Tim Dillinger is an essayist and independent researcher with a focus on gospel, contemporary Christian music and Women’s Music. His newsletter God’s Music Is My Life has quickly become one of the best sources of writing about gospel music anywhere.
How did you get to where you are today, professionally?
Well, my writing was always intertwined with my music. I am the child of a librarian who was also a musician, so I grew up studying music industry periodicals and was always fascinated by the connections between artists and their inspirations. I worked in the music department of a bookstore in my teens and started writing album reviews for their monthly newsletter. As I was approaching my senior year in high school, I was accepted into a summer program for teen writers which provided me in-person mentoring from journalists.
But writing and performing my own music became my primary passion once I was out of school. I moved to Nashville and became my own publicist, crafting my own press materials and pitches for journalists. As my music career grew, I began hosting a radio show which featured many of the artists who had been my heroes—like jazz legends Jimmy Scott and Marlena Shaw, gospel artists like Dorothy Norwood and Daryl Coley, and poets, writers and thinkers like Nikki Giovanni and Carlton Pearson. I had no idea I was building an archive at the time.