FROM THE DVD ELVIS PRESLEY - THE ROAST OF J.D. SUMNER 1985
THIS IS A LINK TO MY ELVIS CHANNEL ON YOU TUBE ⚡ THE KING is BACK TCB - TLC ⚡ PLEASE VISIT IT'S FREE --- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVkSCntDoC-DyrS0Z2_PGHw/ --- TCB ⚡TLC
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. Aside from his incredibly low bass voice, Sumner's business acumen helped promote Southern Gospel and move it into the mainstream of American culture and music during the '50s and '60s.
J. D. Sumner first sang with The Sunny South Quartet from 1945 to 1949. The quartet was headquartered in Tampa, Florida and was sponsored by the Dixie Lily Flour Company. In 1949, Sunny South manager Horace Floyd relocated the quartet to Orlando, but Sumner stayed behind in Tampa where he maintained the sponsorship and started a new group, the Dixie Lily Harmoneers, which he sang with for a few months.
Later in 1949, J. D. Sumner left the Dixie Lily Harmoneers and moved up to Atlanta, Georgia, where he joined the Sunshine Boys. They split their time between Atlanta and Wheeling, West Virginia with the occasional trip to Hollywood to sing in Western movies. The lineup of Fred Daniel on tenor, Ed Wallace on lead, Ace Richman on baritone, and J. D. on bass continued on for five years until June 30, 1954.
On June 30, 1954, tragedy struck the Blackwood Brothers Quartet when a disastrous test run in their private plane cost the lives of baritone R. W. Blackwood and bass singer Bill Lyles. J. D. Sumner was immediately hired by the Blackwood Brothers to sing with them to replace Lyles. Cecil Blackwood joined at the same time to replace his brother R. W. on baritone. J. D. sang with the Blackwood Brothers Quartet from 1954 until 1965. While he was with the Blackwoods, Sumner brought the idea of traveling cross country in a tour bus rather than flying, and was the first professional musical group to do so in any genre. He also established the National Quartet Convention along with James Blackwood to showcase the various quartets in the industry and the convention became an annual festival and mainstay in the industry that continues to this day. It was also during this time he met Elvis Presley. Presley lived in Memphis, Tennessee as a young boy and would attend the all night sings at The Ellis Auditorium. Presley was an avid fan of Southern Gospel music and groups such as The Blackwood Brothers and The Statesmen Quartet. Sumner recalled that Presley had missed a concert one month, and Sumner inquired why he did not attend. Presley replied he had no money to get into the show, and Sumner said "Son you come find me when you want to get in, money or not." Sumner then told his group mates to let Presley in the back stage door so he could attend. Years later, Presley would try out for The Songfellows Quartet, a group associated with The Blackwood Brothers, though did not receive an invitation to join. Shortly thereafter, Presley recorded a demo at Sun Records in Memphis which launched his legendary rock and roll career.
In 1962, J. D. Sumner became the manager of the Stamps Quartet, and three years later, he left the Blackwood Brothers to sing with them. Sumner was most noted as the leader of the Stamps Quartet, which became known as J. D. Sumner & The Stamps. As a teenager, Elvis Presley idolized Sumner's singing after seeing him perform with the Sunshine Boys. Presley hired Sumner & The Stamps as his back-up singers in 1971. The group toured and recorded with Presley from November 1971 until Presley's death in 1977. Sumner not only sang at Elvis' funeral but had previously sung at the funeral of Elvis' mother Gladys in 1958.