Posted by themusicsover on November 26, 2009
November 10, 1905 – November 26, 1956
Tommy Dorsey was a trombonist and band leader who came to prominence during jazz’s swing era. He was also the younger brother of another jazz great, Jimmy Dorsey with whom he found success as the Dorsey Brothers. Beginning his career in the Scranton Sirens at just 15, Dorsey backed such performers and Rudy Vallee and Paul Whiteman. He formed his first band in 1935 and began touring nationally. But as many big bands did in the aftermath of WW2, Dorsey broke up his band due to economics of the times. Dorsey also released numerous hit records during his career, including 17 that topped the charts. His biggest hit was “I’ll Never Smile Again” which featured Frank Sinatra on vocals. Tommy Dorsey, 51, died while choking in his sleep on November 26, 1956. Reports indicate that after eating a big meal, he took some sleeping pills and retired to bed. The dosage was apparently strong enough to not allow him to wake up while he choked to death.