The Dorsey Brothers’ “Ragtime Band”
In the early days of Muzak, many of the standards of the time were covered by popular recording artists. “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”, written by Irving Berlin in 1911, became his first hit song, sparking an international dance craze. That same year it topped the charts four different times, by four different bands. Now that’s a hit!
By the 1930s, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” had become a standard of which I found over 10 recordings by Muzak from 1935 thru 1950. Featuring artists like Bert Block, Milt Herth, The Virginians, Sam Tabak, Emil Coleman and Al Goodman, we have not digitized most of these recordings to date, so I have yet to hear them…. except for one.
On February 1, 1935, the Dorsey Brothers Dance Orchestra entered the Muzak studio in Manhattan, for a 3 hour session to record “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” along with 9 other tracks. This session was recorded just months before the big break-up when Tommy left Jimmy Dorsey to form his own band.
What a band! What a song! What a recording! What a treasure!! You can only imagine my excitement when I first heard this never before released recording of the Dorsey Brothers. In ONE TAKE the brothers captured this epic arrangement for all time. I invite you to be one of the first to hear this recording in over 60 years! Enjoy the Dorsey Brothers Dance Orchestra’s rendition of “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” from our Muzak master archives.
Contributed by Bruce McKagan