Dr. Thomas A. Dorsey
Dr. Thomas Andrew Dorsey was born in Villa Rica, Georgia, the eldest of five children born to Reverend and Mrs. Thomas Dorsey. Dr. Dorsey started his musical career playing the blues accompanying such greats as Ma Rainey, earning him the nickname "Georgia Tom." In 1921, he began writing religious music. "Some Day, Some Where" was his first composition.
After the death of his first wife and son, Professor Dorsey wrote the immortal "Precious Lord, Take My Hand." In 1932, he joined the Pilgrim Baptist Church and became the Director of Gospel Choirs until his retirement. Dr. Dorsey studied music at Chicago Music College and received his doctorate from Simmons Institute, Charleston, South Carolina. In 1940, Dr. Dorsey married Kathryn Moseley, and they were blessed with two children.
Professor Dorsey established his own music studio and publishing company and in 1932 organized, along with Theodore R. Frye, Sallie Martin and Marion Pairs, the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, Inc.
Professor Dorsey was the innovator of Gospel music and is known and loved as the Father of Gospel Music. Professor Dorsey received many honors, citations and awards during his more than seventy-five years of music ministry. His biography is cited in who's who of music and he is the first African American to be entered into the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame, having composed 1,000 songs. His work is in the Smithsonian Institute and Dr. Dorsey was featured in the movie, "Say Amen, Somebody."
Dr. Dorsey's life was a testament of what faith, dedication and trust in God will do, and the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses stands as a monument to Dr. Dorsey's desire to bring glory to God in music.