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SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments - Doris Akers

Doris Akers was a legendary composer, arranger, choir director and singer – check out her version of the old classic, “Dwelling in Beulah Land.”

Along with Audrey Mieir, few 20th century composers had a bigger impact on contemporary sacred music than Doris Akers. Her Sky Pilot Choir – along with the Wings Over Jordan – were among the first to take gospel music to the entire country in the ‘40s and ‘50s. She was a skilled choir leader, composer and arranger – you’ve probably sung her versions of “Oh, How I Love Jesus,” “Sweet, Sweet, Spirit,” “To Be Used by God” or even “How Great Thou Art,” made famous by George Beverly Shea.

Akers was also an essential link between the Black and white churches of America, bringing people together with her choirs, music and effervescent personality. Andrae Crouch is just one of the many who owed much to the tiny lady from California.

Overshadowed by all of her other accomplishments is the fact that Doris Akers was a pretty fair gospel singer as well. Here’s Aker’s reviving and updating that beloved old camp meeting gospel classic, “Dwelling in Beulah Land.”

2302 Doris Akers - Dwelling in Beulah Land.mp3

MUSIC: “Dwelling in Beulah Land,” Doris Akers, Highway to Heaven, LP Side 1, Track 4

I’m Robert Darden … “Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments” is produced by KWBU, the Black Gospel Music Preservation Program at Baylor University Libraries and is funded by generous support from the Prichard Foundation.