Thomas A. Dorsey

Thomas A. Dorsey

The father of gospel music.

Founded

July 1, 1899 in Villa Rica, Georgia

Full Name

Date of Birth

July 1, 1899 in Villa Rica, Georgia

Still Alive

Date of Death

January 23, 1993 in Chicago, Illinois

Later Influenced

Mahalia Jackson, Sallie Martin, Albertina Walker, James Cleveland, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Little Richard, James Brown

Thomas Dorsey c. 1928
Thomas Dorsey c. 1928

About The artist

"The acknowledged father of gospel music, Thomas A. Dorsey remains arguably the most influential figure ever to impact the genre. A versatile composer whose material shifted easily from energetic hard gospel to gossamer hymns, he penned many of the best-known songs in the gospel canon, among them 'Take My Hand, Precious Lord' and 'Peace in the Valley'; the founder of the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, he was also a pioneering force in the renowned Chicago gospel community, where he helped launch the careers of legends including Mahalia Jackson and Sallie Martin."
Jason Ankeny, Allmusic.com

Did you know...

Faced with rejection by some churches of his up-tempo spirituals,  Dorsey is quoted as having said, "I've been thrown out of some of the best churches in America."

Other Artists from this genre

Mahalia Jackson

Mahalia Jackson

Considered the greatest gospel vocalist of all time.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Blended spiritual lyrics, bluesy style, and electric guitar.

Genres from this era

Blues

Blues

Born in the Mississippi Delta.

Jazz

Jazz

Born in New Orleans with roots in ragtime and the blues.

Swing

Swing

The dominant form of American dance music for over a decade.

Gospel

Gospel

The progeny of spirituals and cousin to the blues.