music clip of the day


Tag: Thomas A. Dorsey

Sunday, November 10th

sounds of Chicago

Willie Rogers, “When the Gates Swing Open” (T. A. Dorsey), live, 2015




random sights

yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.


reading table

For all of life is really recoil and leap, leap and recoil.

—Lucy Ellman, Ducks, Newburyport

Sunday, June 28th

old school

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-).

Sunday, December 1st

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])

Sunday, May 23, 2010

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 [1982])



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?

Here’s the theme song for one of my favorite radio shows, Kevin Nutt’s Sinner’s Crossroads (WFMU-FM), which can be heard live on Thursday night from 7-8 p.m. (EST) or at the archives anytime.

Silver Quintette, “Sinner’s Crossroads” (1956, Chicago)/mp3

(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.)

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