The Dorseys in Winnipeg

The Dorseys in Winnipeg

James Kidd
James Kidd

June 19th, 2017, 12:47 am #1

In an earlier post about the Dorsey brothers in Winnipeg in the mid 50s, I mentioned having cut classes from the University of Manitoba to be their 'gopher' for their week at the Rancho Don Carlos. I'm posting it this time as a new item because if I attach it to the earlier post it won't get read and I think the story is so good I want to ensure that most followers here get to enjoy it. As I mentioned, Tommy was a sour, gruff individual who rehearsed the band EVERY afternoon and this in a time when there were hardly any big bands left! Jimmy was a real gentleman and always took the time to answer my naive and dumb questions with patience. Here he was spending his time with some star struck punk who couldn't afford to buy one of his 50 cent Deccas! I tried to avoid Tommy as he always seemed to be in a bad move altho at the end of the week he made a gesture that showed he had a soft side and gave me one of the most unforgettable moments of my life. Mentioning this prompted David Sager to ask me to tell the story so here it is. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do telling it and reliving the moment!

One of my favourite Dorsey recordings was Song Of India which showed off that incredible tone, technique and breath control that was Tommy's. Every night, set after set, I waited and hoped for the drum introduction that would signal Song Of India. It never came. On the last night just before the last set.....12:15 am I finally got up enough to nerve to ask 'Mr. Dorsey will you be playing Song Of India tonight?' I feared his answer. He looked at me in a quizzical way and asked 'Haven't we played that yet?' to which I replied, 'no you haven't and I've been here every night this week' 'Well, we'll see' he muttered and that was it. I was so afraid of upsetting him even further. I didn't say another word.

It's now 12:55 am and the last tune of the night and the week. The tom-tom introduces Song Of India! My heart stopped as I stood in the doorway to offstage. Tommy put the trombone to his lips, turned away from the dancers, looked for me and blew the entire first chorus right at me! It was so unreal I still have trouble believing it ever happened. But it did and some nights when I have trouble falling asleep I pull it from the memory bank and use it, along with some of my favourite 7 irons to the green golf shots, liasons with ladies of questionable pedigree, etc, etc. get to sleep.

So of you enjoyed the story, thank David Sager for making it happen!





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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

June 19th, 2017, 1:05 pm #2

Thanks to you and David.

Albert

https://yorkspace.library.yorku.ca/xmlu ... 1/0001.jpg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Song of India" is a popular song adapted from the aria "Pesni︠a︡ indiĭskogo gosti︠a︡" from Rimsky-Korsakov's 1896 opera Sadko.[1] In January 1937, Tommy Dorsey recorded an instrumental jazz arrangement featuring Bunny Berigan on trumpet, which became a jazz standard.[2][3] Coupled with "Marie", the 78 rpm disc (Victor #25523) was a major hit for Dorsey, containing two of his most enduring recordings on one record, and which helped make him and his band into a household name as a popular music artist in the United States.[4] The melody was also used for the 1918 song "Beautiful Ohio", which became the official song of the U.S. State of Ohio.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yRIUuUJpJM
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Andrew J. Sammut
Andrew J. Sammut

June 19th, 2017, 2:09 pm #3

In an earlier post about the Dorsey brothers in Winnipeg in the mid 50s, I mentioned having cut classes from the University of Manitoba to be their 'gopher' for their week at the Rancho Don Carlos. I'm posting it this time as a new item because if I attach it to the earlier post it won't get read and I think the story is so good I want to ensure that most followers here get to enjoy it. As I mentioned, Tommy was a sour, gruff individual who rehearsed the band EVERY afternoon and this in a time when there were hardly any big bands left! Jimmy was a real gentleman and always took the time to answer my naive and dumb questions with patience. Here he was spending his time with some star struck punk who couldn't afford to buy one of his 50 cent Deccas! I tried to avoid Tommy as he always seemed to be in a bad move altho at the end of the week he made a gesture that showed he had a soft side and gave me one of the most unforgettable moments of my life. Mentioning this prompted David Sager to ask me to tell the story so here it is. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do telling it and reliving the moment!

One of my favourite Dorsey recordings was Song Of India which showed off that incredible tone, technique and breath control that was Tommy's. Every night, set after set, I waited and hoped for the drum introduction that would signal Song Of India. It never came. On the last night just before the last set.....12:15 am I finally got up enough to nerve to ask 'Mr. Dorsey will you be playing Song Of India tonight?' I feared his answer. He looked at me in a quizzical way and asked 'Haven't we played that yet?' to which I replied, 'no you haven't and I've been here every night this week' 'Well, we'll see' he muttered and that was it. I was so afraid of upsetting him even further. I didn't say another word.

It's now 12:55 am and the last tune of the night and the week. The tom-tom introduces Song Of India! My heart stopped as I stood in the doorway to offstage. Tommy put the trombone to his lips, turned away from the dancers, looked for me and blew the entire first chorus right at me! It was so unreal I still have trouble believing it ever happened. But it did and some nights when I have trouble falling asleep I pull it from the memory bank and use it, along with some of my favourite 7 irons to the green golf shots, liasons with ladies of questionable pedigree, etc, etc. get to sleep.

So of you enjoyed the story, thank David Sager for making it happen!




Thank you for sharing this beautiful story and to David for encouraging you to do so.
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James Kidd
James Kidd

June 19th, 2017, 2:24 pm #4

In an earlier post about the Dorsey brothers in Winnipeg in the mid 50s, I mentioned having cut classes from the University of Manitoba to be their 'gopher' for their week at the Rancho Don Carlos. I'm posting it this time as a new item because if I attach it to the earlier post it won't get read and I think the story is so good I want to ensure that most followers here get to enjoy it. As I mentioned, Tommy was a sour, gruff individual who rehearsed the band EVERY afternoon and this in a time when there were hardly any big bands left! Jimmy was a real gentleman and always took the time to answer my naive and dumb questions with patience. Here he was spending his time with some star struck punk who couldn't afford to buy one of his 50 cent Deccas! I tried to avoid Tommy as he always seemed to be in a bad move altho at the end of the week he made a gesture that showed he had a soft side and gave me one of the most unforgettable moments of my life. Mentioning this prompted David Sager to ask me to tell the story so here it is. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do telling it and reliving the moment!

One of my favourite Dorsey recordings was Song Of India which showed off that incredible tone, technique and breath control that was Tommy's. Every night, set after set, I waited and hoped for the drum introduction that would signal Song Of India. It never came. On the last night just before the last set.....12:15 am I finally got up enough to nerve to ask 'Mr. Dorsey will you be playing Song Of India tonight?' I feared his answer. He looked at me in a quizzical way and asked 'Haven't we played that yet?' to which I replied, 'no you haven't and I've been here every night this week' 'Well, we'll see' he muttered and that was it. I was so afraid of upsetting him even further. I didn't say another word.

It's now 12:55 am and the last tune of the night and the week. The tom-tom introduces Song Of India! My heart stopped as I stood in the doorway to offstage. Tommy put the trombone to his lips, turned away from the dancers, looked for me and blew the entire first chorus right at me! It was so unreal I still have trouble believing it ever happened. But it did and some nights when I have trouble falling asleep I pull it from the memory bank and use it, along with some of my favourite 7 irons to the green golf shots, liasons with ladies of questionable pedigree, etc, etc. get to sleep.

So of you enjoyed the story, thank David Sager for making it happen!




That should read that Tommy always seemed in a bad 'mood ' not 'move'
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David Sager
David Sager

June 19th, 2017, 3:07 pm #5

In an earlier post about the Dorsey brothers in Winnipeg in the mid 50s, I mentioned having cut classes from the University of Manitoba to be their 'gopher' for their week at the Rancho Don Carlos. I'm posting it this time as a new item because if I attach it to the earlier post it won't get read and I think the story is so good I want to ensure that most followers here get to enjoy it. As I mentioned, Tommy was a sour, gruff individual who rehearsed the band EVERY afternoon and this in a time when there were hardly any big bands left! Jimmy was a real gentleman and always took the time to answer my naive and dumb questions with patience. Here he was spending his time with some star struck punk who couldn't afford to buy one of his 50 cent Deccas! I tried to avoid Tommy as he always seemed to be in a bad move altho at the end of the week he made a gesture that showed he had a soft side and gave me one of the most unforgettable moments of my life. Mentioning this prompted David Sager to ask me to tell the story so here it is. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do telling it and reliving the moment!

One of my favourite Dorsey recordings was Song Of India which showed off that incredible tone, technique and breath control that was Tommy's. Every night, set after set, I waited and hoped for the drum introduction that would signal Song Of India. It never came. On the last night just before the last set.....12:15 am I finally got up enough to nerve to ask 'Mr. Dorsey will you be playing Song Of India tonight?' I feared his answer. He looked at me in a quizzical way and asked 'Haven't we played that yet?' to which I replied, 'no you haven't and I've been here every night this week' 'Well, we'll see' he muttered and that was it. I was so afraid of upsetting him even further. I didn't say another word.

It's now 12:55 am and the last tune of the night and the week. The tom-tom introduces Song Of India! My heart stopped as I stood in the doorway to offstage. Tommy put the trombone to his lips, turned away from the dancers, looked for me and blew the entire first chorus right at me! It was so unreal I still have trouble believing it ever happened. But it did and some nights when I have trouble falling asleep I pull it from the memory bank and use it, along with some of my favourite 7 irons to the green golf shots, liasons with ladies of questionable pedigree, etc, etc. get to sleep.

So of you enjoyed the story, thank David Sager for making it happen!




Thanks, James. TD is one of my main inspirations on the trombone and I do like to collect stories about him. This sounds true to form. He could very very generous at times; less so as he grew older - the road really got to him!

Thanks gain.
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Debbie White
Debbie White

June 19th, 2017, 3:33 pm #6

In an earlier post about the Dorsey brothers in Winnipeg in the mid 50s, I mentioned having cut classes from the University of Manitoba to be their 'gopher' for their week at the Rancho Don Carlos. I'm posting it this time as a new item because if I attach it to the earlier post it won't get read and I think the story is so good I want to ensure that most followers here get to enjoy it. As I mentioned, Tommy was a sour, gruff individual who rehearsed the band EVERY afternoon and this in a time when there were hardly any big bands left! Jimmy was a real gentleman and always took the time to answer my naive and dumb questions with patience. Here he was spending his time with some star struck punk who couldn't afford to buy one of his 50 cent Deccas! I tried to avoid Tommy as he always seemed to be in a bad move altho at the end of the week he made a gesture that showed he had a soft side and gave me one of the most unforgettable moments of my life. Mentioning this prompted David Sager to ask me to tell the story so here it is. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do telling it and reliving the moment!

One of my favourite Dorsey recordings was Song Of India which showed off that incredible tone, technique and breath control that was Tommy's. Every night, set after set, I waited and hoped for the drum introduction that would signal Song Of India. It never came. On the last night just before the last set.....12:15 am I finally got up enough to nerve to ask 'Mr. Dorsey will you be playing Song Of India tonight?' I feared his answer. He looked at me in a quizzical way and asked 'Haven't we played that yet?' to which I replied, 'no you haven't and I've been here every night this week' 'Well, we'll see' he muttered and that was it. I was so afraid of upsetting him even further. I didn't say another word.

It's now 12:55 am and the last tune of the night and the week. The tom-tom introduces Song Of India! My heart stopped as I stood in the doorway to offstage. Tommy put the trombone to his lips, turned away from the dancers, looked for me and blew the entire first chorus right at me! It was so unreal I still have trouble believing it ever happened. But it did and some nights when I have trouble falling asleep I pull it from the memory bank and use it, along with some of my favourite 7 irons to the green golf shots, liasons with ladies of questionable pedigree, etc, etc. get to sleep.

So of you enjoyed the story, thank David Sager for making it happen!




Thank you for sharing this, James ! When you told the part about Tommy looking directly at YOU for the chorus it sent chills up my spine. I have gathered over the years that Tommy was a rather curmudgeonly sort, quite different from his brother, but yet there is a charisma and a magnetism that I sense when I've watched some of the old film clips he was featured in. I can't help but wonder what it might've been like when he ran up against other formidable personalities - such as that of Hoagy Carmichael. A sort of "Clash of the Titans" is what I envision.
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David Sager
David Sager

June 19th, 2017, 5:00 pm #7

The late Peter Levinson's biography of TD =Livin' in a great big way= is a trove of stories about Tommy, some complimentary, others not so. But it does offer a balanced, though exhausting, view of him.

I think a way to describe him during his heyday, would have been "unpredictable" or "volatile." The also late Richard M. Sudhalter describes him vividly in =Lost chords=. He says something about "curious streaks of generosity..."

"Curmudgeonly" may have better described this later period: twenty-some years on the road, the band business failing, a third failed marriage and bruised ego, etc...

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