Gospel: Praise Over the Time Periods

Gospel is the religious, Christian music. Much like all music over time, Gospel has changed and developed. Gospel music is significant for many, as it is both a form of music and religious expression. Gospel music began in the early 1900s and has remained a popular form of music for many years. For many, Gospel music helps people to get through things, feel good, and connect with God.


Graduate of what is now Morehouse College and previous blues singer, Thomas Dorsey created his first Gospel song during the late 1920s. Thomas Dorsey began singing Gospel Music after a spiritual interaction, resulting in him focusing his attention to Gospel music. Thomas Dorsey was known as the “Father of African American Gospel Music”. “If You See My Savior” was written after the loss of a friend.


“Taken My Hand, Precious Lord” was written by Thomas Dorsey. He wrote this song as he grieved for the loss of his wife and son. The earliest known recording of “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” was by a gospel group called Heavenly Gospel Singers. It was made in 1937, published in 1938. The Heavenly Gospel Singers were signed to Bluebird Records. 


Mahalia Jackson was known as the “Queen of Gospel Music”. She was one of the many artists that recorded “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” in addition to The Heavenly Gospel Singers. Mahalia Jackson’s first hit was “Move On Up A Little Higher”, helping her gain recognition. Mahalia Jackson was known for her voice. Mahalia Jackson performed on the Ed Sullivan show, bringing attention to Gospel Music. Mahalia Jackson was a very accomplished singer.


The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi was a gospel quartet group that formed in 1936. They started performing religious songs under the name of “The Jackson Harmoneers”. In the early 1950s, they released “Our Father”, which was one of their hits that also served as one of the first gospel songs to top the Billboard R&B charts. The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi had other hit songs such as “Lets Have Church”, “Leave You In The Hands Of The Lord” and more.


“Oh Happy Day” is very known song, even for those who may not listen to Gospel music. It is one of the biggest Gospel hits, being a very successful song. “Oh Happy Day” was written by Edwin Hawkins. He was the leader of Edwin Hawkins Singers as well as a composer, gospel musician, pianist, choir master, and arranger. Edwin Hawkins won multiple grammies and was one of the creators of urban contemporary gospel music. 


The Staple Singers were a family formed Gospel group. They began in Chicago. The group consisted of Mavis Staples, Yvonne Staples, Pervis Staples, Pops Staples, and Cleotha Staples. They were famously known for their songs “I’ll Take You There”, “Respect Yourself”, “If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me)”, and “Let’s Do It Again”. Their song “I’ll Take You There” was 1972 hit that topped the charts. The song is about heaven.


Keith Pringle was born as Roy Keith Pringle in 1952. Keith Pringle was a gospel musician and organist. He founded the Pentecostal Community Choir. With the start of his choir, he released an album called True Victory. On this album was “Call Him Up”. “Call Him Up” serves as one of his most well known song, and it also resulted in him receiving a grammy.


Yolanda Yvette Adams is a gospel singer, producer and actress. She has her own television show, Yolanda Adams Morning Show. She began her gospel career in the 1980s. Yolanda Adams is known as the “Queen Of Contemporary Gospel Music”. She has won several awards for her music as well as served as the first gospel artist to be given the American Music Award. Released during 1993 on her album Save The World, “The Battle is the Lord’s” was the top song.


Born Bishop Marvin Louis Sapp, Marvin Sapp is a gospel singer and songwriter. He was a member of the group, Commissioned, before he pursued his solo career. He also founded Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Michigan. Some of his most known songs include “Praise Him In Advance”, “The Best In Me”, “Never Would Have Made It” and many more. Marvin Sapp is well known Gospel singer.


William David McDowell was born in 1976 in Ohio. He is a gospel singer and songwriter. He began his gospel career in 2009. He is most known for his gospel albums. His first album was As We Worship Live. This album topped the Gospel Billboard. “Spirit Break Out” is a personal favorite and one of his most well known songs.

After looking at gospel music in different decades through time, it is clear that gospel continues to change and progress. From the 1920s to present day, Gospel has remained a prominent form of music. Music continues to be important to society.

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