Songwriters Friends

Jimmy Dorsey was born on February 29, 1904 in Shanadoah, Pennsylvania.

Using his vast skills as an alto saxophonist and clarinetist with a multitude of bands during the late 1920’s and early 30’s, both he and his brother Tommy played with the California Ramblers, Charleston Chasers, Jean Goldkette, Red Nichols and Paul Whiteman. Jimmy also recorded as a featured soloist with the Ted Lewis and Ben Selvin orchestras.

Tommy and Jimmy formed a permanent band, Dorsey Brothers Orchestra in 1934 featuring arrangements by Glenn Miller and vocals by Bill Dutton, Smith Ballew, Bing Crosby, Scrappy Lambert, Tony Starr, Bob Crosby, Ray McKinley, Don Mattison, Skeets Herfurt, Kay Weber, Bob Eberly and Gordon Polk.

The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra was responsible for nearly 30 top twenty recordings including “Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)” (#9, 1929), “What a Diff’rence a Day Made” (#5, 1934), “I Believe in Miracles” (#3, 1935), “Night Wind” (#10, 1935), ‘Lullaby of Broadway’ (#1, 1935), ‘Chasing Shadows’ (#1, 1935), and “I’ve Got a Feelin’ You’re Foolin’” (#3, 1935).

When Tommy left the band in 1935 to form his own band, most of the members stayed with Jimmy in the reformed Jimmy Dorsey & His Orchestra. With featured vocals by Bob Eberly and Helen O’Connell, the new band was one of the most popular acts in the 1940’s with over 100 top twenty hits including the #1 recordings of ‘Is It True What They Say About Dixie?’ (1936), ‘Change Partners’ (1938), ‘The Breeze and I’ (1940), ‘I Hear a Rhapsody’ (1941), ‘High on a Windy Hill’ (1941), ‘Amapola’ (1941), ‘My Sister and I’ (1941), ‘Green Eyes’ (1941), ‘Blue Champagne’ (1941), ‘Tangerine’ (1942) and ‘Besame Mucho’ (1944).

Jimmy Dorsey died on June 12, 1957 just as his last hit ‘So Rare’ was climbing the charts to the #2 spot.


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