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Jake Hess


Because the lead vocalist from the pioneering Statesmen Quartet, Jake Hess had not been only an instrumental force in growing the recognition and limitations of Southern gospel, but his outsized, dramatic design was also an essential influence within the advancement of rock and roll & roll, because of his standing because the favorite singer from the young Elvis Presley. William Jesse Hess was created Dec 24, 1927, in Limestone Region, AL, the youngest of 12 kids created into an impoverished sharecropping family members. His dad, Stovall, plus some of his old brothers earned extra cash carrying out and teaching in region singing schools, with age five Jake produced his debut using the family members group, providing a single rendition of “Harmonies of Heaven.” He later on studied harmony in the Stamps-Baxter College and performed in some vocal organizations, including Louie Auten & the Tennessee Valley Kids, before putting your signature on on with Ottis Williams & the Haleyville Melody Kids in 1944. At age simply 16, Hess became a member of the immensely well-known John Daniel Quartet, producing his documented debut on “Only a Prayer Aside.” In quick succession, then performed with Daniel’s sibling Troy’s group; his have brothers Ollie, Butch, and Cleveland within the Hess Brothers Quartet; the beloved Sunny South Quartet (where he collaborated with another potential gospel tale, bass vocalist J.D. Sumner); and the Sunny South’s main competitor, the Melody Experts Quartet. Until this aspect a utility guy, in 1948 Hess finally got his opportunity to sing business lead when he was contacted by pianist Hovie Lister to become listed on his fledgling Statesmen Quartet. Lister was to demonstrate an enormously important number in his personal correct — the Statesmen had been among the initial Southern gospel groupings to present piano to their music, and his soulful, ragtime-influenced design heralded a significant shift from the rigid accompaniment of days gone by. Though an ordained minister, Lister known the need of upgrading gospel to attract postwar audiences, especially teenagers, and because of their frequent looks on radio displays, gospel package trips, and tv, the Statesmen been successful in capturing a fresh era of listeners, included in this an aspiring teenager singer called Elvis Presley, who cited Hess and R&B crooner Roy Hamilton as his major influences. Furthermore to documenting for Capitol and RCA, the Statesmen headlined their very own syndicated Television series, and in 1952 they started touring making use of their main competitors, the Blackwood Brothers, playing to record crowds through the entire South. Their bundle tours finished in tragedy on June 30, 1954, once the Blackwoods’ aircraft crashed, killing people R.W. Blackwood and Expenses Lyles — Hess preserved the life span of Wayne Blackwood after he attemptedto rescue his sibling through the burning up wreckage. Hess continued to be using the Statesmen Quartet until past due 1963, when he shaped his personal quartet, the Imperials. Very much because the Statesmen redefined gospel with the help of Lister’s piano, the Imperials further forced the envelope by bolstering their audio with guitar, bass, and drums. Putting your signature on to RCA, the group topped the Christian graphs with no less than 14 singles, furthermore to hosting their very own Nashville-based syndicated Television series. In 1967 in addition they supported Presley on his gospel outing How Great Thou Artwork. But that same calendar year, recurring kidney complications and heart difficulty forced Hess to give up touring, and he reluctantly still left the Imperials to become listed on the cast from the Nashville gospel transmit Heaven’s Jubilee. Despite his safety measures, Hess still experienced a coronary attack, and even though his prognosis for recovery was grim, he not merely recovered but additionally returned to tv a couple weeks afterwards. With time he also returned to the street, recruiting kid Chris and little girl Becky to create Jake Hess & the Audio of Youngsters, which highlighted an 18-member youngsters choir. In 1968, he also documented the very first in some RCA single albums, gaining Grammy Honours over three consecutive years for the albums Gorgeous Isle of Someplace, 1969’s Ain’t That Gorgeous Performing, and 1970’s Everything Is normally Beautiful. Because the 1970s dawned, Hess produced the Jake Hess Audio, a stripped-down edition from the Audio of Youth offering simply Becky and Chris along with a tempo section — the group spent the rest from the 10 years touring the reasonable circuit, including a four-year residency in California. In 1977 he also sang at Presley’s funeral, very much as he previously performed in the burial of nation tale Hank Williams 24 years previously. Hess came back to traditional group efficiency in 1981 as an associate from the Experts V, which reunited him with Sumner, Lister, and Wayne and Jake Blackwood; their self-titled debut LP earned a Grammy, plus they continuing touring until accumulating health issues pressured them off the street in 1988. 3 years later on Hess shaped a new release from the Statesmen Quartet, but on doctor’s purchases he retired from touring once and for all in 1993, relocating with wife Joyce to Columbus, GA. Within the years to check out he was a fixture of Expenses Gaither’s Homecoming gospel video series, and in 1997 was inducted in to the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Popularity. He also resumed his single recording profession with LPs, like the jazz-inspired Leanin’ and Terry & Jake, a cooperation with NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw. Furthermore, he released an autobiography, Nothin’ But Great: The Music as well as the Gospel Based on Jake Hess. On Dec 14, 2003, simply times after an Atlanta appearance with Gaither and his “Homecoming Close friends,” Hess experienced another coronary attack — he passed away January 4, 2004, in Opelika, AL, at age 76.

Quick Facts

Full Name Jake Hess
Died January 4, 2004, Opelika, Alabama, United States
Profession Gospel singer
Nationality American
Spouse Joyce McWaters
Children Jake Hess, Jr.
Awards Grammy Award for Best Inspirational Performance
Music Groups The Imperials, Masters V
Music Songs Up Above My Head, I Know Where I Am Now, Then I Met The Master, Death Ain't No Big Deal, I Just Love Old People, No Fishin', Wore Out, If God Didn't Care, The Fourth Man, You and Me Jesus, Sunday Meetin' Time, He Keeps Me Singing, God Takes Good Care Of Me, I'm Winging My Way Back Home, Jesus, I Believe What You Said, That's Enough, Oh, What A Time, Thanks for Sunshine, Old Friends, So Many Reasons, Happy Rhythm, Too Much To Gain To Lose, Old Camp Meeting Days, He Knows Just What I Need, Come Sunday, Come On And Sing, I Shall Not Be Moved, Your First Day In Heaven, I've Never Loved Him Better Than Today, Waiting For His Return, Without Him, I Came To Praise The Lord
Albums Jus' Jake And A Few Close Friends, Gospel Music Hall of Fame Series - Jake Hess and The Jordanaires - 24 Songs of Faith, All of Me, Gotta Get A God Said, A Tribute to Jake Hess

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Gaither's Pond 1997-2001 TV Series Snappy Jake



Journey to the Sky 2004 Video Himself (as Old Friends Quartet)
Rivers of Joy 1998 Video Himself
When All God's Singers Get Home 1996 Video Himself
Bill & Gloria Gaither Present: Revival with Their Homecoming Friends 1995 Video Himself
Holy Ground: Moments of Worship and Praise with the Homecoming Friends 1995 Video Himself
The Sweetest Song I Know 1995 Video Himself
Bill & Gloria Gaither Present: Landmark with Their Homecoming Friends 1994 Video Himself
O Happy Day: Old-Time Southern Singing Convention 1994 Video Himself
Precious Memories 1994 Video Himself
A Christmas Homecoming 1993 Video Himself
Old Friends: A Gospel Homecoming Celebration 1993 Video Himself
Turn Your Radio On 1993 Video Himself
Reunion: A Gospel Homecoming Celebration 1992 Video Himself
Homecoming 1991 Video Himself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

He Touched Me: The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley 2000 Video documentary Himself

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