God, Presence of | Grief | Music

Sing to the Lord a new song (Ps. 98:1).

“Precious Lord,” perhaps the world’s most popular Gospel song, established its composer, Tom Dorsey, as the architect of Gospel Music. “Precious Lord’s” appeal crosses denominational lines and has been translated into thirty-two languages. During the
1920s, Dorsey had achieved a measure of fame as a jazz musician, and it was in that period that he became intrigued with the idea of blending jazz and blues with Church music.

In August 1932, Dorsey was scheduled to be the featured soloist in a St. Louis Church. Because his wife, Nettie, was pregnant, he worried about leaving her at home in Chicago. “Something was telling me to stay,” he said later. But he…

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