Acrobat Music

Jimmy Dorsey, swing bandleader, clarinettist and saxophonist, died on June 12th 1957

Jimmy Dorsey, swing bandleader, clarinettist and saxophonist, died on June 12th 1957

Born in Shenandoah Pennsylvania in 1904, Jimmy Dorsey was the son of a music teacher and learnt trumpet as a boy, appearing in vaudeville as early as 1913, but switched to clarinet a couple of years later, also learning to double on alto sax. With brother Tommy on trombone, they formed the Dorsey Six in the '20s and were one of the first jazz bands to broadcast on radio in 1924. He toured Europe with Ted Lewis' band in 1930, and worked with Rudy Vallee on his return, then formed the ill-fated first Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, which broke up in acrimony in 1935. Jimmy continued with the band under his own name and became very successful, introducing many excellent singers like Bob Eberly and Helen O'Connell, which ensured a string of hits through the late '30s and '40s. He continued leading his own band until the post-war slump made things tough, eventually joining brother Tommy again in the early 50s, during which time they made some memorable recordings. He took over the reins when Tommy died suddenly, but he was suffering from throat cancer and only survived him a few months, and died in June 1957, shortly after receiving a gold record for "So Rare", a Billboard No. 2 on which Jimmy played the alto solo. Acrobat has on catalogue a collection of recordings of Jimmy's Orchestra from the classic swing era - for full details click here.

 
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