I could live five hundred years and never tire of hearing this voice.
Soul Stirrers (feat. R. H. Harris [1916-2000], lead vocals), “Lord, I’ve Tried” (T. A. Dorsey), 1946
Photograph by Robert Frank (1924-).
Still, after 30 years, the best gospel-music movie I’ve ever seen.
Say Amen, Somebody (1982): The Barrett Sisters (“He Has Brought Us”), The O’Neal Twins (“Jesus Dropped The Charges”), Willie Mae Ford Smith (“I’ll Never Turn Back”), Thomas A. Dorsey (“Precious Lord” [excerpt])
You don’t have to go to Chicago’s south or west sides to hear music that comes from the gospel tradition. The other day, at a Catholic church in a far northwest suburb (Barrington), a funeral service (for my uncle) closed with this.
Thomas A. Dorsey (1899-1993), “Precious Lord,” live, c. 1981 (Say Amen, Somebody )
More from Mr. Dorsey (and Say Amen, Somebody):
Since it’s the best-known gospel song [‘Precious Lord’], it was perfectly natural for Dr. Martin Luther King to request its performance the night of his death.
—Anthony Heilbut, The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times (6th ed. 2002)
Want more gospel?
(This comes from The Widow’s Might, a DVD containing [in mp3 format] every song played on Sinner’s Crossroads in 2009, which is available as a premium for a $75 pledge to WFMU.)