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Mon, 05.21.1923

Doris Akers, a gospel composer and vocalist

Doris Akers

Doris Akers was born on this date in 1923. She was an African American Gospel composer and vocalist.

Born in Brookfield, Missouri, she she began her musical career at a young age. She was playing piano at age six, and her first song, "Keep the Fires Burning in Me," was written when she was ten. While in school she formed her own moving to Los Angeles in the 1940s, she performed with the Sally Martin Singers and later organized her own gospel group, the Doris Akers Singers.

Akers is probably best known for composing the songs, “Sweet, Sweet Spirit,” “Sweet Jesus,” and “I Cannot Fail the Lord." But she had multiple talents and was also a recording artist, music arranger, and choir director. Akers founded and directed the Sky Pilot Choir and co-wrote “Lord, Don’t Move the Mountain” with her long-time friend, Mahalia Jackson. Akers, who died in 1995, had received many awards, including being honored by the Smithsonian Institute, which labeled her songs and records “National Treasures."

ACSAP Biographical Dictionary
R. R. Bowker Co., Copyright 1980
ISBN 0-8351-1283-1

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