Known as “the sentimental gentleman of swing,” trombonist Tommy Dorsey was born November 19, 1905 in Shenendoah, Pennsylvania. Dorsey and his brother Jimmy played with a variety of bands before forming the Dorsey Brothers orchestra in 1934. A series of fraternal disagreements led to Tommy breaking away and forming his own orchestra the following year. Alumni of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra included singers Frank Sinatra and Jo Stafford.
A versatile musician and a master balladeer, Tommy Dorsey worked steadily in radio throughout his career. In the late 1920s, he was heard on WEAF/New York as a member of The Ipana Troubadors, one of radio’s earliest musical programs. Dorsey joined comedian Jack Pearl on The Raleigh-Kool Program in 1936 and took over as host a year later.
Dorsey worked steadily in radio during the 1940s, playing live “remote” broadcasts and hosting shows of his own. During 1946, Dorsey had no fewer than four weekly programs over the Mutual Broadcasting System and NBC.
In 1953, Tommy Dorsey reunited with his brother Jimmy for a series of tours and a new CBS Radio series, Those Fabulous Dorseys.
Tommy Dorsey died on November 26, 1956.
He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.