Tommy Dorsey

Big Band Leader and Musician

Thomas Francis "Tommy" Dorsey, Jr. was an American jazz trombonist, trumpeter, composer, and bandleader of the Big Band era. He was known as "The Sentimental Gentleman of Swing", due to his smooth-toned trombone playing. Although he was not known for being a notable soloist, his technicality with the trombone gave him renown amongst other musicians. He was vastly admired by other musicians, however, for his technical skill on his instrument.… Read More

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Browse recent news and stories about Tommy Dorsey.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Tommy Dorsey.


1905 Birth Born on November 19, 1905.


1923 17 Years Old In 1923, Dorsey followed his brother Jimmy to Detroit to play in Jean Goldkette's band and later returned to New York in 1925 to play with the California Ramblers.


1927 21 Years Old In 1927 he joined Paul Whiteman.
1929 23 Years Old In 1929, the Dorsey Brothers had their first hit with "Coquette" for OKeh records.
1934 28 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1934, the Dorsey Brothers band signed with Decca records, having a hit with "I Believe In Miracles".
1935 29 Years Old 1 More Event
Ongoing acrimony between the brothers, however, led to Tommy Dorsey's walking out to form his own band in 1935, just as the orchestra was having a hit with "Every Little Moment." … Read More


1936 30 Years Old The Dorsey band had a national radio presence in 1936, first from Dallas and then from Los Angeles.
1937 31 Years Old Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra took over comedian Jack Pearl's radio show in 1937.
1939 33 Years Old By 1939, Dorsey was aware of criticism that his band lacked a jazz feeling. … Read More
In 1940, Dorsey hired singer Frank Sinatra from bandleader Harry James.
1942 36 Years Old 1 More Event
Bill Finegan, an arranger who left Glenn Miller's civilian band, arranged for the Tommy Dorsey band from 1942 to 1950. … Read More
Dorsey also performed with singer Connee Boswell Dorsey hired ex-bandleader and drummer Gene Krupa after Krupa's arrest and scandal for marijuana possession in 1943.
1944 38 Years Old After opening at the Los Angeles ballroom, the Hollywood Palladium, on the Palladium's first night, Dorsey's relations with the ballroom soured and he opened a competing ballroom, the Casino Gardens circa 1944. … Read More


1946 40 Years Old Tommy Dorsey disbanded his own orchestra at the end of 1946.
Dorsey might have broken up his own band permanently following World War II, as many big bands did due to the shift in music economics following the war, but Tommy Dorsey's album for RCA Victor, "All Time Hits" placed in the top ten records in February 1947.
1948 42 Years Old Finally, Dorsey married Jane Carl New on March 27, 1948, in Atlanta, Georgia. … Read More
Jimmy Dorsey broke up his own big band in 1953. … Read More


1956 51 Years Old On November 26, 1956, Dorsey died at age 51 in his Greenwich, Connecticut, home. … Read More
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