“Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me” was a labor of love and faith, according to Danny Abraham. His first CD, a gospel collection of all original compositions, this well-known Cleveland men’s clothier for the past 41 years said he may have just found his other true calling.
Produced by the legendary Gordon Mote and recorded in Nashville, Abraham said he was blessed to be surrounded by a number of talented and well-known musicians on his CD. “Gordon himself is a legend, a real music genius. As a pianist,” said Abraham. “He started his career with Lee Greenwood when he was 17 and then worked with Lynyrd Skynyrd. Gordon is currently Blake Shelton’s pianist and producer. He’s done so many things with so many incredible artists. In fact, when I was at his home at our first meeting, Randy Owen of the famous country group Alabama, called and asked him to go on the road with them soon. He’s also currently playing off and on for and working with Larry Gatlin, Bill Gaiter and Rascal Flatts and has for years. I was extremely fortunate to have Gordon oversee my music–and that’s really an understatement.”
Available now for preview on iTunes and every other known social platform, the actual “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me” CD will be released on August 7. Abraham said he believes his whole life led him to this moment.
“I started playing piano when I was six years old and played in bands and as a solo artist for all of my years afterwards. I played when I was at Ole Miss with a group that went all over recruiting students and was able to share the stage with celebrities like Bob Hope and others. When I returned to Cleveland, to attend Delta State, I joined the campus music group Renaissance, also a recruiting arm for the school, and we literally toured all over the world. Even after I opened my store, Abraham’s, I continued to play with people whenever and wherever I could.”
Also, as a member of the United Methodist Church, Abraham decided to attend lay school a few years back which teaches Methodists ways to help ministers and learn what they do.
“That’s where my love of music and my faith intersect,” said Abraham. “I graduated in 2018 and even was called shortly thereafter on to take over a church and be a lay minister in Glendora. It turned out to be the most wonderful six months of my life preaching at that church. My first Sunday there I opened prayer from the piano and I, and the whole congregation, started crying. First they started and then I couldn’t help doing so myself. It turned out they had not had live music in their church for over 30 years.”
While pastoring the church, Abraham said he suddenly began composing songs, sometimes dreaming the medleys and whistling them to himself the next morning. The first of these was “Hallelujah, Amen” which he says he wrote at the piano in about ten minutes.
“The Lord gave me that song and the very same morning I just happened to be switching channels on the TV before work and stopped on pastor Jimmy Swaggart’s show with Brian Haney singing,” said Abraham. “After I recorded ‘Hallelujah, Amen’ at my home studio I actually looked Brian up on the internet and sent him the song. He called when he received it, said it had touched his heart and asked me if he could perform it live on TV the next Sunday, which coincidentally was Palm Sunday, 2019. I’m a BMI member and I agreed to let him do it. He performed it the night of April 7 and I’ve been told it was seen by millions all over the world.”
That set a new career in motion as people began calling both Jimmy Swaggart’s people and even Abraham himself, “If people really want to find you, they can find you.”
Gordon Mote was one of those who did.
“I ended up going to his house in Nashville and playing all 12 songs I had written for him. When I finished, Gordon would make minor suggestions to, say, the third song I had played–his recall was amazing! He told me he thought my voice was unique and the music really didn’t fit neatly into any category: Contemporary Christian? Gospel blues or country? It’s a little bit of everything, he thought. And then he floored me when he said he wanted to produce my album. I simply couldn’t believe it. He asked me to write two more songs and I prayed about it on the way home. I ended up writing those two songs he needed, including the title track, early in the a.m. when my son Bart and I returned to Cleveland,” said Abraham.
Work got underway in Mote’s studio and Abraham says, when he first walked in, he knew that this was where he had wanted to be all of his life.
“Garth Brooks let us use his back-up singers–they were there–as was Toto’s drummer, Scott Williamson, and so many other incredible musicians. It was amazing–an awesome experience. To tell you the truth, I really didn’t want to come home!” Abraham laughs.
If the CD is a huge success, would Abraham take his music out on the road? He doesn’t hesitate with an answer: “Yes. I’d have to. My guys here could run the store while I’m out performing. We’ll just have to see. I’ve already been told by some professional musician friends of mine who’ve heard the whole CD tell me that I better be ready. They think it’s going to be that successful. The Lord, for whatever reason, picked me to write and perform these songs and they are all a testament to Him,” Abraham says.
And, even though the CD won’t be out until August 7, Abraham has copies for sale in his clothing store, Abraham’s in Indianola and Cotton Row Books in Cleveland.
“People can contact me if they want to purchase a copy–that’s not a problem whatsoever. I really want to share this awesome experience in my life with as many as I can and I appreciate all of the feedback I’ve heard already. In fact, I’ve just started on my second CD!” said Abraham with a laugh.
From Cleveland/Delta business legend to now perhaps a gospel superstar: Danny Abraham’s life is proof that with faith and hard work, anything and everything is possible.
PHOTO CAPTION: Makin’ Music: Danny Abraham recording his CD at Beech Creek Studio in Brentwood, TN.