James "Jimmy" Dorsey (February 29, 1904 – June 12, 1957) was a prominent American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, trumpeter and big band leader.
Jimmy Dorsey was born in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, the son of a music teacher and older brother of Tommy Dorsey who also became a prominent musician. He played trumpet in his youth, appearing on stage in a Vaudeville act as early as 1913. He switched to alto saxophone in 1915, and then learned to double on clarinet. While little-known now, Jimmy Dorsey played on a clarinet outfitted with the Albert system of fingering, as opposed to the more common Boehm system used by most of his contemporaries including Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. With his brother Tommy playing trombone, he formed Dorsey’s Novelty Six, one of the first jazz bands to broadcast. On December 26, 1953, the brothers and their orchestra appeared on Jackie Gleason's CBS television program. The success of that television appearance led Gleason to produce a weekly variety program, Stage Show, hosted by the brothers on CBS from 1954 and 1956. Elvis Presley appeared on several of the telecasts. Jimmy took over leadership of the orchestra after Tommy's death. Jimmy survived his brother by only a few months and died of lung cancer, aged 53, in New York City. Broadcasts of Jimmy Dorsey and The Fabulous Dorsey Orchestra on NBC Bandstand survive from December 25, and December 31, 1956. At least two other extant broadcasts from the month of December 1956 are available as well.