Sometimes big bands just aren’t big enough. In May 1935, during a performance at the Glen Island Casino in New York, Tommy Dorsey walked off the bandstand after an argument with his brother Jimmy about the tempo of a song. The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, which, with a changing roster of impressive musicians, had recorded hits like Cole Porter’s “Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)” since the late ’20s, thus morphed into the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra.
Tommy, a trombonist, led his own band — which eventually included a young Frank Sinatra — and became known as “The Sentimental Gentleman of Swing.” Jimmy, who played sax and clarinet, was a highly successful bandleader too, until the music scene shifted mid-century. In 1953, more than three decades after they’d formed their first group together as teenagers and just a few years before they died, the siblings reunited as the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, featuring Jimmy Dorsey. They’d already appeared together onscreen, playing themselves in the 1947 fictionalized biopic The Fabulous Dorseys.