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Thomas A. Dorsey

Thomas A. Dorsey.
Thomas Andrew Dorsey in
Wahington D.C., in 1991.
Courtesy Tulane University

Thomas Andrew Dorsey, the "Father of Gospel Music," began using the phrase "gospel songs" in the mid-1920s, for a new kind of religious music. Gospels are songs of worship with the bounce and rhythm of early blues and jazz.

This music already had a number of champions, but Dorsey's commitment would give rise to a gospel movement in Chicago that would spread worldwide. His association with gospel music was so strong that for decades, songs in this style were simply called "Dorseys."

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