A TRUE STORY – Gospel Music Tommy A. Dorsey

Gospel Music

A TRUE STORY – by Gospel Music Tommy A. Dorsey

Back in 1932, I was 32 years old and a fairly new husband. My wife,
Nettie, and I had a little apartment on Chicago’s Southside.

One hot August afternoon I had to go to St. Louis where I was to be the
featured soloist at a large revival meeting. I didn’t want to go.

Nettie was in the last month of pregnancy with our first child. I kissed
Nettie good-bye, clattered downstairs to our Model A and, in a fresh Lake
Michigan breeze, chugged out of Chicago on Route 66. However, outside the
city, I discovered that in my anxiety at leaving, I had forgotten my music case.
I wheeled around and headed back. I found Nettie sleeping peacefully.

I hesitated by her bed; something was strongly telling me to stay. Not
wanting to disturb her, I shrugged off the feeling and slipped out with my

The next night, in the steaming St. Louis heat, the crowd called on me to
sing again and again. When I finally sat down, a messenger boy ran up with
a Western Union telegram. I ripped open the envelope. Pasted on the yellow
sheet were the words: YOUR WIFE JUST DIED.

People were happily singing and clapping around me, but I could hardly
keep from crying out. I rushed to a phone and called home. All I could
hear on the other end was, “Nettie is dead. Nettie is dead.” When I got
back, I learned that Nettie had given birth to a boy.

I swung between grief and joy. Yet that night, the baby died. I buried
Nettie and our little boy together, in the same casket. Then I fell apart.
For days I closeted myself.

I felt God had done me an injustice. I didn’t want to write anymore gospel
songs. I just wanted to go back to that jazz world I once knew so well.
But then, as I hunched alone in that dark apartment those first sad days,
I thought back to the afternoon I went to St. Louis. Something kept
telling me to stay with Nettie. Was that something God?

If I had paid more attention that day, I would have been with Nettie when
she died.

From that moment on I vowed to listen more closely to God. But still I was
lost in grief. Everyone was kind to me, especially a friend, Professor
Fry, who seemed to know what I needed.

On the following Saturday evening he took me up to a neighborhood music

It was quiet; the late evening sun crept through the curtained windows. I
sat down at the piano, and my hands began to browse over the keys.

Something happened to me then. I felt at peace.

I felt as though I could reach out and touch God.

I found myself playing a melody, one in my head – it just seemed to fall
into place:

Precious Lord, take my hand.
Lead me on, let me stand,
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn,
Through the storm, through the night,
Lead me on to the light,
Take my hand, precious Lord.
Lead me home.

As the Lord gave me these words and melody, my spirit healed.

I learned that when we are in our deepest grief, when we feel farthest
from God, this is when God is closest, and when we are most open to His restoring power.

And so I go on living for God willingly and joyfully, until that day comes
when He will take me and gently lead me home. Gospel Music


Dear God, come through me, inspire me, empower me in good times and in bad.
I look to You constantly as my source of life. Thank You God for always being
with me and helping me in seen, and unseen ways. In Jesus Christ’s name… Amen

POSITIVE DAILY AFFIRMATION: Whatever I am searching for, God is the answer.

POSITIVE DAILY QUOTE: “Great minds must be ready not only to take opportunities,
but to make them.” Colton

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