Oliver Dorsey was a passionate servant of God who took pride in providing holistic ministry services that touched spirit, mind, and body. He was beloved husband, father, pastor who tirelessly served in his community for years – his passing will be missed by all who knew him but his legacy will live on forever.
Early Life and Education
Dorsey became part of Will Walker’s Whispering Syncopaters as a pianist during the 1920s, playing alongside blues artists such as Ma Rainey, Tampa Red, Scrapper Blackwell, Frankie Jaxson and Memphis Minnie. By 1932 Dorsey decided to switch his focus entirely towards gospel music evangelism instead.
He hired singer Jack Leonard, drummer Dave Tough and trombonist Axel Stordahl – who became popular among audiences as they appeared regularly on NBC Blue program and helped increase record sales through these appearances.
After weathering a musicians’ strike in 1942, the Dorsey band went on to record two top ten hits: 1938 instrumental “Marie”, and 1940s recordings from Broadway musical Show Boat featuring Frank Sinatra as vocalist. Additionally, this popular ensemble appeared in several motion pictures including Thrill of a Romance and Ship Ahoy.
Even during wartime, TD continued his radio show each week and recruited a smaller band with fewer strings to meet realistic artistic and financial objectives. He also recruited The Town Criers vocal group as well as welcoming Ziggy Elman back onto trumpet.
Dorsey is known for creating groundbreaking work, which blends abstract movement with theatrical dialogue. His dance-theater pieces frequently celebrate trans, gender nonconforming, and queer identities and have made a name for him in arts activism circles as well.
Now, his award-winning San Francisco company Sean Dorsey Dance has established itself as an internationally acclaimed leader in its field. Through evening-length productions such as The Missing Generation and Boys in Trouble, which examine toxic masculinity and white supremacy. Furthermore, Sean Dorsey Dance provides inclusive dance training programs for trans and non-binary youth and also provides innovative dance-theater programs at arts institutions.
Achievement and Honors
He became renowned as an officer during the Civil War, commanding an entire division. Additionally, his books became immensely popular.
He graduated Royal Oak High School with ten varsity letters in 1948 and received the Morrison Trophy, All-State team selections in football, basketball and baseball.
Dorsey achieved 18 Top Ten hits between 1937 and 1939 with his orchestra, including “Marie,” written and performed by Jack Leonard (with vocalist Jo Stafford joining pianist Connie Haines to replace Edythe Wright as lead vocalist; this changed when his compilation album Clambake Seven made the Top Ten list in October 1948; following this he made three movies including DuBarry Was a Lady, Girl Crazy and Disc Jockey in 1949.
Dorsey was an active and devout member of her church, frequently attending and speaking at local events such as Thanksgiving celebrations to discuss such themes as “Uses of Adversity” and “The Lord Loveth Those Who Come Unto Him”5. Additionally, she wrote an original essay for publication in Philadelphia Tribune.
As soon as the musicians’ strike concluded in 1944, Dorsey returned to the studio and recorded four more Top Ten hits for RCA Victor. Meanwhile, his band continued touring extensively while Dorsey made three films.
Dorsey was one of the most beloved musicians of the swing era, often overshadowed by more glamorous figures like Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Harry James or Artie Shaw despite remaining one of its best-selling bandleaders during this era. His saxophone playing, trombone skills and arrangements spanned both hot and sweet styles of swing music.
Oliver Dorsey was an American musician. Known as one of the leaders of swing era bands and an influential performer, Dorsey and his orchestra provided sweet ballads, novelties and jazz tunes in an array of styles for audiences during that period. Additionally, Dorsey helped Glenn Miller launch his career.
Reportedly, he extended Miller a loan of $5,000 and hired him as an arranger and sideman, ultimately becoming his own successful bandleader himself.
Dorsey is currently CEO of Twitter and recently pledged his stake in Square to relief efforts related to the coronavirus pandemic, promising to sell off his shares gradually over time. Additionally, his foundation launched an initiative geared toward funding science and civic engagement programs – this follows in the footsteps of others like Jeff Bezos donating $100 million to Feeding America as well as Michael and Susan Dell who both pledged equal amounts.