Book signing and discussion Wednesday Sept. 26 at Waterloo Records. 5 p.m.
“Essential… A magnificent and important set”
– Roots and Rhythm
“He Is My Story is essential reading for gospel fans, pre-war jazz and blues enthusiasts, church historians, and may well be the best historic gospel music compilation this year.”
Five of Five Stars
– Bob Marovich, The Black Gospel Blog
Kevin Curtin of the Austin Chronicle captures the project well.
“Excellent…the strongest biography yet written of this extraordinary woman.”
“When Tompkins Square sent us He Is My Story: The Sanctified Soul of Arizone Dranes I had no clue what to expect. After reading the booklet it became the utmost important task to move all other assignments to the side and immerse myself into the gospel piano style of Arizona Dranes.”
– Sound Colour Vibration
“He Is My Story: The Sanctified Soul of Arizona Dranes” contains 50-pages of liner notes and an expertly remastered CD containing all 16 tracks Dranes recorded in Chicago from 1926- 1928.
Born blind in Sherman, Texas, Arizona Dranes learned to play piano at the Institute For Deaf, Dumb & Blind Colored Youths in Austin, which she attended from 1896- 1912. She was 37 year old, not 20 or 21 as previously reported, when she made six recording on one day in Chicago that mixed the secular and the spiritual in ways that had never been done before. A member of the Pentecostal Church of God In Christ, Dranes was the first to bring “hot” piano- ragtime, barrelhouse, boogie boogie- to songs of praise. Among those who’ve acknowledged Dranes as an influence was Thomas A. Dorsey, the Father of Gospel Music.
Listen to long interview with Michael Corcoran on WLUW- Chicago’s “Gospel Memories”