But he lives on each Sunday as voices rise in praise, singing the gospel across the land. There were also a growing number of influential choirs in Chicago challenging the musical norms of the established churches, though Dorsey was usually more associated with the rise of the solo tradition. I first encountered it as an LP from the documentary and have enjoyed it ever since. Music performed in established black churches in Chicago and throughout the U.S. came from hymnals and was performed as written, usually as a way to showcase the musical abilities of the choirs rather than as a vehicle to deliver a specific spiritual message. Documentary performer: "Opus One" - as Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra: Cold Case: 2006: TV Series 1 episode: Anytown, USA: 2005: Documentary performer . Warts and politics. Dorsey was the son of a Baptist preacher; his mother was the church organist. Director George T. Nierenberg Stars Willie Mae Ford Smith Smith Thomas A. Dorsey Sallie Martin See production, box office & company info Search on Amazon search for Blu-ray and DVD Add to Watchlist Dorsey instead asked his singers to rely on feeling.[43]. (Harris, p. 24. states three, Marovich, p. 71 states five), Sometimes titled "Standing at the Bedside of a Neighbor". Thomas A. Dorsey(Actor), Delois Barrett Campbell(Actor), George T. Nierenberg(Director)& 0moreRated: Unrated Format: DVD 4.5 out of 5 stars129 ratings IMDb7.6/10.0 DVDfrom $18.00 VHS Tapefrom $39.99 Additional DVD options Edition Discs Price New from Used from DVDFebruary 3, 2001 Yoruba originated in West Africa and pre-dates Christianity. In addition, the blues factor of the gospel blues equation had associations with secular venues and activities often discouraged by the church. With his brother Jimmy, Dorsey helped define American popular music from the 1920s through the mid 1950s. It featured syncopated notes in an eight-bar blues structure; but instead of themes of defiance in the face of despair - the theme most common in the blues - this new music told stories of hope and affirmation. Thomas Dorsey and Mother Willie Mae Ford Smith, 100mins He remained in contact with his friends and fellow blues musicians, saying, "I'm not ashamed of my blues. In actual fact, his first musical impact was as a blues stylist as both writer and performer. He returned to blues, recording "It's Tight Like That" with guitarist Hudson "Tampa Red" Whittaker despite his misgivings over the suggestive lyrics. Say Amen, Somebody gives an overview of the history of gospel music in the U.S. by following two main figures: Thomas A. Dorsey, considered the "Father of Gospel Music," 83 at the time of filming, recalls how he came to write his most famous song, "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" (1932), and the difficulty he faced introducing gospel blues to black Soon he began selling concessions there, and aspiring to join the theater band, honed his musical skills on his family's organ and a relative's piano, picking out melodies that he had heard and practicing long hours. [36] He is buried at Oak Woods Cemetery in Chicago. Lornell, Kip, "Dorsey, Thomas (18991993) Blues and Gospel Musician and Composer". The life of Professor Dorsey was immortalized in the documentary, Say Amen Somebody. Report this film, "You mean to tell me you don't know 'bout this good news? hide caption. ", Though the new biopic about Aretha Franklin starring Jennifer Hudson is earning tepid reviews, I'm going to see it this afternoon. Thomas Andrew Dorsey (July 1, 1899 - January 23, 1993) was an American musician, composer, and Christian evangelist influential in the development of early blues and 20th-century gospel music. And I think the choir meant so much to those people because for a few hours on Sunday, they were royalty. He landed his first big break in 1924, playing with Ma Gertrude Rainey and Her Wild Cats Jazz Band. There is no sense of social performance outside of what is naturally there. Thomas A. Dorsey was one of the gospel pioneers profiled in George Nierenberg's Say Amen, Somebody. As a native Georgian I was pleased to have met Mr. Dorsey back in the early 70's. documentary "Say Amen, Somebody" (1982), where he is shown singing, remembering the past . Reflection There is no word more precious than peace, nor a more joyous state of being for a Christian, than to know God's peace. I owned it years ago on VHS. Women swooned who had lost their men. Both were born enslaved; both used the Gospel to shape their identities. Apparently, this is a common phrase for a preacher to employ when looking to foster agreement. He is a musical genius!!! Ma Rainey's listeners swayed, rocked, moaned and groaned with her. Poe, Janita, "Thomas A Dorsey, Gospel Pioneer", National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Precious Lord: New Recordings of the Great Songs of Thomas A. Dorsey, Living legends of Chicago gospel honor tradition, carry on family legacies, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Spirit of Dorsey's Songs Fills His Funeral Service, Living Legends of Chicago Gospel Honor Tradition, Carry on Family Legacies, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductee List, Frequently Asked Questions: National Recording Registry, Complete National Recording Registry Listing: National Recording Registry, "If I Could Hear My Mother Pray AgainThomas Dorsey (1934)", "Peace in the Valley"Red Foley and the Sunshine Boys (1951), "Precious Lord: New Recordings of the Great Gospel Songs of Thomas A. Dorsey", "'It's Tight Like That' by Tampa Red and Georgia Tom", "'Future Blues' Willie Brown (Paramount 1930)", Biography by the Chicago Historical Society, "The Father of the Chicago Gospel Singing Movement", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Thomas_A._Dorsey&oldid=1150701726, Governor's Award for the Arts in Chicago, given 1985, "If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again" (1934), added in 2007 recorded by Dorsey, written by John Whitfield Vaughan in 1922, "Peace In The Valley" by Red Foley and the Sunshine Boys (1951), added in 2006, Ferris, William, and Hart, Mary L., eds. Its a documentary set in a time period around 70's of old time gospel . Villa Rica's rural location allowed Dorsey to hear slave spirituals, and "moaning" a style of singing marked by elongated notes and embellishments widespread among Southern black people alongside the Protestant hymns his father favored. The narrow focus of this doc lets us really dive into the world and upturn the furniture rather that only tread upon the surface of the genre and its leaders. When Muhammad's son, Warith Deen, assumes leadership after his father's death, he transforms the organization to follow the practice of orthodox Islam (Louis X. Farrakhan resurrected the ideology of the old Nation of Islam in 1978). Thomas Dorsey wrote nearly one thousand gospel songs in his lifetime. Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2022, Reviewed in the United States on April 20, 2022. By the time Ma Rainey finished her song, she was "in her sins" - and Georgia Tom was right there with her, his rhythmic piano filling the grooves. Thomas Andrew Dorsey, Thomas Andrew Dorsey (1900-1993), often called the Father of Gospel Music, migrated from Atlanta to Chicago as a young man, thus exemplifying the exp African Music, Gospel Music Gospel Music The African-American religious music known as gospel, originating in the field hollers, slave songs, spirituals, and Protes W C Handy, Handy, W. C. W. C. Handy Singer, composer . (Harris, pp. In 1932, he co-founded the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, an organization dedicated to training musicians and singers from all over the U.S. that remains active. Thomas Dorsey. "[37][27] Dorsey began to slow down in the 1970s, eventually showing symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. 84.00. Made by fans in Aotearoa New Zealand. The 1981 meeting featured in the film was the last convention he was able to attend. Martin Luther King Jr.. Although Dorsey claimed to have been thrown out of some of the best churches, Harris observed that the time was right for Dorsey's eventual success; there were increasing numbers of store-front churches that appealed to southern migrants, and there was a booming trade in recorded sermons of the type Dorsey's father might have delivered. Six years later, Dorsey left Atlanta for Chicago. "I asked him for any suggestions that he had for another topic for an interesting film, and he said these were his exact words he said, 'You oughta look into gospel music; those cats are really neat,' " Nierenberg remembers. The pilgrims took a physical and spiritual voyage, walking from Massachusetts to New Orleans, through the Caribbean, and ultimately, to Goree Island in Senegal. [41] Horace Boyer attributes this popularity to "simple but beautiful melodies", unimposing harmonies, and room for improvisation within the music. (For more of Thomas A. Dorsey's work, see also "Precious Lord: New Recordings of the Great Gospel Songs of Thomas A. Dorsey," added to the National Registry in 2002.) There, Dorsey remained active until the 1970s, when failing health forced him into semi-retirement. It's all the same talent. [4], Directionless, Dorsey began attending shows at the nearby 81 Theater, that featured blues musicians and live vaudeville acts. Loved it. And that's how he came to capture his subjects accurately, says Dr. Rhea Combs. Rainey interacted with her audiences, who were often so enthralled they stood up and shouted back at her while she sang. No cable. Posters are sourced from TMDb and Posteritati, and appear for you and visitors to your profile and content, depending on settings. As beautifully affecting and uplifting as nearly any narrative tale could be, but with a depressing undercurrent as harrowing as those final minutes of THE IRISHMAN. Thomas A. Dorsey 1997 Share Widely regarded as the father of gospel music, Thomas A. Dorsey's composing talent became a merging point in the early '20s, for many musical styles. Documentary about the American gospel music scene, focusing on two of the movement's pioneering forces, Thomas A. Dorsey and Willie May Ford Smith.Documentary about the American gospel music scene, focusing on two of the movement's pioneering forces, Thomas A. Dorsey and Willie May Ford Smith.Documentary about the American gospel music scene, focusing on two of the movement's pioneering forces, Thomas A. Dorsey and Willie May Ford Smith. [f], Chapters of the NCGCC opened in St. Louis and Cleveland. His appearance with another great gospel singer, Willie Mae Ford Smith, in the documentary Say Amen Somebody also afforded him considerable exposure. [20] He also mentored many young musicians, including training a teenage Mahalia Jackson when she first arrived in Chicago, although he said she did not entirely accept his instruction: "She said I was trying to make a stereotyped singer out of her. In 1933, Dorsey directed a 600-person chorus at the second meeting of the NCGCC, now boasting 3,500 members in 24 states. [18][h], Throughout his career, Dorsey composed more than 1,000 gospel and 2,000 blues songs, an achievement Mahalia Jackson considered equal to Irving Berlin's body of work. He visited a faith healer, Bishop H.H. In a purely musical sense, to Dorsey, the blues was merely a collection of improvisational techniques. Some objected to the degradation of worship through blues shouting. [52] Four years later, Aretha Franklin sang it at Jackson's funeral. The only thing he cared about was saving souls through his music. He penned 3,000 songs, a third of them gospel, including "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" and "Peace in the Valley". SERIES CREDITS, "There is a River" explores the evolution of African-American religious thought, from the beliefs and rituals Africans brought to America to the influence of Christian teachings imposed on slaves in the new world. He died in 1993. Black gospel choirs were asked to perform at several white churches in Chicago. "And I think the real treasure for me is the legacy of the film and how it will carry forward gospel music and allow people for generations to experience this music: at this time and place and [with] those people that really created it. Less than a year later, however, Dorsey was back in the secular blues business full-time. After months of difficult travel and deep soul-searching, the pilgrims reach Africa with a stronger sense of identity and purpose. Aside from the lyrics, he saw no real distinction between blues and church music, and viewed songs as a supplement to spoken word preaching. . [39][40] Folklorist Alan Lomax claims that Dorsey "literally invented gospel". [6] The experience prompted him to copyright his first religious song in 1922, "If I Don't Get There", a composition in the style of Charles Tindley, whom Dorsey idolized. Mahalia Jackson sang at his funeral when King did not get to hear it. 1982 In Dorsey's story, he was stuck until a friend suggested he try adding "precious" to his address. Indeed, in the late 1920s, he would begin work with one of the great gospel soloists of all time, Mahalia Jackson. In 1924, Dorsey made his debut as "Georgia Tom" with Ma Rainey at the Grand Theater and continued to tour with her, even after he wed in 1925, until he suffered the second of his breakdowns in 1926. In Chicago,. It's like a family business, and watching the different generations striving for significance was quite fascinating. By 1920, Dorsey was prospering, but the demanding schedule of playing at night, working at other jobs during the day, and studying in between led him to the first of two nervous breakdowns; he was so ill that his mother had to go to Chicago to bring him back to Atlanta. Now you're not singing blues; you're singing gospel, good news song, singing about the Creator; but it's the same feeling, a grasping of the heart." ", Wade In The Water Ep. [23] Faced with rapid changes, old-line church members who preferred formal, more sedate music programs objected, leading to conflicts in and between Chicago's black churches. The documentary follows their lives from the early days and leads up to a big conference when the two dynamic subjects share an auditorium. Nierenberg, a 28-year-old Jewish man, knew almost nothing about gospel before he started Say Amen, Somebody; he spent a year in black churches in New York, Chicago and St. Louis, listening to the music, getting to know the performers and earning their trust before he began filming. One of the best documentaries going I reckon. Peter Levinson tells Linda Wertheimer about his biography. Sacred music could not sustain him financially, however, so he continued to work in blues. The tune he wrote, Take My Hand, Precious Lord, came, he says, direct from God. ABOUT THE EPISODE, Guide My Feet traces African-Americans as they move from the rural South to the promised land of the industrial North. +2.80 +3.45%. Upon hearing Nix sing, Dorsey was overcome, later recalling that his "heart was inspired to become a great singer and worker in the Kingdom of the Lordand impress people just as this great singer did that Sunday morning". You have this kind of inter-generational blending, and we're seeing that in this film, where there is this sort of critical moment within the tradition of gospel music sort of this passing of the torch, if you will.". He and the NCGCC were featured in the critically acclaimed documentary Say Amen, Somebody in 1982. Patty Thomas was an American dancer, USO entertainer and actress. However, mainstream churches rejected his songs. Thomas A. Dorsey was one of the gospel pioneers profiled in George Nierenberg's Say Amen, Somebody. Turner encouraged his followers to find God from within. "[b] after hearing him perform at the National Baptist Convention. The first was Thomas A. Dorsey, known as the father of gospel music. Played for parties and bordellos in Atlanta; became music director of New Hope Baptist Church, Chicago; performed with the Whispering Syncopators, early 1920s; as "Georgia Tom," debuted, with Ma Rainey, at Grand Theater, Chicago, 1924; composed "It's Tight Like That," 1928, and "Precious Lord," 1931; became music director of Pilgrim Baptist Church, Chicago, 1932; with blues singer Sallie Martin, formed National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, 1932; became minister, 1960s; featured in BBC documentary, 1976; with gospel singer Willie Mae Ford Smith, featured in documentary Say Amen Somebody, 1984. There was just something special happening when you walked into these churches and much of that power is on display in this. The documentary was originally released in 1982, and has been remastered and re-released. Thomas A. Dorsey, Barrett Sisters, Mother Willie Mae Ford Smith, O'Neal Twins, Nierenberg, George T., Zella Jackson Price, Reviewed in the United States on April 3, 2023. His reputation led him to become a music arranger for Paramount Records and the Chicago Music Publishing Company. As the blues grew in popularity in the 1920s, black churches condemned it widely for being associated with sin and hedonism. [4], Seeking a greater challenge, Dorsey relocated to Chicago in 1919, where he learned that his style of playing was unfashionable compared to the newer uptempo styles of jazz. by George Nelson Allen (1852). Thomas A. Dorsey was one of the gospel pioneers profiled in George Nierenberg's Say Amen, Somebody.The documentary was originally released in 1982, and has been remastered and re-released. Thomas Dorsey 1899 - 1993. It only made sense to watch George Nierenberg's celebrated 1982 documentary on gospel music Say Amen, Somebody before that, as of course this genre was crucial to her upbringing, family, and culture, singing gospel in her father's church as a child and finding her voice in this medium long before she was "The Queen of Soul. Mr. Dorsey's work reached a wider audience in 1983 through the documentary film, "Say Amen, Somebody," and in 1992, he was honored with the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences National . Then, he began to think more seriously about his faith. In time, they discover that the true wounds lie within themselves. Many well-known and accomplished musicians have spoke of writing experiences that were similar to Thomas Dorsey's. As Dorsey related in The Rise of Gospel Blues: "My inner-being was thrilled. Thomas A. Dorsey was one of the gospel pioneers profiled in George Nierenberg's Say Amen, Somebody. Available as a boxed vhs set or as a DVD for $199.95. And he would sit at the piano and play something and say, 'That's good stuff! There was an error retrieving your Wish Lists. ABOUT THE EPISODE, In 1998, 60 people embarked on an Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage. His career continued to flourish; he would eventually compose over 3,000 songs. Thomas Andrew Dorsey, (born July 1, 1899, Villa Rica, Ga., U.S.died Jan. 23, 1993, Chicago, Ill.), American songwriter, singer, and pianist whose many up-tempo blues arrangements of gospel music hymns earned him the title of "Father of Gospel Music." Dorsey was the son of a revivalist preacher. For women, that included not wearing make-up. 'Say Amen' focuses on Thomas Dorsey and Willie Mae Ford Smith, two lifelong gospel performers who spend their golden years barnstorming to small churches and congregations, where they perform, spread the gospel, revisit their old stomping grounds, and tell their. Thomas Dorsey | PBS During the early 1930s, Thomas Dorsey created gospel music -- the African American religious music which married secular blues to a sacred text. Mount Prospect Baptist Church, where his father preached and Dorsey learned music at his mother's organ, was declared a historic site by the city, and a historical marker was placed at the location where his family's house once stood. Courtesy Milestone Films Nierenberg's documentary catches these performers in their homes and at two events: the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses and a tribute to Mother Willie Mae Ford Smith that Nierenberg helped put together. [3][a], Religion and music were at the center of the Dorseys' lives, and young Thomas was exposed to a variety of musical styles in his early childhood. Hundreds of thousands of newly arrived migrants from the South, with an appreciation of blues, began to outnumber an older guard of ministers and parishioners who favored classical European music in services. It covers interviews of key missionary workers and their experiences of how they became missionary workers, their personal struggles within the churches and how they survived the ministering call to help people. In order to improve his skills and identify himself as a professional, he briefly took piano lessons from a teacher associated with Morehouse College, as well as a harmony course at the college itself. He began studying piano and organ. Copyright 2003 The Faith Project, Inc. All rights reserved. Documentaries really don't get much better than this. As George T. Nierenberg guides us through its relatively brief history, we come to see that. 102. The episode follows Thomas Dorsey, also known as the "father of gospel," as he came to Chicago during the great migration and brought the city his gospel blues. He did not seek publicity, preferring to remain at his position as music director at the 3,000-seat Pilgrim Baptist Church and running his publishing company. In Chicago, Dorsey found success almost immediately. His "gospel music" met so much resistance from pastors who considered it "devil's music," that he found it easier to play the blues straight. (Staig, Laurence, "Obituary: Thomas Dorsey", Dorsey later filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the Illinois Research Clinic in response. Really curious what happened to the speaking-in-tongues charismatic preacher who tried to guilt his wife into staying home with him instead of going on tour, the closest thing to a villain here. Mobilesite. There he was impressed by the singing of W. M. Nix. These migrants were refugees from poverty and the systemic racism endemic throughout the Jim Crow South. INR. A Moment with Thomas Dorsey, from the Movie Say Amen, Somebody - YouTube from The Movie, Say Amen Somebody from The Movie, Say Amen Somebody AboutPressCopyrightContact. He also toured extensively with Mahalia Jackson in the 1940s, who was by this time the preeminent gospel singer in the world. Then there were the new hymns of the 1800's. It explores Islam and Yoruba. Was so happy to see it available on DVD at a price I could afford. [30][31], Dorsey lived a quiet life despite his influence. [27] Although he was not the first to join elements of the blues to religious music, he earned the honorific "Father of Gospel Music", according to gospel singer and historian Bernice Johnson Reagon, for his "aggressive campaign for its use as worship songs in black Protestant churches". Then, in August 1932, Dorseys life was thrown into crisis when his wife and son died during childbirth. In so many words, it's about rising above poverty while still living humble deserting the ways of the world while retaining its best tunes. He introduced rituals and standards among gospel choirs that are still in use. Letterboxd Limited. [2] Called the "Father of Gospel Music" and often credited with creating it, Dorsey more accurately spawned a movement that popularized gospel blues throughout black churches in the United States, which in turn influenced American music and parts of society at large. Under the name Georgia Tom he performed with blues artist Ma Rainey and her Wild Cats Jazz Band. Thereafter, he vowed to concentrate all his efforts in gospel music. In 1925, he married Nettie Harper, who Rainey hired as a wardrobe mistress despite her inexperience, so she could join Dorsey on tour. It may seem out of place for a documentary about gospel music, especially to a more modern audience. Eventually Dorsey's desire to become a professional musician motivated him to move to Philadelphia, in 1916, but his plans soon changed and he settled in Chicago, then abuzz with both migrant workers and migrant musicians. The documentary features interviews with their friends and families juxtaposed with some awe-inspiring gospel music that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face! Thomas A. Dorsey was born in Villa Rica, Georgia, the first of three children to Thomas Madison Dorsey, a minister and farmer, and Etta Plant Spencer. In 1975 he appeared in WBBM TV's documentary film The Devil's Music - A History of . This freed the choir members' hands to clap, and he knew anyway that most of the chorus singers in the early 1930s were unable to read music. As he related in the documentary Say Amen Somebody, "People tried to tell me things that were soothing to me none of which have ever been soothing from that day to this." In terms of the personalities that occupy the film, their presence is remarkable. According to Harris, by then Dorsey's piano style was already somewhat out of vogue. Obliging, Dorsey began, but the multinational group took over: "And they knew it in Damascus, too. It provided the courage needed to fight Jim Crow. I grew up going to countless churches when I was younger and it was always something special to walk into a black church and feel the power that was behind the walls. This is priceless DVD that will touch your heart no matter what. Van Matre, Lynn, "Praises To Be For 'Father of Gospel'". The Thomas A. Dorsey Birthplace and Gospel Heritage Festival, established in 1994, remains active. "[27] However, once known, Dorsey could offer a "charming smile", according to Heilbut, and his enthusiasm "often lifts his voice to an irrepressible falsetto". He was demoted a grade and ostracized by the other children. He wrote over 400 compositions, but it is for Take My Hand, Precious Lord that he is best known. [3], The Dorseys moved to Atlanta to find better opportunities when Thomas was eight years old. [57], List of people considered a founder in a Humanities field, This article is about the pianist, and composer of jazz, blues, and gospel. You got to always have something: a little trick, a little embellishment or something. Director: George T. Nierenberg | Stars: Willie May Ford Smith, Thomas A. Dorsey, Sallie Martin, Delois Barrett Campbell. eval(decodeURIComponent('%64%6f%63%75%6d%65%6e%74%2e%77%72%69%74%65%28%27%3c%61%20%68%72%65%66%3d%5c%22%6d%61%69%6c%74%6f%3a%4d%69%6b%65%20%57%68%69%74%66%69%65%6c%64%20%26%6c%74%3b%64%75%6c%63%69%6d%65%72%64%75%64%65%40%79%61%68%6f%6f%2e%63%6f%6d%26%67%74%3b%5c%22%3e%4d%69%6b%65%20%57%68%69%74%66%69%65%6c%64%3c%5c%2f%61%3e%27%29%3b')). These churches discouraged expressive congregational participation and attempted to incorporate white church traditions in both service and music. Furthermore, when Thomas' father traveled to preach at other churches, Thomas and his mother attended a church that practiced shape note singing; their harmonizing in particular making a deep impression on him. He said that he suffered a debilitating stroke last year and expressed disappointment that she did not reach out. Six years later, he teamed with Mahalia Jackson, and the team ushered in what was known as the Golden Age of Gospel Music. Dorsey himself became known as the father of gospel music. In San Francisco, the Reverend Cecil Williams develops a "come as you are" church. Young Thomas Dorsey describes feeling alienated from school and church during his first years in Atlanta. Nothing worked. [28] Ministers who would not have considered changing their music programs just a few years before became more open to new ideas. Those sisters will forever be in my heart.. In 1923, he became the pianist and leader of the Wild Cats Jazz Band accompanying Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, a charismatic and bawdy blues shouter who sang about lost love and hard times. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. Never was released on dvd, only tape way back when. The lyrics, however, were written by Dorsey. Customer Reviews, including Product Star Ratings help customers to learn more about the product and decide whether it is the right product for them. There was a great deal of early resistance to Dorsey's work, partly because it was rooted in the rural southern African-American culture from which the old-line urban churches sought to distance themselves in favor of assimilation. The documentary was originally released in 1982, and has been remastered and re-released. And its a terrific good time. Uncle Roger did not oversell it. Learn more. His association with musicians there encouraged him to practice at home on his mother's organ, and by age 12, he claimed that he could play the piano very well. "You know, Frank, this has been my life dream to go abroad," Barrett says to her husband in one scene. [17] Frye and Sallie Martin were two of the first and most effective singers Dorsey took with him to market his work. In 1983 he was featured in the documentary "Say Amen, Somebody." He died of Alzheimer's disease in 1993 after spending the last year of his life in a coma. She says another thing that sets the film apart is its focus on female performers; Nierenberg says the women faced opposition from both the Church and their families, "They were bucking the system when it came to performing their music in churches," he says. Two of those "cats" became the focus of Nierenberg's film. Author Anthony Heilbut summarized Dorsey's influence by saying he "combined the good news of gospel with the bad news of blues". Easily one of the best music documentaries I have ever seen, this film could have coasted on the charisma and brilliance of its subjects, primarily Willie Mae Ford Smith and Thomas A. Dorsey, seminal figures in the history of Black gospel music. calvary chapel association churches, 16 unit apartment building plans,

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thomas dorsey documentary