Thomas Andrew Dorsey was born on July 1, 1899 in Villa Rica, Georgia. He was known as “the father of black gospel music”. He was the music director at Pilgrim Baptist Church in Chicago from 1932 until the late 1970s. As gospel music changed, he sometimes was referenced as new styles were sometimes known as “dorseys.” Dorsey was a leading blues pianist known as Georgia Tom in his early days. He made his own style of gospel music combining Christian praise with the rhythms of jazz & the blues. His conception also deviated 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, a very successful gospel inspiration, passed away January 23, 1993.
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