Many of you remember our December 2009 interview with legendary songwriter Dianne Wilkinson. Ever since I conducted that interview, I knew that her story needed to be told in book form.
I suggested the idea in May 2011. She said that songwriting kept her so busy that she might never find the time to write an autobiography. (She writes, on average, more than one song per week, and over two-thirds of those songs get recorded!) I knew enough of her story to know what a loss it would be to Gospel Music if it was lost to history, so I offered to do a series of interviews and turn them into a book.
She agreed, and the result is Dianne Wilkinson: The Life and Times of a Gospel Songwriter. It chronicles her life story and the stories behind over 150 of her best-known songs.
In 1974, Wilkinson—already a church pianist and Sunday School teacher—realized that she was still unsaved. Her salvation prompted a period of serious doctrinal and theological study which provided a foundation for her songwriting career.
She began writing songs when touring with her family group in the 1970s. Her career took off in the 1980s, in parallel with the group with whom she became closely associated, the Cathedral Quartet. Songs she wrote for them include “Boundless Love,” “Homeland,” “Jesus Has Risen,” and lead singer Glen Payne’s signature song, “We Shall See Jesus.”
She has become Southern Gospel’s most recognized non-performing songwriter. Virtually every major Southern Gospel artist has recorded her songs. Around fifty of her songs have been charting singles on the industry-standard Singing News monthly radio charts; seven have reached #1. Her songs have also received multiple Dove Awards® nominations, over a dozen Singing News Fan Awards nominations, and multiple Singing News Fan Awards for Song of the Year.
Dianne Wilkinson: The Life and Times of a Gospel Songwriter will be available for physical purchase from Amazon, and for digital purchase for the Amazon Kindle®, the Barnes and Noble Nook™, the Apple iPad® and iPhone®, the Kobo™ e-reader, and several other formats and venues. A book signing is also planned for the National Quartet Convention.