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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » S » Stordahl, Axel

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Axel Stordahl

Odd Stordahl
Arranger, Composer, Conductor, Music Director, Trumpeter

Axel Stordahl is inextricably linked by all of his biographers with Frank Sinatra’s initial success as a soloist. The arranger understood the importance of tailoring a setting for a particular vocalist, and this he did in presenting Sinatra the balladeer, providing lush string arrangements with woodwinds to highlight the romantic nature of Sinatra’s songs.

When Sinatra left Tommy Dorsey in 1942, he took Stordahl with him to Columbia Records as his music director. Their successes included songs such as “You’ll Never Know,” “Saturday Night Is the Loneliest Night of the Week,” “They Say It’s Wonderful,” and “Mam’selle.” In 1946 they recorded The Voice, the first “concept album,” featuring eight ballads. It hit the Billboard charts at number one. Stordahl also oversaw Sinatra’s radio and televisions shows over their ten-year association, which produced a string of hits.

Before joining Dorsey in 1935, Stordahl had played trumpet and was part of a vocal group associated with other bands, but clearly his talent lay in arranging. When Dorsey split with his brother Jimmy and took over the Joe Haymes orchestra, he hired Stordahl as his arranger. Their first big hit in 1935 was “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You,” which became the band’s signature song.



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