Tommy Dorsey is a name synonomous with the Big Band Boom, a musician whose roaring trombone lines etched themselves into the American psyche. We look back on those days with fondness, the 1930s and 1940s, but on closer inspection there was more
to Dorsey than just the brass howls of the instruments and the soft croonings of Sinatra. The bandleader led a life of excess, earmarked by too many women and too much drink, a perfectionist who was forever seeking out the long-lost chords of fame and eternal recognition.
Peter Levinson is the only one who could have revealed the
truth of the Dorsey fable in such an enigmatic and well-documented fashion. Through numerous interviews and in-depth research and interpretation of facts and fiction, the author pieces together the story of a man whose life was beset with turbulent relationships - everyone from brother Jimmy to icon Frank Sinatra - and ended at the young age of 51.
There are interviews here with Louis Bellson, the famous drummer who worked with Dorsey on four separate occasions. Other Dorsey band members included here are Kay Webber, Bobby Byrne, and Rock Hillman.
This is more than a brick-and-mortar biography built on dates and deeds. This is the deep and marred saga of a musician with so much to say and so little time to say it in.