Thomas A. Dorsey

1 July 1899–23 January 1993


Thomas A. Dorsey (1945), image courtesy of the Hogan Jazz Archive, Tulane University.

Featured Hymns:

Precious Lord, take my hand

Published Collections:

For a list of individual songs in order by copyright date, see Boyer (1992), pp. 144-145.

The Gospel Singers News (periodical, 1935-?)

Treasure Chest of Favorite Hymns (NY: Treasure Chest, 1940s)

Dorsey’s Gospel Song Loose Leaf Folio No. 1 (1941): WorldCat

Piano Duet Book of Gospel Hymns (1944): WorldCat

Thomas A. Dorsey’s Poem Book for All Occasions (1945): WorldCat

Dorsey’s Songs with a Message, No. 1 (1951): WorldCat

Dorsey’s Songs of the Kingdom (1951): WorldCat

Great Gospel Songs of Thomas A. Dorsey (1965): WorldCat | (1988): WorldCat

The Precious Lord Story and Gospel Songs (1970s): WorldCat

see also:

Gospel Pearls (1921)

Baptist Standard Hymnal (1924)

Recorded Editions:

Georgia Tom (Thomas A. Dorsey), Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, 2 vols. (Document Records, DOCD 6021-6022, 1928-1934): Amazon

Kansas City Kitty & Georgia Tom, Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order (Document Records, DOCD 6023, 1930-1934): Amazon

Precious Lord: New Recordings of the Great Gospel Songs of Thomas A. Dorsey (Columbia Records, 1973).

see also:

Tampa Red, Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, 15 vols. (Document Records).

Manuscripts & Collections:

Thomas A. Dorsey Collection, Fisk University:
https://www.fisk.edu/academics/library/special-collections-and-archives

Sheet Music by Thomas A. Dorsey, Chicago History Museum:
http://chsmedia.org/media/fa/fa/LIB/SheetMusic_ThomasDorsey_TitleList.htm

Clayton Hannah Collection, Hogan Jazz Archives, Tulane University (New Orleans):
https://digitallibrary.tulane.edu/

African American Sheet Music Collection, Emory University:
https://findingaids.library.emory.edu/documents/afamsheetmusic1028/

Related Resources:

“King of the Gospel Writers,” Ebony, vol. 18, no. 1 (November 1962), pp. 122-29.

Horace Clarence Boyer, “An analysis of his contributions: Thomas A. Dorsey, Father of Gospel Music,” Black World, vol. 23, no. 9 (July 1974), pp. 20-28.

Say Amen, Somebody, directed by George T. Nierenberg (GTN Productions, 1983). [Published as VHS, DVD, LP, and CD].

Michael W. Harris, The Rise of Gospel Blues: the Music of Thomas Andrew Dorsey in the Urban Church (Oxford: University Press, 1992): WorldCat

Horace Clarence Boyer, “Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me on,” We’ll Understand it Better By and By (Washington, DC: Smithsonian, 1992), pp. 141-163.

Michael W. Harris, “Conflict and resolution in the life of Thomas Andrew Dorsey,” We’ll Understand it Better By and By (Washington, DC: Smithsonian, 1992), pp. 165-182.

“Thomas A. Dorsey is dead at 93; known as the Father of Gospel Music,” New York Times (24 January 1993): NY Times

Robert M.W. Dixon & John Godrich, Blues and Gospel Records, 1902-1943 (Oxford: University Press, 1997): WorldCat

Timothy M. Kalil, “Thomas A. Dorsey and the development and diffusion of traditional black gospel piano,” Perspectives on American Music, 1900–1950, ed. Michael Saffle (NY: Garland, 2000), pp. 171-191: WorldCat

Joe C. Clark, “Thomas Andrew Dorsey,” Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music (NY: Routledge, 2005), pp. 105-108.

George Perry Lee III, Thomas A. Dorsey’s Influence on African-American Worship, dissertation (Louisville: Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2008): SBTS

Bert Polman, J.R. Watson & Carlton Young, “Thomas A. Dorsey,” Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology:
http://www.hymnology.co.uk/t/thomas-a-dorsey

Kip Lornell, “Thomas Andrew Dorsey,” American National Biography:
https://doi.org/10.1093/anb/9780198606697.article.1803322

Paul Oliver, “Thomas Andrew Dorsey,” Grove Music Online:
https://doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.A2256394

National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses:
http://ncgccinc.org

Thomas Andrew Dorsey, Hymnary.org:
https://hymnary.org/person/Dorsey_TA