Biography
Biographers of Georgia Tom Dorsey like to make comments such as "his life was a living testimony of the power of God." But there was also a trashy side to the man, expressed best in song titles such as "Terrible Operation Blues" and "Pig Meat Blues." Ultimately, Dorsey chose the church over the honky tonk. In gospel music, his work as a composer and arranger is acknowledged to be so significant that he is often referred to as the father of gospel music. In country blues, he is just one of the gang, although the he kept great company with the likes of Ma Rainey and Tampa Red.

Dorsey grew up in Atlanta, raised by a Baptist minister and encouraged mightily in musical aptitude that revealed itself strongly when he was still an infant. He absorbed every kind of music he heard, checking out circus music, blues, jazz, vaudeville, hymns, and even hillbilly songs. All these styles influenced the music he created during his career, but blues and ragtime were his main interests. While still a teenager, he started gigging using the stage name Georgia Tom.

In 1918 he moved to Chicago, picking up action with area jazzmen, starting up his own Wildcats Jazz Band, and going on tour with the classic blues empress Ma Rainey, but hustling song sheets became his main way of earning money simply because live gigs netted him little money. By 1932, Dorsey became more and more associated with the music of the church, starting up one of the first gospel choirs, and initiating the first publishing firm exclusively devoted to the compositions of Black gospel artists. Dorsey himself was high on the list of such performers, composing some of the most familiar gospel songs, including "Precious Lord," the serene "Peace in the Valley," the sincere "I Don't Know Why," and the probing "Search Me Lord." His involvement in the Chicago gospel scene enabled him to help forward the important careers of singers Mahalia Jackson and Mother Willie Mae Ford Smith. Dorsey died in 1193 at the age of 93. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi




 
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Kansas City Kitty & Georgia Tom~How Can You Have the Blues~1930
Kansas City Kitty & Georgia Tom - Show Me What You've Got
Georgia Tom & Tampa Red - If You Want Me To Love You
How About You
Georgia Tom Talking
Tampa Red & Georgia Tom - You Can't Get That Stuff No More
Tampa Red and Georgia Tom - It's tight like that (1928)
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