Tuesday, 12 October 2010


I'm pleased to report that, albeit two months late, the 2010 ARSC Awards have been announced, and in the Blues Etc category, while I wasn't the winner, I was awarded one of the two Certificates of Merit, for Hand Me My Travlein' Shoes: In Search of Blind Willie McTell.

The press release, received this morning, begins like this:

The Association for Recorded Sound Collections is pleased to announce the winners of the 2010 ARSC Awards for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research. Begun in 1991, the awards are presented to authors and publishers of books, articles, liner notes, and monographs, to recognize outstanding published research in the field of recorded sound. In giving these awards, ARSC recognizes outstanding contributions, encourages high standards, and promotes awareness of superior works. Two awards may presented annually in each category—one for best history and one for best discography. Certificates of Merit are presented to runners-up of exceptionally high quality. The 2010 Awards for Excellence honor works published in 2009.

Best Discography:
Chuck Berry International Directory, by Morten Reff (Music Mentor)

Certificates of Merit:
Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues, by William Ferris (University of North Carolina Press)
Hand Me Down My Travelin’ Shoes: In Search of Blind Willie McTell, by Michael Gray (Chicago Review Press).

This would be more pleasing if they had troubled to get the name of my book right.

1 comment:

wfloyd said...

Congratulations Michael. The recognition though insufficent is well deserved.
I recently palavered to a group in Macon, Ga about your tome on Blind Willie, his life, and my family connection.
The president of Mercer University, Bill Underwood, with keen wit and knowledge pointed out to the group that "Blind Willie McTell" was not alone among Macon inhabitants in the title of Dylan songs, the other being "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues". Yes, Birch was from Macon and subsequent to his being killed by Chinese communists while working as an American intelligence officer and missionary, the ultraconservative organization was named in his honor.
The diversity of Maconite characters in Dylan songs speaks to the complexity of my hometown.