The Annual Thomas Dorsey Festival opens this Friday

Villa Rica Ga -- For more than two decades, the City of Villa Rica has honored Thomas A. Dorsey, one of its favorite sons, with an annual festival celebrating his contributions to gospel, jazz and blues music.

Thomas A. Dorsey was born July 1st, 1899 in Villa Rica, and was known as the Father of Black Gospel Music. Chicago does claim the title of the birthplace of gospel music because Dorsey and others recorded some of the most beloved gospel songs of all time there, but Dorsey said that it was the exposure to 'shape-note singing' at Mt. Prospect Baptist Church in Villa Rica that 'sprang' his career.

Villa Rica City Councilwoman Shirley Marchman is a co-creator of the local celebration of Dorsey's life, and she says in recent years even Dorsey's family has come to visit for the celebration. "After twenty years they realize that this is really something to look forward to and something that is worth honoring their father and grandfather with."     

The Annual Thomas Dorsey Festival opens this Friday with a jazz concert at The Mill Amphitheater. On Saturday there will be gospel singing at Mount Prospect Baptist Church and concludes with a blues concert at The Mill with fireworks after dark. All the events are free and open to the public.
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Location : Chicago