BLAC Inc. director Anita Arnold receives Charlie Christian Tribute in Texas

Anita Arnold, right, receives framed Tribute to Charlie Christian.

During an evening of celebration and tribute to Charlie Christian in Bonham, Texas, Anita Arnold, executive director of Black Liberated Arts Center (BLAC), Inc. of Oklahoma City, OK, was presented a framed Tribute to Charlie Christian made from the wood of the house where the jazz legend was born. 

The tribute contained the words to the song “Rose Room” that launched Christian’s career with Benny Goodman and, ultimately, led to his iconic stature in the music world. A picture of Charlie Christian and his birthplace are, also, included in the tribute that sold for $1,000 in an auction and was donated by the owner of the piece.

The evening was filled with Charlie Christian music played by the James Deering Quartet of Grayson College. The talented guitarist, Seve Mexia, featured in the quartet played music that he transcribed from music played from Charlie Christian CDs as a final test from his jazz music professor at the college. Arnold narrated the concert with little-known information about Charlie Christian throughout the evening. The evening concluded with a book signing by Arnold, author of the book, “Oklahoma City Music: Deep Deuce and Beyond.” 

“Oklahoma Music: Deep Deuce and Beyond” is subject of research project

Evelyn Larue Pittman

According to Oklahoma City author Anita G. Arnold, research is being conducted by researchers on radio in the 1940s, and included in the information being collected is the 1940s WKY radio program, “Southern Rivers.”
The program featured Evelyn Larue Pittman of Oklahoma City. Pittman had an active career in composing, teaching and choral composition during the 1930s and 1940s. A book, “Oklahoma Music: Deep Deuce and Beyond,” written by Arnold, led researchers to Oklahoma seeking information. Pittman was mentioned in Arnold’s book. Researcher Karl Schadow stated in a letter that he has been able to find only one copy of Pittman’s show in the NBC Collection at the Library of Congress.
“Here is another example of the rich music history of Oklahoma City’s African Americans that is highly valued and sought after by others outside our state. It has been my pleasure and joy to have documented some of this history in this book,” Arnold said in a news release.
“Oklahoma Music: Deep Deuce and Beyond” was published and released in June 2010. Arnold continues to accept invitations to speak about history and sign books. Her next book signing will be Sunday, August 28, 2011, at St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church, 5700 N. Kelley, Oklahoma City, OK, before and after the morning worship service.
Books may be purchased at Black Liberated Arts Center Inc., Barnes & Nobles bookstore, Borders bookstore, Capitol Square Station, Charlie’s Jazz, Rhythm & Blues Store, Dean’s Typesetting Service, Full Circle Book Store, Hastings Books, Music & Videos, Walgreen’s and online through Arcadia Publishing or
For more information, call BLAC Inc. at (405) 524-3800.

“Oklahoma City Music: Deep Deuce and Beyond” presented to Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry

From left: Gov. Brad Henry and author Anita Arnold

Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry was presented a copy of the recently published book, “Oklahoma City Music: Deep Deuce and Beyond” by Anita Arnold, author and executive director of Black Liberated Arts Center (BLAC) Inc. in Oklahoma City. 
Gov. Henry was pleased to receive the book that covers more than 70 years of music history from the late 1920s to the late 1990s. Henry said he was interested in this history that has contributed so much to Oklahoma.  
According to Emily Higgins, publicist of Arcadia Publishing of Mount Pleasant, S.C., “Oklahoma City Music: Deep Deuce and Beyond” was also selected to compete with 10 other books in the region as part of a national sales competition within Arcadia.
“We have already had a number of book signings in and around Oklahoma City that have been fun,” Arnold said.  “Each audience is different and raises new questions each time.
Arnold will participate in other book signings scheduled through February 2011 at various locations in the Oklahoma City area.  “Oklahoma City Music: Deep Deuce and Beyond” is available at Barnes and Nobles, Borders, Capitol Square Station, Charlie’s Jazz, Rhythm & Blues Store, Dean’s Typesetting, Hastings Books, Music and Videos, Hopkins Haircare, Learning Tree Toy Store and Walgreens.