Composer: Doris Akers
Published in 40 hymnals

Audio files: MIDI, Recording

Composer: Doris Akers

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… Go to person page >

Tune Information

Composer: Doris Akers
Meter: Irregular
Incipit: 32132 11222 66654
Key: E♭ Major
Copyright: © 1953, Doris M. Akers. All rights administered by Chappell & Co.


LEAD ME is representative of the first generation of African American gospel music, a generation that began with Thomas Dorsey (PHH 493) and includes gospel artists such as Roberta Martin, Lucie Campbell, Kenneth Morris, Theodore Frye, and Doris M. Akers. The core of this style is improvisation. Thus the printed notes are intended only as guides to the creativity of singers and accompanists. The piano arrangement by Richard Smallwood (PHH 365) from Lift Every Voice and Sing (1981) suggests some additional chords and triplet rhythms, but further improvisation would certainly be appropriate.

The unison vocal setting could easily be sung by a congregation or, using a responsorial pattern, by a congregation on the refrain and one or several soloists on the stanzas.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988



Harmonizations, Introductions, Descants, Intonations

  • Introductions and Alternate Accompaniments for Organ Volume 9: Evangelical Lutheran Worship Hymns 755 - 818
    Composer/Editors Norma Aamodt-Nelson; Marissa Bauck; J. Bert Carlson
    Published By: Augsburg Fortress (2009) pp. 768
  • Introductions and Alternate Accompaniments for Piano Volume 9: Evangelical Lutheran Worship, Hymns 755 - 818
    Composer/Editors Norma Aamodt-Nelson; Marissa Bauck; Anne Krentz Organ
    Published By: Augsburg Fortress (2009) pp. 768

Organ Solo

  • Hymn Prelude Library Volume Six Tunes JKL: Lutheran Service Book
    Composer/Editors Kevin J. Hildebrand; Johannes Matthias Michel
    Published By: Concordia Publishing House (2014) pp. 106
  • The Organist Volume 68 Number 6 January 1965: A Bi-monthly Magazine for Church Organists
    Composer/Editors Rob Roy Peery; Roger C. Wilson
    Published By: Lorenz Publishing Company (1965) pp. 69


Instances (1 - 39 of 39)

African American Heritage Hymnal #474


African Methodist Episcopal Church Hymnal #378

Breaking Bread (Vol. 39) #398

Celebrating Grace Hymnal #403

Chalice Hymnal #583

Evangelical Lutheran Worship #768

Gather Comprehensive #574

Gather Comprehensive, Second Edition #555

Glory and Praise (3rd. ed.) #621

Text InfoAudio

Glory to God #740

Hymnal Supplement 1991 #807

Hymnal #553

Hymns of Promise #88

Journeysongs (3rd ed.) #654

Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #538

Lift Every Voice and Sing II #194


Lift Up Your Hearts #329

Lutheran Service Book #721

Moravian Book of Worship #728

One in Faith #704

One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism #235

Oramos Cantando = We Pray In Song #557

Text InfoTune InfoAudio

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #544

Renew! Songs and Hymns for Blended Worship #176

RitualSong (2nd ed.) #759

RitualSong #712

Santo, Santo, Santo #582

Sing the Faith #2214

Singing Our Faith #127

Songs for Life #220

The Faith We Sing #2214

The New National Baptist Hymnal (21st Century Edition) #233

This Far By Faith #70

Total Praise #474

Voices Together #601

Wonder, Love, and Praise #756

Worship (4th ed.) #657

Worship and Rejoice #498

Zion still Sings #173

Include 1 pre-1979 instance
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