Tommy and Bill.

by Albert Haim

I just learned that Bill Rank was best man in Tommy Dorsey's first wedding. This is reported in "Tommy Dorsey: Livin' in a Great Big Way, a Biography" by Peter J. Levinson.

Thomas "Tommy" Francis Dorsey married Mildred H. Kraft in Detroit, MI on April 29, 1924. They reported their ages as 21 and 19, respectively, but, in fact, they were 18 and 16 respectively.

Just a month earlier, March 27, 1924, Tommy had cut his first record with Jean Goldkette's orchestra. Some of the members of the orchestra were brother Jimmy, reed player Don Murray, the father of jazz violin, the great Joe Venuti, and fellow trombonist Bill Rank.
Bill gave capsule descriptions of Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, reported in Levinson's book:
"Jimmy was always the level-headed one. Tommy was always impulsive and aggressive."
Five numbers were recorded at the March 27, 1924 recording session (also the first recording session of the Goldkette orchestra).

Here is Walter Donaldson's "In the Evening," the first number waxed at the session. At 3:06 I hear a few notes that remind me a bit of "I Ain't Got Nobody."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaBKCJR-064

Albert

Posted on Aug 31, 2015, 7:17 AM

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