Dorothy Love Coates, one of gospel’s top modern-day performers and a songwriter whose music was recorded by Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and others, died Tuesday April 9 in Birmingham, Ala. She was 74 and had suffered heart problems.
She wrote and recorded more than 300 songs, including “Get Away Jordan” and “That’s Enough.”
Coates, born Dorothy McGriff, started the Royal Gospel Singers in her early teens. In 1947, she joined the Original Gospel Harmonettes and became their lead singer and songwriter. Her career included worldwide travel as well as playing Carnegie Hall and the Apollo Theater, but Coates’ primary income came from concerts with a $1 admission.
Cash and Charles each recorded “That’s Enough.” Mahalia Jackson and the Rev. James Cleveland each recorded ”(You Can’t Hurry God) He’s Right on Time,” a gospel standard. Andrae Crouch recorded “Heaven,” and the Blackwood Brothers did “Every Day Will Be Sunday.” Her song “No Hiding Place” was on the soundtrack of the movie “Ghost.” She also played small parts in the movies “The Long Walk Home” and “Beloved.”
She is survived by two daughters, a brother, sister and two granddaughters.