Dorsey, Thomas Andrew

Dorsey, Thomas Andrew

(dôr`sē), 1899–1993, American gospel musician, b. Villa Rica, Ga. He began his career as a blues pianist and songwriter. Later he became a church choir director in Chicago and was a co-founder of the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses. Widely known as the "father of the gospel song," he played an important role in the development of African-American gospel musicgospel music,
American religious musical form that owes much of its origin to the Christian conversion of West Africans enslaved in the American South. Gospel music partly evolved from the songs slaves sang on plantations, notably work songs, and from the Protestant hymns they
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. In his over 1,000 songs Dorsey combined elements of the blues with traditional African-American religious music. His works include the early "If You See My Savior" and his best-known song, "Take My Hand, Precious Lord."
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