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Remembering-JD Sumner


The year was 1998, just four days before JD's death when Jim Bishop interviewed JD.

John Daniel Sumner (November 19, 1924 – November 16, 1998) was an American gospel singer, songwriter, and music promoter noted for his bass voice, and his innovation in the Christian and Gospel music fields. Sumner sang in five quartets and was a member of the Blackwood Brothers during their 1950s heyday.

JD Sumner was top in his field and contributed so much to the gospel music industry.

The last time I had JD Sumner & the Stamps in concert was just two weeks before his sudden death in Myrtle Beach while appearing for an Elvis Tribute concert. I can remember that night, at Gospel Music Live's concert event at the historic Canton Palace Theatre, for two reasons. Ed Enoch informed me that JD was not feeling his best and wanted to sit out for the Stamps performance. Knowing that would be a big disappointment to fans that came to hear the Stamps, I said, if at all possible, see if he could come in just for the Stamps set and then go back to the bus. He graciously did and remained till the end of concert. He sounded fantastic and even agreed to sit on one of my director's chairs at the side of stage and greet the fans who stood in line to shake his hand or get an autograph. At the very end he turned to me with his arm around me and said, "thank you brother for what you do." It was almost like he knew he was not coming back.

JD Sumner and the Stamps was also one of the first groups that I ever had for a public concert event. Being my first promotion, I was left with quite a deficit. I had four groups on the program including the popular LeFevre's with Eva Mae. JD was kind enough to offer me a reduction for their flat to help me get started.

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