Hidden Gems: JD Sumner & The Stamps – “Tell Me The Story Again”

This song comes from 1972’s Something Special album, which featured Bill Baize’s sugar stick “When It’s My Time” and the Stamps unmatchable rendition of “The Lighthouse”.  The lineup on this particular album is JD Sumner, Richard Sterban, Ed Enoch, Donnie Sumner, and Bill Baize, however, JD does not sing on this particular song.  This is an uptempo song that lyrically hearkens back to the familiar hymn “Tell Me The Story Of Jesus”, especially with the first verse, with some nice group harmonies.  Sterban takes the lead on the chorus with the quartet backing him up.  The key changes, Ed Enoch sings another verse, the key changes again, Donnie Sumner sings a verse, then the key changes again and Bill Baize sings the last verse with some sparse background vocals.  Sterban once again takes the lead on the chorus, then the chorus is repeated with the background harmonies inverted up.  An incredible tag with some nice modern harmony ends the song on a nice, upbeat note.  Richard Sterban shines on this song in particular, showing both some nice low range and the ability to sing the higher modern harmony as well.  There’s some really nice guitar work and organ playing on the track as well.  Pull out your LP, spin this song up, and just try to keep your foot from tapping!

About Wes Burke
I'm a .NET developer and Southern Gospel music fan. Married with a wonderful family.

8 Responses to Hidden Gems: JD Sumner & The Stamps – “Tell Me The Story Again”

  1. natesings says:

    I was able to get a copy of this from a friend. Nice organ, don’t hear those too much anymore. Ed Hill soloing at :50 sounds just like Mark Trammell, or based on the timeline I guess Trammell sounds like Hill. I like how the 3 top vocals get turns on the verses. I love the group slide at 1:55. This song has Kingdom Heirs remake written all over it. I’d love to hear Jeff Chapman on it. Sterban is nice and smooth and easy to understand. Great rhythm.

  2. burkesbrainwork says:

    Nate, actually, that would be Ed Enoch, not Ed Hill. This was before Hill joined the Stamps. When Donnie left the group, Enoch moved to lead and Ed Hill joined to sing baritone.

  3. natesings says:

    Thanks, this 70’s stuff is all new to me!

  4. paul jackson says:

    Gonna ask Bill Baize about the songs mentioned here.

    PJ / The Prophets

  5. Auke says:

    I discovered this song just a few months ago…and i’m loving it…snappy tune

    Auke

  6. Frizz says:

    Is there anywhere I can purchase this album/CD? I had a copy when it first came out and it’s phenominal! I made the mistake of loaning it to someone who loaned it to someone who loaned it… I haven’t seen it (much less head it) in years. It’s one of my alltime favorites and I’d love to get another copy.

    I purchased mine in about 76 or 77 at a concert near Raleigh and got to hear most of the songs performed live. What a show! JD was there showing off. I’m a bass, or at least I thought I was until I heard JD.

    If anybody knows where I can get a copy, how about e-mailing me: theoldfatguy@hotmail.com

    Thanks

  7. quartet-man says:

    Dean put up a youtube clip of the guys singing this song. (I saw the video years ago already, but it is nice to see it on You Tube.) Sterban was a good bass back then, but he really got much lower and much more cut after leaving the Stamps. I like the version of this J.D did with them a few years before his death. He slides down and almost gets the double low C (he is a bit sharp), but he slid just a few notes short of three octaves.

  8. quartet-man says:

    I forgot to put down that my favorite version of Lighthouse was the one the Stamps did with Elvis (it is too abbreviated though.) If I remember right, Donnie told me that Colonel Parker made them shorten it because he didn’t want to take attention away from Elvis.

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