Jake Hess

Jake Hess

Infobox musical artist
Name = Jake Hess

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Img_size = 200
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Background = group_or_band
Alias =
Origin = United States
Genre = Southern Gospel
Years_active = 1927-2004
Label =
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Notable_instruments =

Jake Hess (December 24, 1927 - January 4, 2004) was a Grammy Award-winning gospel singer in the southern United States.

He was born Manchild Hess December 24, 1927, in Limestone County, Alabama. (Later, when he registered with the draft board in Lincoln, Nebraska, he gave his name as "William Jesse Hess." In 1997, when Hess was preparing to get a passport to travel overseas, he discovered that his birth certificate actually read MANCHILD HESS. His son, Jake Jr., named his recording company Manchild Records in honor of his father.) He died January 4, 2004 in Opelika, Alabama after suffering a heart attack December 14 2003, just days after a performance in Atlanta, Georgia.

At the age of 16, Hess joined the popular John Daniel Quartet, making his recorded debut on "Just a Prayer Away". After that, he sang with three of his brothers as the Hess Brothers Quartet. He also sang with the Sunny South Quartet and their rival, the Melody Masters Quartet. Hess finally got a chance to sing lead with the Statesmen Quartet from 1947 until 1964.

After leaving the Statesmen Quartet, Hess formed his "dream" group, The Imperials. Although they were not immediately accepted by his peers because of their use of electric guitars and drums, they went on to produce 40 records, and are still in existence today. They topped the Christian charts with 14 singles, and had a TV show based in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1967 they backed Elvis Presley on his gospel outing "How Great Thou Art". Elvis has been quoted as noting Hess as his favorite singer, and in 1977, Hess sang at Presley's memorial service, much as he had performed at the burial of country legend Hank Williams in 1953 (with the Statesmen). Hess also sang with his children, Becky and Chris, in a group he named "The Sound Of Youth".

In 1978 Hess reunited with the surviving members of the Statesmen quartet, Hovie Lister, Doy Ott, and Rosie Rozell to perform "Songs Elvis Loved". The reunited members brought in other gospel music legends, James Blackwood and J.D. Sumner, as a result the southern gospel group the Master's V was formed. They toured from 1981 until 1988 when illnesses prompted several of the members to retire.

In 1968, Hess won the "Best Sacred Performance" Grammy Award for "Beautiful Isle Of Somewhere". In 1969, he won the "Best Sacred Performance (Non-Classical)" Grammy for "Ain't That Beautiful Singing". In 1970 he won the "Best Sacred Performance (Musical)" Grammy for "Everything Is Beautiful". In 1981 he won the "Best Gospel Performance, Traditional" Grammy for "The Masters V", as part of the quintet "The Masters V".

In the late 1970's Hess and his son Chris were featured singers on the television broadcasts of evangelist Dr. Gene Scott.

In 1997 he was inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Association's Hall of Fame.In 1982 Hess was inducted into the Gospel Music Association's Gospel Music Hall of Fame. In 1995 Hess was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, with a John Herbert Orr Pioneer Award. In 1998 Jake was inducted into the Gospel Music Association's Gospel Music Hall of Fame again, this time as a member of The Imperials.

In 1996 he released the album "Terry & Jake", a collaboration with NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw.

Jake Hess, Jr. has become a well-known Southern Gospel songwriter, in addition to being married to GMA Music Award winning artist Judy Martin of The Martins. His latest work is with The Old Friends Quartet.

In 1989 Jakes' nephew Steve Hess & Eugene Baker (Hess & Baker,Skylite/Sing) were in Nashville to record several segments on Bobby Jones Gospel(BET Network). Jake accompanied them to the studio and liked what he heard. While visiting with Jake in Brentwood Jake asked if they would be interested in forming with him a new version of Jake Hess & Friends. The group would ultimately consist of Jake, Steve, Eugene & Chris, Jake’s son. They started rehearsals in Jakes Family Room and started touring later in the year. There were several dates in Missouri and Florida but Jake determined that the travelling was going to be more demanding than he anticipated so by 1990 the tours were put on hold with the possibility of doing something with television.


Hovie Lister & The Statesmen

*1957 "The Statesmen Quartet with Hovie Lister"
*1958 "The Statesmen Quartet Sings with Hovie Lister"
*1958 "The Bible Told Me So"
*1959 "Hymns"
*1959 "I’ll Meet You By the River"
*1959 "Get Away Jordan"
*1960 "Mansion Over the Hilltop"
*1960 "On Stage"
*1960 "Something To Shout About"
*1960 "Encores"
*1960 "Peace, O Lord"
*1960 "Statesmen Blackwood Favorites"
*1961 "Out West"
*1961 "Through the States"
*1962 "Stop, Look & Listen for the Lord"
*1962 "Camp-Meeting Hymns"
*1962 "Singing Time in Dixie"
*1963 "The Mystery of His Way"
*1963 "Message in the Sky"
*1963 "A Gospel Concert"
*1992 "I Surrender All"
*1992 "The Bible Told Me So"
*1992 "Get Away Jordan"
*1992 "Jubilee’s A Coming"
*1992 "Revival"
*1992 "O What a Savior"
*1993 "O My Lord What a Time"
*1997 "Hovie Lister & The Statesmen"

The Imperials

*1964 "Jake Hess & The Imperials"
*1964 "Introducing The Illustrious Imperials"
*1964 "Fireside Hymns"
*1964 "Blends & Rhythms"
*1965 "Talent Times Five"
*1965 "Slaughter Writes - Imperials Sing"
*1965 "Happy Sounds of The Imperials"
*1965 "He Was a Preachin Man"
*1965 "Slightly Regal"
*1966 "Sing Their Favorite Hymns"
*1966 "Sing Inspirational Classics"
*1966 "To Sing Is the Thing"
*1967 "New Dimensions" (guest vocal on "I Know Who It Is (And I'm Gonna Tell On Em")
*1998 "Gospel Music Hall of Fame 1964-1976"

Albums Done With Elvis

*1966 "How Great Thou Art"

External links

* [http://www.theimperials.com/ The Imperials Official Site]
* [http://www.sgmusicforum.com/jake.htm Southern Gospel music]

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