Juanita Arizona Dranes was born in Dallas, Texas around 1905. Born blind, Dranes is believed to have been of Mexican and African-American heritage, and was raised in the Church of God in Christ in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Dranes' enthusiastic shouting and piano playing were so dynamic that they practically recommended themselves, and she was only about 20 years of age when a Fort Worth-based minister, Samuel Crouch, suggested to Okeh talent scout Richard M. Jones that Dranes be given a recording test. Blues singer Sara Martin agreed to travel to Fort Worth and help the blind Dranes make it to Chicago for her test on June 17, 1926. It was so successful that the six records resulting from it were all issued. Arizona Dranes was used to working with a chorus, and on two titles, "John Said He Saw a Number" and "My Soul Is a Witness for the Lord," Richard M. Jones and Sara Martin stepped in to fulfill this role. Dranes' last two selections of June 17, 1926 can best be described as sanctified barrelhouse piano solos, practically unique in the 1920s. Yet they are representative of a sound and style within gospel piano playing that may be heard yet today.