It took almost three years for him to get more orders for the song, yet Dorsey did not give up and with the help of other good musicians he moved on. He worked with the singers Sallie Martin (1895-1988) and Willie Mae Ford Smith (1904-1994), wrote hundreds of gospel songs and witnessed his music rising in the pulpit of churches, even in those that had previously been refused.
Dorsey founded the National Convention of Gospel Corals in the United States in 1932, an organization that still exists today. Thomas A. Dorsey, died in 1993 at the age of 96, but remained in history as the Father of Gospel Music, for having fought along with the singers Sallie Martin, passed away to the 92 years – 1988 and Willie Mae Ford Smith, deceased to the 90 years – 1994, for the consolidation of the Gospel style in the churches. He can live to see his songs being sung in the same churches where, one day, they had been rejected.
4. The expansion of Gospel music
After Dorsey, many other new names appeared. to power the new Gospel chain, such as Mahalia Jackson, Clara Ward and James Cleveland. Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972) was invited to sing on the Ed Sullivan Show, minutes before Martin Luther King’s black freedom speech, in which he said: I have a dream.
He later starred in the funeral of Martin Luther King with Dorsey’s music, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.” Clara Ward (1924-1973) with The Ward Singers was an artist with marked presence and its song Surely God is Able received the first platinum disc after World War II.
Ward influenced many artists with his style, including names like Little Richard and Aretha Franklin. Edwin Hawkins Singers, the first winner of the gold record with a gospel song, was Edwin Hawkins Singers in 1968, with the hit hit Oh, Os Melhores Hinos Evangélicos Happy Day. James Cleveland, recognized by many as the “King of the Gospel”, not to have a melodious voice, but for his charisma and great audience.
Singer James Cleveland (1932-1991) was crowned, by his admirers, as “The King of Gospel”. He received no less than four GRAMMYs, including one posthumous for his album Having Church. The great achievement of Cleveland was to found, in 1967, the organization Gospel Music Workshop of America, considered the biggest convention of Gospel of the world, nowadays, with more than 185 offices of representations distributed by the United States.