June is Black Music Month- Day 2: Thomas Dorsey
The month of June is designated Black Music Month! Since Day 2 falls on a Sunday, what better way to celebrate it on than to focus on gospel music!
Thomas Dorsey is known as the father of gospel music. According to Christianity Today, Dorsey gave up a thriving jazz career to dedicate himself to the church after tragedy took his wife and newborn son.
Dorsey is said to have taken church music, hymns, and spirituals and pepped them up, adding a rhythm to them and calling it "gospel music."
In addition to "Take My Hand, Precious Lord," Dorsey is credited with writing other notable songs such as "Peace in the Valley." Both of these were recorded by Mahalia Jackson before being brought to more secular audiences by Elvis Presley.
Dorsey, who was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1982, died in 1993 at the age of 93; but his influence on the music that stirs our souls and guides our spirituality will be felt for generations to come.