Tommy Dorsey

Big Bands

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Culled from the vaults of RCA Victor, Time Life's survey of Tommy Dorsey's career is not a greatest-hits collection, including only four of his 17 chart-topping records ("Marie," "The Dipsy Doodle," "Music, Maestro, Please," and "I'll Never Smile Again") among its 21 selections. But it is a tastefully chosen compilation, balancing hits with Dorsey signature material, such as his theme song, "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You," and his memorable jazz showcases "Yes, Indeed!" and "Opus No. 1." The Dorsey band was among the most versatile of the swing era, able to play effectively in both the sweet and hot styles, and though no single disc can capture its range, this one hits the high points, from the mock classical style of "Song of India" to the novelty of "You've Gotta Eat Your Spinach, Baby" (written for a Shirley Temple film). And unlike many Dorsey compilations, this one is not top-heavy with Frank Sinatra vocals, including only five and also finding room for such important Dorsey singers as Edythe Wright and Jack Leonard.