Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
In Big Band history, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra is recognized as one of the best all-around dance bands. It could swing with the best of them, and no other band could come close to Tommy’s when it came to playing ballads. Tommy Dorsey, “The Sentimental Gentleman of Swing”, was a master at creating warm, sentimental, and always musical moods – at superb dancing and listening tempos. Tommy sustained these moods through the arrangements of the likes of Paul Weston, Axel Stordahl and Sy Oliver, and he showcased singers who could project them brilliantly.
Jack Leonard sang with the band for about four years, recording such fine sides as “Dedicated To You”, “If It’s The Last Thing I do”, “Little White Lies”, “You Taught Me To Love Again”, “Once In A While”, and, probably the most famous of all, “Marie”. With the band singing vocal riffs as Jack sang the straight lyric, “Marie” was so successful that he recorded several more standard tunes with the same formula. They include “Who”, “Yearning”, and “East Of The Sun”. “Song Of India”, the other side of “Marie”, was also a huge Dorsey hit.
Frank Sinatra’s career blossomed with Dorsey, and, with Sinatra’s vocals, the band became more successful than ever. Frank had often admitted that listening to Tommy helped him develop his phrasing and breathing, along with his musical taste and knowledge.