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Dorsey, Thomas Andrew

Dorsey, Thomas Andrew dôr´sē [key], 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 music . 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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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