Tag Archives: arizona dranes

RIP: Professor Alfred E. Miller – “One of the First – One of the Last”

ONE OF THE FIRST – ONE OF THE LAST Professor Alfred E. Miller (1927-2015) From Anthony Heilbut, author of The Gospel Sound and The Fan Who Knew Too Much: Excepting pioneer COGIC keyboard artists Arizona Dranes and Elder Charles Beck, Alfred E. Miller was the first pianist on records to play in the modern gospel style. In fact, since he drew his inspiration from Roberta Martin, who more or less invented things, traveling very far from where Dranes and Beck had landed, Miller has a real claim to being the first on record, since Martin herself wouldn’t record for at ...

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Michael Corcoran on Washington Phillips and the “Manzarene”

Historian and journalist Michael Corcoran uncovered a myriad of hitherto unknown facts about Texas pianist and Church of God in Christ member Arizona Dranes.  Those findings were revealed in He Is My Story (Tompkins Square), a resplendent extended essay that accompanied a reissue of Dranes’s 1920s-era recorded material.  Dranes is often cited as gospel music’s first recording artist. By Jove, Michael Corcoran’s done it again, this time for another largely forgotten but no less important Texas musician, Columbia recording artist Washington Phillips. Here is a link to Corcoran’s article from Arts + Labor. http://www.artslabormagazine.com/juneteenth-wash-phillips-son-of-slaves-makes-music-for-the-ages

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