Biography of 



1904 - 1957

Jimmy's musical training began when he was a young boy in Pennsylvania.  Along with his brother Tommy, the talented young musicians joined Paul Whiteman's Orchestra and at the same time they were recording many records under the billing "The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra".  Their band continued through the early thirties until a dispute over a tempo of a song separated the brothers for decades.

Jimmy found himself an instant leader of the band that became the birth of the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra.  His records sold well in the late thirties, but as the forties got under way it was apparent that his momentum was increasing.  With hits like "Amapola" and "Green Eyes" featuring Helen O'Connell, the band jumped to the top of the charts making Jimmy the biggest success story of the year.  Other hit selling records and a series of motion pictures followed, establishing him firmly on top.

 Helen played an important part of the band's success, both on records and in personal appearances.  Her hits "I Remember You", "Tangerine" and others more took her to the top of the charts as well.

During the early fifties Jimmy was still a successful name in the business.  Even with all of his success, he joined forces with his brother Tommy in 1953 to become the greatest band of all time!

With the untimely death of Tommy in 1956, Jimmy once again was left to carry on, but only for a short time as his own health was failing rapidly.  In 1957 he left us with his last and greatest hit "So Rare" which topped the nation's popularity charts.

 The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra has continued successfully for decades and is still in great demand all over the world.  The past success of the Orchestra was due to the leadership of Lee Castle and more recently from 1990 through the new millennium, Jim Miller.  The leadership has now passed to Bill Tole who will continue to bring joy to young and the "young at heart" as they enjoy the sounds of American Music - our history.


Biography of

Bill Tole



Bill Tole has been the leader of the  Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra since 

January 1, 2002.

     Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA., Bill Tole comes from a musical family.  His father was a high school band director for many years and worked as a professional trombonist and piano player until his retirement.  His mother also played the piano and for many years performed with master chorales in the western Pennsylvania area.  They were a tremendous influence on Tole developing an appreciation and love for the art.  Bill is the oldest of four children.  His sister Nancy is the featured vocalist with the  Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, and is the lead singer and leader of the famous  Pied Pipers.   His brother Gary is a busy studio musician and leader of his own band called Legends of Swing  in the Los Angeles area.   And the youngest of the four children  Amy, who had not chosen a career in music as a performer,  enjoyed listening to all music and was one of the Tole family's' biggest fans.

     Wishing to pursue a career as a musician, Bill attended Duquesne University School of Music.  After four years of college he auditioned for the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and went on tour with the band.   He later joined the Air Force dance band Airmen of Note, a continuation of the Army Air Force "Glenn Miller Orchestra".  

     Following the military service he quickly became a much sought after musician.  Bill moved to New York City in the mid 60's and played for many of the top Broadway shows, worked club dates and was busy doing recordings in the studios.

     However, a change in the studio scene relocated Bill to Los Angeles in 1967 where he continued his professional career.  Bill has performed with many of the great stars in the music business.  Some of the big band leaders he has played with include; Ray Anthony, Tex Beneke, Louis Bellson, Les Brown, Bob Crosby, Harry James, Quincy Jones, Nelson Riddle and Si Zentner.  The great singing stars include; Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones, Ella Fitzgerald, Pearl Bailey, Tony Martin and many more.

     Bill is very much in demand as a soloist, teacher and clinician in the United States .   Bill plays a Getzen trombone model 3508 and/or a King 2B PLUS, with a Warburton mouthpiece model 11M-T4.  He has  performed in Great Britain,  Australia and Japan as a clinician and lecturer as well as  in concert as a featured soloist.


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