Pioneering gospel composer Charles Henry Pace died today (December 16, 1963) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Pace was born on August 4, 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia, but his family moved to Chicago in his early teens.
It was there that Pace began studying piano and composing gospel songs and black spirituals for the Beth Eden and Liberty Baptist Churches.
In 1925, Pace formed the influential Pace Jubilee Singers, an early conservative group that recorded Pace’s compositions.
Charles Henry Pace was also an entrepreneur and in 1910, he founded the Pace Music House, which was established in Chicago.
In 1936, he organized the Pace Gospel Choral Union in Chicago, which featured as many as 300 singers during special celebrations.
The repertoire of the Pace Gospel Choral Union consisted mainly of African-American spirituals.
While in Pittsburgh, Pace founded two influential music publishing companies: Old Ship of Zion Music Company and Charles H. Pace Music Publishers, which published most of his 104 compositions, and 26 secular songs.
Some of Pace’s popular gospel compositions include “Bread of Heaven,” “Hide My Soul,” and “Nobody but you, Lord.”