Jazzwax master blogger Marc Myers’ mention of the late arranger Bill Finegan yesterday reminded me that I did a show about Tommy Dorsey’s post-World War II orchestra a couple of years ago when I hosted WFIU’s The Big Bands. As Marc points out, Finegan crafted some fantastic arrangements for that particular Dorsey ensemble. In an e-mail followup exchange he asked if the program was still available for online listening, so I’m posting it here on the Night Lights site, along with the 2006 episode summary:
After the end of World War II, Tommy Dorsey’s commercial popularity began to wane, even as his band continued to include stellar musicians such as trumpeters Ziggy Elman and Charlie Shavers, clarinetist Buddy De Franco, and drummer Buddy Rich. The postwar Dorsey orchestra also featured arrangements by Bill Finegan, who had worked with Glenn Miller before the war and who would go on to form his own big band with Eddie Sauter in the 1950s, and by Sy Oliver, who had done so much to remake Dorsey’s sound from 1940 on. We’ll hear arrangements by both, as well as work from Sid Cooper, a saxophonist and the “bebop rebel” in Dorsey’s postwar band (Dorsey himself hated bebop).