Dorsey, Du Barry, and Delights

The One and Only Tommy Dorsey Orchestra Walking Onstage.

With the still-rainy weekend and a pair of tickets to a concert, our weekend turned out grand. The “One and Only Tommy Dorsey Orchestra” provided a fabulous music trip back into time, where music was hot, moving, and timeless.

When my beau and I walked into the venue, I was nearly slapped in the olfactory receptor (my nose) by the pungent mix of colognes and perfumes.  The mix of strong scents was something.  We met an older man who engaged us in conversation about music and playing various musical instruments.  It was enjoyable to get acquainted and learn about another person’s thoughts and life.  But, alas! soon the doors to the hall opened, we separated, and made our way to our seats.  Yay!

Obviously, Dorsey and his original musicians are long gone, but the orchestra still lives on. For ninety minutes, we were treated to the experience of what Big Bands sounded like in person, including the interaction between the band leader, musicians, and audience. Unfortunately, there was no dancing like you might see in a movie, with the large wooden dance floor and those tiny tables draped with linen tablecloths and topped with a table lamp and couples having drinks and a smoke and a whirl on the floor. This venue we attended was in a hall with a stage, and it was memorable nonetheless.

I couldn’t help but think how my parents, aunts, and uncles experienced such live entertainment back when the Big Bands were in style. They would spend Saturday nights at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, for example, and thinking about it made me think about how long ago that was. It was such a different world. And here I go, getting nostalgic—

The band played many of the Tommy Dorsey hits, such as “Opus One”, “Marie”, “Song of India, “I’ll Never Smile Again”, and more. Some of Frank Sinatra’s songs that he sung with Dorsey’s band were sung, too. You can read more about the current band HERE and the singer HERE.

Dorsey and his orchestra were featured in several contemporary movies, one of which was “Du Barry Was a Lady” (1943) with Lucille Ball, Red Skelton, Zero Mostel, and Virginia O’Brien. When my beau and I returned home after the concert, we dug out our copy and watched it. While the story was cute, the music played was fabulous. It was worth watching again.

I was a little surprised that at the concert, the band didn’t play any particularly patriotic melody, seeing it was Armed Forces Day on Saturday.

Up at the Stage. Look! Ludwig Drums!

Nevertheless, it was a fun evening, and the music and the movie rounded out an otherwise rainy weekend.

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.

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