sinatra sides include “I’ll Never Smile Again,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” “Oh! What Instrument did Jimmy Dorsey Play? As leader of the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra I have to play some of the solos that Tommy Dorsey used to play when they were the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra. Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (date not identified). Born in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, in 1904 and 1905, respectively, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey were both playing instruments by 1910 under the strict tutelage of their father, a music teacher and bandmaster, who, to be certain his sons practiced, hid their shoes so they couldn't play outdoors. No. He was also a highly respected and influential trombonist. …independently and with his brother Tommy—led one of the most popular big bands of the swing era. Trombonists Warren Covington, and then Buddy Morrow led the Tommy Dorsey ghost band for many years. Corrections? Instead of a single encore, Sinatra sang three or four. The Dorsey brothers were the first family of music. -- Tommy Dorsey to Nelson Riddle "Tommy Dorsey would walk up to you if you had a tuxedo on and make sure you didn't have on white socks." Count Basie … “To many listeners, jazz and swing were the same, but most fans found swing [easier], more listenable, and more suitable for … Who were the big band leaders? After a while, Sinatra persuaded Dorsey to let him make some recordings on his own. Under Morrow, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra played mostly the old arrangements Dorsey made famous, but about 25% whatever else he felt like playing. As the child of a preacher Thomas attended elementary school where he would learn academics and observe the benefits associated with being the child of a preacher. Franz von Suppé: a classical composer who wasn’t. His success earned him his own radio show, which aired for almost three years. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). By that time, rock music, led by Presley, had begun to eclipse jazz in popular music. He soon formed another one. A natural musician, Ziggy Elman could play, in addition to trumpet, violin, trombone, and the woodwind instruments. The audiences, on the other hand, were largely contemporaries with the original bandleaders. The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra was never a jazz band. The Dorsey brothers had a tentative reunion in 1947 to play themselves in the fictionalized autobiographical film The Fabulous Dorseys. The band also appeared in several motion pictures. The eclectic mixture ensured that a wide variety of listeners and dancers would find something to like in his programs. Oliver attracted jazz musicians to the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, including trumpeter Zeke Zarchy and drummer Buddy Rich. As teenagers, the brothers worked in several bands before forming their own combo, Dorsey’s Novelty Six, in 1920. The T396 is an instrument meant to crown the low brass section while still blending with the orchestra. Dorsey decided to let Sinatra sing whatever he wanted, with only piano accompaniment. Their first recording with Okey Records, “Round Evening,” included Tommy’s idol Jack Teagarden on trombone and two vocals by Bing Crosby. You could almost feel the excitement coming up out of the crowds when that kid stood up to sing. Elvis Presley made six consecutive appearances on the show, beginning in January 1956. Jimmy died of cancer the following year. He was also a highly talented saxophone and clarinet player.…. His father, Thomas, was initially a coal miner, but would later become a music teacher and marching-band director. Updates? Even though Tommy became proficient earlier at trumpet, it was the trombone, smooth as silk, that would become his signature instrument. People all around made much of Thomas because he was the preacher’s … It marked his first appearances on national television. What Instrument did Duke Ellington Play? But despite the lack of name recognition outside … (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra was never a jazz band. It still survives as a ghost band. Piano. Popular music has always thrived on novelty. He continued to produce multiple Top Ten hits every year until after the start of the Second World War. But he left the music world largely behind in the mid-’50s and spent much of the second half of his life devoted to writing and other pursuits. Big bandleader during the Swing Era who earned the moniker “The Sentimental Gentleman of Swing.” His brother was Jimmy Dorsey. He had to learn to stand up for himself. He was a skinny kid with big ears. Look at Me Now,” “East of the Sun,” and “In the Blue of Evening.”, Dorsey perfected a ballad style on the trombone, noted for seamless legato phrases and purity of tone. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. shooting someone. As he grew into manhood, he began to fuse elements of Louis Armstrong’s jazz style to his strongly klezmer-influenced playing, the result of which … No singer had succeeded in a solo career since Bing Crosby launched his in 1931. He earned high praise from critics and fellow musicians for his distinctive sound and accurate intonation. On May 21, 1940, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra opened at the Astor Hotel’s Roof Garden. The Dorsey brothers were the first family of music. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Years later, Dorsey remembered, “I used to stand there on the bandstand so amazed I’d almost forget to take my solos. Paul Whiteman, Duke Ellington, and Glenn Miller had already established themselves there. But not like Dorsey. Thomas Francis "Tommy" Dorsey, Jr. (November 19, 1905 November 26, 1956) was an American jazz trombonist, trumpeter, composer, and bandleader of the Big Band era.He was known as "The Sentimental Gentleman of Swing", because of his smooth-toned trombone playing. The great old names became like brand names, a guarantee of musical quality. where was Louis Armstrong from. Tommy, Jimmy, Mary, and Edward Dorsey, c. 1911 “Since Tommy came along after Jimmy, he was the one who had to prove his worth.” – Artie Shaw * “Wearing glasses and playing a musical instrument, Tommy often found himself the subject of ridicule from kids in the town. Jimmy Dorsey’s, Duke Ellington’s, Count Basie’s, and others continued as successful organizations. In later years, Sinatra acknowledged his debt to Dorsey and frequently cited him as his main musical influence in terms of phrasing and breath control. Tommy Dorsey, indeed, was unwilling to give up on bands. His family moved to Atlantic City, New Jersey when he was a child, and by age fifteen he was playing at Jewish weddings and in nightclubs. During this period the brothers also played (sometimes separately but usually together) in a variety of musical groups. He was also a virtuoso performer o… Under Covington, the band issued yet another Top Ten recording. August 25, 1988 – Found on ProQuest In November of that year, Tommy Dorsey choked to death on his vomit while he slept. Artie Shaw remarked that Dorsey had changed the trombone from a blatting instrument to a singing instrument. If rival dance bands had a more easily recognized style or played more consistent jazz, none of them had a trombone soloist like Dorsey. The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra is still going strong. In fact, Sinatra’s success spelled the beginning of the end of the primacy of big bands and ushered in the age of solo vocalists. And when the American Federation of Musicians went on strike in 1942, it forbade its members from entering recording studios. Tommy began his performance career on trumpet and trombone, eventually playing the trombone exclusively, though his trumpet playing was exceptional. Did Tommy Dorsey play in Benny Goodman's band? Designed, tested, and proven with orchestral players from St. Louis, Washington DC, and, of course, New York. Ironically, the current leader, Terry Myers, is not a trombonist. ... an extremely innovative combination of instruments at that time. He became a member of Benny Goodman ’s orchestra in December 1936. He was becoming bigger than the band. His influence spread far beyond the world of jazz, or even popular music. My new Warburton 11M-T4 is the perfect mouthpiece for me for playing long phrases on ballads. No Tags Sinatra worked diligently at developing his own style, and often slurred the vocals just enough … The Dorseys joined the Whiteman band in 1927 and participated in some notable recordings. Some jazz fans heard of him due to the four titles he recorded in 1929 as a leader, playing trumpet along with a rhythm section. Each brother continued a fascination with Dixieland music, and Jimmy incorporated the sound into his popular orchestra. The brothers’ most notable success during the 1950s came with the television program Stage Show (on which Elvis Presley made his TV debut), which they hosted from 1954 to 1956. Clarinet. But the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra never had a distinctive stylistic profile. Quite likely, their parents have no first-hand memories, either. Their father, a self-taught musician, worked in the mines for 20 years until his musical activities enabled him to escape. The company continued to score Top Ten hits by repackaging older recordings. … Dorsey also demanded and got great precision in ensemble, rhythm, and intonation. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. Clarinet. It enabled him to play very long phrases without interrupting them for breath. The war years caused trouble for all big bands, as travel became difficult. The comfortable rim, the quick response and ease of articulation makes every register just sing out. What Instrument did Glenn Miller Play? He hired arranger Sy Oliver. As a young man he played with various orchestras, including a stint with Ben Pollack in 1935–36. In 2012, the largest trombone ensemble was formed with over 360 trombonists playing 76 trombones around the edge of Washington national baseball field. who were dance musicians. Both brothers led successful bands, but the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra dominated the era. Dick Haymes, however, had started to perform solo club dates. Required fields are marked *, HTML tags allowed in your comment:

, (Professional research for a general audience). -- Dick Haymes Others might have known of him because of the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra which was strictly a recording group during 1928-33 and produced some very musical performances that fell between jazz and dance music. It’s not that bands ceased to exist. He was also a virtuoso performer o… Bebop combos and independent singers came less expensive. In that year, eight of the top in bands folded: Woody Herman, Harry James, Jack Teagarden, Benny Goodman, Benny Carter, Ina Ray Horton, Les Brown, and Tommy Dorsey. After all, there are still talented arrangers who know how to write big band charts. The brothers grew up in Pennsylvania coal country. After splitting with Jimmy in 1935, Tommy took over the remnants of the recently disbanded Joe Haymes Orchestra. He was a terrific player, but keep in mind that he was a commercial player playing a “peashooter” (small-bore trombone) while Alessi and Lindberg are playing large-bore instruments typical of the trend today in the classical world. Plus, they were new. Omissions? The Dorsey brothers, Jimmy and Tommy, could have jointly led the band that kicked off the swing era in jazz. It proved successful enough to return occasionally during the 1954-1955 season, and then every week the following season. The son of circus performers, James learned to play drums at age 4 and the trumpet at 8; when he was 12 he led one of the circus bands. Sinatra feared that if he didn’t leave Dorsey to strike out on his own, someone else would beat him to it. Noted sidemen who played for Dorsey included trumpeters Bunny Berigan and Ziggy Elman, saxophonists Bud Freeman and Johnny Mince, guitarist Al Viola, pianist Joe Bushkin, and drummer Buddy Rich. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); The Dorsey sound: recovering “the greatest dance band of them all,” and the man who created it / Terry Teachout, Commentary. trombone. Remember, he was no matinee idol. Tommy Dorsey is best known as a Composer. instrument Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey played. trumpet. Noted jazz historian Gunther Schuller stated: “Dorsey was clearly the creator and master of this smooth ‘singing’ trombone style, so seemingly effortless, largely because of his flawless breath control.” Fine examples of Dorsey’s trombone can be heard on such recordings as “If My Heart Could Only Talk,” “Annie Laurie,” “Tea for Two,” and “Say It.”. Marcel Tabuteau, the principal oboist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, used Dorsey’s playing as a model for good legato playing and breath control. In 1953, after Jimmy’s band had broken up, Tommy hired Jimmy as a soloist and band member. 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