Reference Entry

Dorsey, Jimmy [James]

James Lincoln Collier

in Oxford Music Online

Published in print January 2001 | ISBN: 9780195313734
Published online January 2001 | e-ISBN: 9781561592630 | DOI:
Dorsey, Jimmy [James]

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(b Shenandoah, PA, Feb 29, 1904; d New York, June 12, 1957). American popular and jazz clarinettist, alto saxophonist and bandleader, brother of Tommy Dorsey. He began playing the slide trumpet and the cornet at the age of seven, but changed to reed instruments in 1915. In September 1924 he joined the California Ramblers, a popular dance band in New York, then between 1925 and 1934 he worked freelance with leading New York bands such as those of Paul Whiteman, Jean Goldkette and Vincent Lopez. More importantly, from 1926 he began recording extensively with leading Midwestern white jazz pioneers, including Bix Beiderbecke and Red Nichols. He played in Nichols’s popular group the Five Pennies, a widely influential band not only in the USA but also in England; this established Dorsey as a leading jazz reed player.

In 1934 Dorsey founded with his brother the successful but short-lived Dorsey Brothers Orchestra. After a public argument in ...

Reference Entry.  435 words. 

Subjects: Popular Music ; Contemporary Music

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