Jimmy Dorsey

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Jimmy Dorsey

Jimmy Dorsey (Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, February 29, 1904 – New York, June 12, 1957) was an outstanding leader of the big band, composer, clarinetist, saxophonist and trumpet player of American nationality. , known for composing the songs I’m Glad There is You (In This World of Ordinary People) and It’s the Dreamer in Me.

Jimmy_Dorsey’s Biography

His full name was James Francis Dorsey , also known as “JD”, and he was born in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. He was the son of a music teacher and older brother of Tommy Dorsey, who was also a prominent musician. As a young man he played the trumpet and was already acting in vaudeville in 1913. In 1915 he went on to play alto saxophone, later learning the clarinet. Jimmy Dorsey played a clarinet with an Albert key system, against the usual Boehm system used by most of his contemporaries, including Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw.

With his brother Tommy on the trombone, he formed the Dorsey’s Novelty Six, one of the first jazz bands to play for the radio. In 1924 he joined the California Ramblers (based in New York). In the 1920s he worked for radio and for recording studios as an independent artist. The brothers also acted as session musicians on many jazz recordings, and in the 1930s Dorsey entered the band of Ted Lewis on a tour with the formation for Europe.

After returning to the United States, he briefly worked with Rudy Vallee and other band leaders, in addition to the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, with Tommy.

In his early years as a musician, Jimmy Dorsey performed with various groups and artists, including Scranton Sirens, The California Ramblers, Red Nichols, Jean Goldkette, Ben Pollack, and Paul Whiteman.

Jimmy Dorsey’s first big hit was “You Let Me Down”, in 1935. His band was more jazz oriented than his brother’s, and he dedicated himself to recording some swing instrumental classics: Dorsey Stomp, Tap Dancer’s Nightmare, Parade of the Milk Bottle Caps, John Silver, and Dusk in Upper Sandusky. The lineup acted in the radio show of Bing Crosby Kraft Music Hall. In those years he participated in at least 75 radio programs (many with his brother), in several of them forming part of the orchestra of Nathaniel Shilkret. Because of a musical dispute with his brother, Tommy formed in 1935 his own band working for RCA Victor, for which the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra became the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, including among its members musicians like Bobby Byrne, Ray McKinley, and Skeets Herfurt, plus vocalists Bob Eberly and Kay Weber. In this period, Jimmy Dorsey remained with Decca Records.

In 1939 Dorsey hired Helen O’Connell as a singer. She and Eberly sang a duet of several of the greatest successes of the formation. Many of Eberly-O’Connell’s recordings were published in an unusual format in three sections. That format was developed at the behest of a recording producer who wanted both singers and the entire band to appear in a single recording of three minutes (78 rpm) in length. Eberly sang the first minute, usually as a romantic ballad, the next played the full band with the backing of Dorsey’s saxophone, and the last minute was sung by O’Connell in a more lively style, sometimes with lyrics in Spanish. Almost all the songs published between 1939 and 1943 were great successes, especially those with a Latin flavor such as Green Eyes (Green Eyes), Poppy, Tangerine, Yours (Love Me A Lot), and Maria Elena.

Beginning in 1944, Jerry Lewis’s first wife, Patti Palmer, sang with Dorsey’s orchestra, although she stayed there for less than a year.

Jimmy Dorsey continued to lead his own band until the early 1950s. In 1953 the Dorsey brothers returned to work together, forming the band called “Tommy Dorsey and his Orch. Featuring Jimmy Dorsey.” On December 26, 1953, the brothers performed with their orchestra on Jackie Gleason’s television program for CBS. The success of that performance determined that Gleason produced a weekly variety show, Stage Show, presented by the Dorsey brothers on CBS between 1954 and 1956. Among those invited to the show was Elvis Presley, who intervened on several occasions, these being his first performances for national television.

After Tommy died, Jimmy conducted the orchestra, although he survived his brother shortly after he died of cancer in 1957 in New York City. He was 53 years old. He was buried at the Annunciation Blessed Virgin Mary Church Cemetery in Shenandoah.

Shortly before his death he was rewarded with a gold record for his song So Rare, recorded on November 11, 1956. That song also had the distinction of reaching number 2 on Billboard’s popularity charts, with the who came to a better position than those played by a big band in the first decade of the rock and roll era.

Thanks to this trajectory Jimmy Dorsey is considered one of the most influential saxophonists of the Swing era and of the Big Band, being mentioned by Charlie Parker as his favorite artist.

More Facts about Jimmy Dorsey

The Jimmy Dorsey’s statistics like age, body measurements, height, weight, bio, wiki, net worth posted above have been gathered from a lot of credible websites and online sources. But, there are a few factors that will affect the statistics, so, the above figures may not be 100% accurate.

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