|TROMBONIST, TRUMPETER, COMPOSER, BANDLEADER (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)|
BORN 19 Nov 1905, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania - DIED 26 Nov 1956, Greenwich, Connecticut|
BIRTH NAME Dorsey jr., Thomas Francis
CAUSE OF DEATH choked by vomit
GRAVE LOCATION Valhalla, New York: Kensico Cemetery, 273 Lakeview Avenue (Uncas Plot, Lot 41)
Younger brother of band leader Jimmy Dorsey. When Tommy was fifteen years old he played in his first band on recommendation of Jimmy. In 1922 he eloped with the sixteen years old Mildred Craft. They had two daughters.
In 1928 he and Jimmy had their first hit as The Dorsey Brothers with "Coquette". They were contracted by Decca and had another hit with "I Believe in Miracles" (1934). When the brothers didn't get along anymore Tommy found his own band in 1935.
The Dorsey Band had many hits and between 1940 and 1942 Frank Sinatra was their singer. A later member was trombonist Nelson Riddle. At a certain time Dorsey was the owner of two music publishing conpanies and of the magazine "The Bandstand". In 1946 the band broke up. In 1943 he had divorced Mildred after an affair with his singer Edythe Wright and during the same year he married the acteress Pat Dane. He divorced her in 1947 and in 1948 he married his last wife Jane Carl New.
He reconciled with his brother and they appeared together in the "Tommy Dorsey Orchestra featuring Jimmy Dorsey". After eating a heavy meal and taking sleeping pills he died from choking in his sleep in 1956. He was buried at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York. Jane was buried beside him after her death in 2003.