Donald Lawrence asks for your support of The Thomas A. Dorsey Project

Professor Thomas A. Dorsey, Father of Gospel Music

(Springfield, IL)  The Thomas A. Dorsey
Project is proud to announce the support of Grammy, Dove and Stellar
Award winning recording artist, Donald Lawrence.

Donald Lawrence is an international songwriter, producer, music and
choir director and gospel extraordinaire with a storied musical career.  In support of The Thomas A. Dorsey Project, Lawrence issued this

As the Father of Gospel music, Mr. Thomas A. Dorsey has had a
profound impact on me as an artist. In fact, one of the first
songwriting awards I won as a young songwriter was the “Thomas A. Dorsey
Song of the Year Award,” during The Thomas A. Dorsey Convention of
National Choirs and Choruses. Mr. Dorsey not only paved the way for
future Gospel artists, he laid the foundation for which our genre of
music was built upon. All generations of musicians, regardless of their
musical preference or style need to study the work and life of Thomas
A. Dorsey. What better tool to learn the man than a piece of literature
written by his own grandson, Thomas A. Dorsey III? Thomas is currently
raising money via PayPal to facilitate the creation of this book about
his grandfather. Please contribute to this cause so that all of us
maybe allowed a window into the life of this musical genius.

The Thomas A. Dorsey Project is committed to protecting the image,
works, and reputation of Thomas A. Dorsey while preserving the legacy of
the most prolific innovator of gospel music. Dorsey arguably produced
the soundtrack to the Civil Rights Movement. Dorsey’s songs have been
recorded and performed by the likes of Sam Cooke, Albertina Walker,
Clara Ward, Elvis Presley, Whitney Houston, and Melonie Daniels, just to
name a few. The project is currently in Phase 1 of its Crowdsourcing
& Fundraising Campaign in which all funds received will assist in
facilitating logistics such as research, writing, editing, artistic
design and licensing necessary to complete a factually based narrative
which chronicles nearly a century of American History.

The Thomas A. Dorsey Project is seeking to transform Dorsey’s life story
into a manuscript, film and beyond. Please send all monetary
donations to:

The Thomas A. Dorsey Project
c/o Thomas A. Dorsey III
Box 1825

411 East Monroe
Springfield, IL 62705

Online donations can
be made at PayPal.

For exclusive content and photos please “follow” The Thomas A. Dorsey Project on Twitter @Dorsey_Project, “like” on Facebook at The-Thomas-A-Dorsey-Project, or visit the official Tumblr blog at  

The preceding content is from a press release issued by The Thomas A. Dorsey Project.

Durham teen, Tahmique Cameron, performs Dorsey classic, receives high praise at NCGCC ’13

Tahmique Cameron sings at the 80th Annual Session of the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses
Click to enlarge
Photo | Retta Bradford


Sixteen year-old Tahmique Cameron of Durham, NC, received a standing ovation for his rendition of the Dorsey hymn “When The Gates Swing Open” during the 80th Annual Session of the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, held August 3-10, in Houston, TX.  After returning to the platform for a reprise for the Soloist Bureau, he was lauded for his appreciation of traditional gospel and love of quartet music.
Rev. Dorsey—the Father of Gospel Music as well as the convention’s organizer and longtime president—undoubtedly would beam that his rich legacy is being carried on by passionate young people like Tahmique.

Detroit Free Press interviews Thomas M. Dorsey, son of “Precious Lord” composer

Professor Thomas A. Dorsey (1899-1993)
Cassandra Spratling of Detroit Free Press talks with the only son of Professor Thomas A. Dorsey–Thomas M. Dorsey–about his father’s legacy and the lasting impact of one of the most beloved hymns in all of gospel.
Professor Dorsey, The Father of Gospel Music, composed “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” in 1932, in response to the passing of his wife who died in childbirth and their newborn baby who died shortly afterwards.
Read the interview here.

Chicago Gospel Festival 2012 continues through weekend

For the first time ever, the Chicago Gospel Festival will not be downtown.  Instead it will be on the South Side, in the Bronzeville neighborhood, not too far from historic Pilgrim Baptist Church–home of “The Father of Gospel Music” Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey.  The weekend will be filled with concerts by Mary Mary, Fred Hammond and others, workshops, and a film screening of the acclaimed documentary Say Amen, Somebody.

More information and the complete schedule is at

“The Lord Will Make A Way Somehow” – Aretha Franklin

“The Lord Will Make A Way Somehow”
Aretha Franklin
From the CD, This Christmas (2008)
DMI Records

I love a good hymn.  And a good hymn is made great when sung by a skillful singer who does it justice.  Enter the “Queen of Soul” with a signature composition by the “Father of Gospel,” the late Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey.

I am really not sure why “The Lord Will Make A Way Somehow” is on Aretha’s Christmas album.  It does prove, though, that there’s always room for classic gospel.  Aretha infuses this gem with soul for your soul.  Add some funk to the ageless lyrics and you have yourself a song for all seasons.

“Peace in the Valley” – Raymond Silver

“Peace in the Valley”
Raymond Silver
From the CD, Use Me (2010)

“Peace in the Valley” is a timeless hymn that has been covered by the likes of Mahalia Jackson (for whom it was written), Red Foley, Pat Boone, Dolly Parton, Randy Travis, Loretta Lynn, Take 6, The Soul Stirrers, Elvis Presley, and no less than a score of others.

Now you can add Raymond Silver to the roster.

On his current CD, Use Me, the multi-talented Silver delivers his own interpretation of the Thomas Dorsey classic.  Silver’s arrangement is faster, but he handles the traditional gem with care, as if the composer is within earshot.  Most of Silver’s liberties are taken in the vamp (the repeated phrase “in the valley”) as he chronicles all the glooms he’ll abandon and joys he’ll embrace upon entering into eternal peace.

Hearing this version of “Peace in the Valley” 70-plus years after it was written, I think Rev. Dorsey would be pleased.

“Happy birthday, Dr. Thomas Dorsey!”

Dr. Thomas A. Dorsey, recognized as the “Father of Gospel Music,” would have turned 102 today.  His most famous gospel composition is “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” though he wrote over 1000 blues and gospel songs during his lifetime.
May we never forget the pioneers on whose shoulders we stand.