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gospel facts:

Thomas Dorsey (1899-1993,) is considered by many gospel devotees to be the “Father of Gospel Music.” He borrowed five dollars and sent out 500 copies of his song, ‘If You See My Savior,’ to churches throughout the country…. It would be three years before he got a single order.

Probably the best known of the gospel singers is Mahalia Jackson , who achieved worldwide fame as a result of her 1953 concert appearances throughout Europe and the US. Billed as “The World’s Greatest Gospel Singer,” her first single, “Move Up a Little Higher,” sold over eight million copies after its release.

James Cleveland (1931-1991) was considered by many gospel enthusiasts to be “The King of Gospel,” receiving four Grammys, the last awarded posthumously for the album Having Church.

Perhaps the most popular quartet of all was the Soul Stirrers, led by Rebert H. Harris. According to George W. Stewart of The American Quartet Gospel Convention, it was Harris who first developed that vocal ad lib using repetitious sounds that Sam Cooke made so famous rather than words.

Albertina Walker formed the famous Caravans group in Chicago in 1951. That group has produced more gospel stars than any other group in the history of gospel.

In 1969, recording history was made as the Edwin Hawkins Singers, a gospel ensemble from Oakland, CA exploded on the scene with the mega-hit, Oh Happy Day.

Charles A. Tindley (1851-1933) was known in Philadelphia churches for singing exciting church songs that he copyrighted. His I’ll Overcome Some Day was the basis for the American civil rights anthem We Shall Overcome.