Thomas A. Dorsey was born on July 1, 1899 near Atlanta, GA. He died on January 23, 1993 in Chicago. Dorsey has been called the “father of modern gospel music” and the “father of black gospel music”.
Learning to play the piano at a young age, he played the piano in bars and dance halls, eventually travelling with some popular blues bands in the 1920’s. He is credited for writing over 400 blues and jazz songs.
But sometime around 1930, Thomas Dorsey committed his talents to God, spending the rest of his life writing Gospel music. He opened the first black gospel music publishing company, Dorsey House of Music
He wrote many gospel songs, but is perhaps best remembered for these two: “There Will Be Peace In The Valley For Me”, and “Take My Hand, Precious Lord”. These classics were recorded by hundreds of well-known singers and groups, including Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.
He was elected to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1981. He was also given a Recording Academy Trustees Award in 1992.