Doris Akers

Short Name: Doris Akers
Full Name: Akers, Doris
Birth Year: 1923
Death Year: 1995

Doris Mae Akers USA 1923-1995. Born at Brookfield, MO, one of nine siblings, her (inter-racial) parents divorced when she was age three. She then lived with her mother, who remarried when she was age six. They lived in Kirksville, MO. Some of her brothers lived with her father after the divorce. The family attended the Bethel AME Church in Kirksville, where she learned to play piano by ear at age six. She wrote her first song at age 10. In the 1930s she formed a singing gospel group with siblings, Edward, Marian, and Donald, who went by the name ‘Dot and the Swingsters’. Early in her career (1938) she moved to Los Angeles, CA. There she became known for her work with the ‘Sky Pilot Choir’, an integrated group that made recordings and appeared on Radio and TV across the country. Her fresh, modern arrangements of traditional negro spirituals drew large crowds from far and near, and increased her church’s attendance dramatically. Her choir group released three record albums. She recorded solos in 1963 and also collaborated with the Statemen Quartet in 1964. She ended working with the choir in 1965, but reunited with it again in 1974 to make a 4th recording for RCA Victor. In 1970 she moved to Columbus, OH, where she continued composing, recording, and traveling. In the 1980s she released a new gospel album each year on a regional Midwest label. She also released a few albums in Canada (not distributed in the U S). In the 1990s she began recording for the Gaither label and appeared in some of their TV productions and concerts. She was affectionately known as ‘Miss Gospel Music’, respected and admired by everyone in the gospel music business. By this time, she had mastered vocalization, keyboards, choir directing, arranging, composing, and publishing. She worked with many of the early pioneers in gospel music and authored gospel compositions, some selling millions of records for other performers and evangelists. In her final years she was Minister of Music at Grace Temple Deliverance Center, Minneapolis, MN. In 1994 she broke her ankle, and also discovered she had spinal cancer. She died at Edina, MN. She never married. She wrote 500+ songs. She received many awards over the years, including ‘Gospel Music Composer of the Year’ (for both years 1960 and 1961). In 1976, the city of Kirksville, MO, held “Doris Akers’ Day’, featuring her as the headline act, as part of the bicentennial celebration. Over 20,000 attended the celebration there. In 1992 she was honored by the Smithsonian Institution as ‘The Foremost Gospel Writer in the U S’. Her works include eight collections of music. In 2001 she was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. In 2011 she was inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

John Perry

Wikipedia Biography

Doris Mae Akers (May 21, 1923 – July 26, 1995) was a biracial African-American gospel music composer, arranger and singer who is considered to be "one of the most underrated gospel composers of the 20th century [who] wrote more than 500 songs". Known for her work with the Sky Pilot Choir, she was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2001.

Texts by Doris Akers (13)sort descendingAsAuthority LanguagesInstances
Débil soy, necesito tu gran poderDoris Akers (Author)Spanish2
Hay un dulce espiritu aquiDoris Akers (Author)Spanish3
Hay un dulce Espíritu aquí, y yo sé que es el Espíritu de mi Señor (Steger)Doris Akers (Author)Spanish2
Hay un dulce espíritu aquí, Y yo sé que es el Espíritu del Señor (Pirón)Doris Akers (Author)Spanish5
I am weak and I need your strength and powerDoris M. Akers (Author)English43
I come short so many timesDoris Akers (Author)English3
I was lost, couldn't find my wayDoris Akers (Author)English3
Should we receive and never give?Doris Akers (Author)English3
The way may not be easyDoris Akers (Author)English2
There's a still small voice saying to meDoris Akers (Author)English4
There's a sweet, sweet Spirit in this placeDoris Akers (Author)English41
When two or three are gathered in His nameDoris Akers (Author)English3
You can't beat God givingDoris Akers, b. 1922 (Author)English4

Data Sources

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