Louis Armstrong impersonator lost everything he had in Nashville tornado

Posted at 6:51 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 21:34:30-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Nashville singer lost everything he owned in the March 3 tornado, but he's still spreading joy with his songs in Nashville.

Ken Dorsey is a Louis Armstrong impersonator. His low voice echoes across the downtown streets as few people brave the now vacant bars and restaurants.

Dorsey's life was changed forever when the tornado ripped into the home where he was staying and blew away all of his clothes, but especially an all white bible.

"I wanted it back because the bible contains the history of our family," said Dorsey. "The birth and the deaths and stuff. This goes back like, generations. Three, I can say three times myself though. So, it's not my grandfather's, it was my great great great grandfather."

Dorsey said his clothes and other possessions can be replaced, but the bible was one of a kind. He wishes he would've passed it on to his son.

"It was like a tradition. Whoever was the bible keeper. All the births the family births, you kept a record of it in the bible. You kept a record of the deaths if someone in the bible died," he said.

Despite these losses, Dorsey is staying positive and continues to sing downtown, while still maintaining his distance.

Still, singing is his main source of income. Right now, nothing is coming in.

"It's been hard. People are afraid to come out. I mean. This street. It's Thursday. It's usually busy. It's swamped out here," he said.

Dorsey doesn't want hand outs, but is accepting money via Venmo for people who want to tip him without potentially spreading COVID-19.

Even though he's homeless, Dorsey said he wouldn't change a thing. He enjoys working on Broadway because he enjoys meeting so many new people and bringing a smile to their faces. Plus, he has friends to take him in for now.

"I appreciate just having a place to stay at night now. I appreciate having a place to take a shower now. Simple things like that mean a lot," he said.