Tommy Dorsey: Age 50 | Cause Of Death: INHALATION OF VOMIT

Tommy Dorsey

(b. 19 November 1905, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 26 November 1956)

In 1934 he and Jimmy formed the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, which became extremely popular. Despite, or perhaps because of, their close relationship, the brothers frequently argued, sometimes violently, and after one such disagreement in May 1935, Tommy walked out leaving Jimmy to take over leadership of the orchestra. Tommy then took over the excellent danceband led by Joe Haymes. Highly ambitious, Dorsey set about turning the band, which was already a sound and well-disciplined unit, into the finest dance orchestra of the era. And although Frank Sinatra had already begun to establish a reputation with Harry James, it was his stint with Dorsey that made him into an international singing star.  Nevertheless, the ’50s were difficult times and in 1953, he was happy to be reunited with his brother, whose own outfit had folded. Tommy Dorsey gave Jimmy a featured spot and renamed his band as the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra. A heavy eater, Tommy Dorsey choked to death in his sleep.  He had had a big dinner and was accustomed to using  pills to help him sleep in the many hotel beds where he stayed.