Sunday, September 21, 2008

Thomas Dorsey AKA Georgia Tom

As I continue to highlight Gospel blues musicians I want to give a better profile of Thomas Dorsey. Who at the end of his life was better known as "the father of gospel music", after earlier being a leading blues pianist, called Georgia Tom.

Thomas Andrew Dorsey was born on July 1, in 1899, in Villa Rica, Georgia, and he passed away on January 23, 1993, in Chicago. According to wikipedia;

As formulated by Dorsey, gospel music combines Christian praise with the rhythms of jazz and the blues. His conception also deviates from what had been, to that time, standard hymnal practice by referring explicitly to the self, and the self's relation to faith and God, rather than the individual subsumed into the group via belief.

Dorsey was the music director at Pilgrim Baptist Church in Chicago from 1932 until the late 1970s. His best known composition, "Take My Hand, Precious Lord", was performed by Mahalia Jackson and was a favorite of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr, and "Peace in the Valley", which was a hit for Red Foley in 1951 and has been performed by dozens of other artists, including Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.

In 2002, the Library of Congress honored his album Precious Lord: New Recordings of the Great Songs of Thomas A. Dorsey (1973), by adding it to the United States National Recording Registry.


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