Dorsey, Jimmy (1904-1957)

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Dorsey, Jimmy (1904-1957)

In the 1920s, Jimmy Dorsey toured with the Paul Whiteman and Red Nichols bands, and was considered an excellent clarinet performer and the leading jazz performer on alto saxophone, influencing such jazz greats as Charlie Parker and Lester Young. He and his brother, Tommy, founded the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra 1933, starring Glenn Miller on trombone and Ray McKinley on drums. After Tommy left to form his own orchestra in 1935, Jimmy Dorsey led the band to national stardom in the 1940s, featuring the popular singing duo of Helen O'Connell and Bob Eberly. The song "Green Eyes," as sung by O'Connell, was the band's most requested number. In 1953, the brothers reunited.

—Benjamin Griffith

Further Reading:

Atkins, Ronald, editor. All That Jazz. New York, Carlton, 1996.

Balliett, Whitney. American Musicians. New York, Oxford Press, 1986.

Simon, George T. The Big Bands. New York, MacMillan, 1974.