I feel most alive when I’m singing along to old gospel music. – Judith Hill

In Chicago 1932, an African American composer named Thomas A. Dorsey, who had been a nightclub jazz pianist, wrote a song inspired by his wife’s death in childbirth. The song, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” unexpectedly became the foundation for the modern African American gospel music tradition. Its success stimulated an entirely new music industry - the gospel blues. It became a touchstone for the dramatic role that music played in sustaining and forwarding America’s Civil Rights movement; Martin Luther King Jr. often asked supporters to sing it before they marched, including the night before his assassination. That tiny, inauspicious moment in 1932 created a subtle yet profound change in American life, ultimately producing musical anthems of powerful personal, moral, and political transformation.