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Treasured Autographs Of JD Sumner And The Stamps Quartet

January 22, 2020

Country music and southern gospel were the sounds I grew up with as a boy in Hancock, Wisconsin.  As a young man and radio broadcaster at WDOR, I was able to turn Sunday mornings from the slow pace of George Beverly Shea type music–which had been aired before my being hired–to the upbeat and infectious harmony of the Speer Family, Blackwood Brothers, and of course, JD Sumner And The Stamps Quartet which I played.

Do not get me wrong.  Shea has a most amazing voice, but when it comes to waking up a radio audience and helping them along as they make coffee and breakfast the Imperials do a far better job.

This past week something most remarkable landed at my home.  A bevy of albums from the legendary gospel groups that once were played at the home of my Aunt Evie and Bob were passed along to me.  Over the decades I have kept updating my turntable and still play the vinyl which has that warm feel to the music that is lacking in other recordings.  The entertainment system almost turned itself on to get started spinning the discs.

So late Sunday night as James and I were putting the new arrivals into piles and making plans on incorporating them into our assortment of music I found something that made me look twice, three times, and then smile broadly.

JD Sumner And The Stamps Quartet are not only among the finest of the gospel music groups to have ever recorded, but also have a close connection to Elvis.  They were the first professional quartet to sing worldwide on Elvis’ famous, “Aloha From Hawaii” concert.  So when I flipped over this album…..


…notice this includes lead vocalist Ed Enoch who had perhaps the best voice ever to sing this genre of music….


and this…


After a trying week, this find was a tonic for the soul.  Why is that so?  Take a listen to what I mean.

And this from the early 1970s.

Music is always the mixture of sounds and words that lifts and comforts, inspires and soothes.  That mixture was enhanced in our home with these albums.   May it always be so.

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