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Page last modified on February 18, 2019, at 02:59 PM EST

Frank Stamps Quartet - 1927
(l-r): Palmer Wheeler, Roy Wheeler, Dwight Brock, Odis Echols, Frank Stamps

Group Members

Frank Stamps Quartet, Stamps All Star Quartet/Stamps Quartet

Tenor
Palmer Wheeler (1927-1928, 1937-1938)
Andy Hughes (1929-1932?)
Otis McCoy (1932)
Alton Floyd (1938, 1941)
Aubrey Low (1940)
Eiland Davis (1940)
Earl Terry (1947)
Clyde Garner (1947-1951)
Vernon Bright (1952)
Howard Welborn (1952-1956)
Loy Hooker (1957-1960)
Richard Oliver (1961-1962?)

Lead
J E Wheeler (1926-1927)
Roy Wheeler (1927-1928, 1937-1941) also sang baritone
Henry Long (1929-1932?)
J R Baxter (1932)
Al Houpe (1947-1948, 1949)
Roger Clark (1949-1951)
Harley Lester (1952-1953?) also sang bass
Don Randall (1953-1956)
Jack Mainord (1955?-1956)
Arthur Watson (1957-1962)

Baritone
Roy Wheeler (1926-1927) also sang lead
Odis L Echols (1926,1927-1928,1937-1938)
E T Burgess (1929-1932?)
Dwight Brock (1932) also played piano
Wilkin Bacon (1938-1941)
Norris Wing (1947)
Ford Keith (1947)
Glen Payne (1948-1951)
James Barnett (1952-1954)
Bill Randall (1954-1956)
Jerry Barnette (1957-195?)
Billy Porter (1959?-1962?)

Bass
Frank Stamps (1920, 1924-1926, 1927-1928, 1929-1932, 1937-1940) (also played piano)
Mike O'Byrne (1928)
Harley Lester (1941, 1953-1955) (also sang lead)
Haskell Mitchell (1948-1951)
J W Elliott (1947)
Bennie Duggar (1952-1953)
Don Taylor (1955)
Joe B Davis (1955-1956)
Jimmie Grisham (1957-1962?)

Piano
Frank Stamps (1925) also sang bass
Dwight Brock (1927-1932) also sang baritone
Lawrence Ivey (1937-1941)
Edwin Baggett (1947)
R D Ginnett (1947-1949)
Jack Taylor (1949-1951)
Charles Cruce (1952, 1961-1962?)
Elmer Childress (1952)
Easmon Napier (1953-1956)
Cecil Pollock (1956-1961)

Position Unknown
Carl Jordan (1920)
Bill Kitts (1920)
Zeke Kitts (1920)
Lee Myers (1924?-1926?)
J E Hamilton (1924)
Austin Williams (1926)


Old Original Stamps Quartet - circa 1944
(l-r): Walter Rippetoe, Bob Bacon, Wilkin Bacon, Sally Stamps (seated) and Frank Stamps

Stamps Quartet with Frank Stamps - 1948
(l-r): Frank Stamps, Doyce Thompson, Walter Rippetoe, Bob Jones, Bob Arnold.

Group Members

Old Original Stamps Quartet, Old Gentlemen, Stamps Quartet (with Frank Stamps)

(1940-1950)

Tenor
Walter Rippetoe (1940-1950)

Lead
Bob Bacon (1940-1948?)
Bob Jones (1948)
Al Houpe (1948, 1949-1950)

Baritone
John Jordan (1940-1942?)
Wilkin Bacon (1943-1944?)
Bob Arnold (1945-1949)

Bass
Frank Stamps (1940, 1941-1950)
Jim Waits (1941)

Piano
Harvey Shelton (194?-1946, 1949-1950)
Jack Hendrix (1946-1948)
Doyce Thompson (1948)
Sally Stamps (various times)

Position Unknown
Loy Hooker (1950)


Stamps Quartet - 1955

(This version of the Stamps became the Plainsmen shortly after this photo was made.)


Frank Stamps And The Stamps Quartet - 1960
(l-r): Cecil Pollock, Arthur Watson, Loy Hooker, Billy Porter, and Jimmie Grisham with Mr. & Mrs. Frank Stamps (inset)

Frank Stamps Quartet, Stamps All Stars, Old Original Stamps Quartet, Old Gentlemen, The Stamps Quartet (with Frank Stamps)

History

(1920-1962)

While Frank Stamps and his brother, V O Stamps, worked for the Vaughan Music Company around 1920, Frank originated the first Stamps Quartet. Group members included Carl Jordan, Bill Kitts, Zeke Kitts, and Frank Stamps. After his brother organized the V O Stamps Music Company in 1924, Frank's group began traveling to represent the company.

The Frank Stamps Quartet introduced innovative practices for their time. When Dwight Brock (brother to Lena "Mom" Speer) joined the group to play the the piano, he was one of the first accompanists to introduce instrumental turnarounds between the verses. The addition of Brock also established the now revered “four guys and a piano” configuration for male quartet singing.

V O Stamps partnered with J R Baxter to form Stamps Baxter Music in 1926. At that point, V O launched another Stamps Quartet called the V.O. Stamps Quartet (sometimes called the Old Original Stamps Quartet). To distinguish between the two, Frank’s group became known as the Frank Stamps All Star Quartet.

Frank Stamps relocated his group to Chattanooga, TN in late 1926. In 1927, the group signed a recording contract with Victor records. Their recording of "Give The World A Smile" has been said by some to be Southern Gospel's first "hit."

Frank disbanded his quartet for several years after the start of the Great Depression, but by the late 1930s he had reorganized. They performed on radio station KMA in Shenandoah, Iowa.

By the late 1930s, there were dozens of groups in addition to the Frank Stamps Quartet using "Stamps," "Baxter" or a combination of the two names in their advertising. This showed their affiliation with the Stamps-Baxter Music publishing company. These groups were essentially traveling salesmen, selling songbooks for the company.

Soon after V.O. Stamps’s death in 1940, Frank Stamps became J R Baxter’s partner at Stamps-Baxter Music. Frank left the All Stars to sing in the Old Original Stamps Quartet. At one point while other duties called, he moved Jim Waits from another company group, the Stamps-Baxter Quartet, to sing bass with the Old Original Stamps Quartet for a short time. Frank's partnership with Baxter lasted five years until Frank Stamps left his position with Stamps-Baxter and began a new company called Stamps Quartet Music Company.

The division did not bring about the end of the various quartets, however. Most of the members of the Old Original Stamps Quartet left Stamps-Baxter to join Frank in his new company where they, along with Frank, sang regularly on the radio in Dallas and made occasional public appearances. They were sometimes called the “Old Gentlemen” or more often, simply the Stamps Quartet.

Frank's All Star Quartet was promoted as the top group in the Stamps family, so any time a member would quit, the next best man was immediately moved into his place. The All Stars featured a number of servicemen returning from World War II including future Cathedral Quartet member Glen Payne. They sang on the radio in the mornings and went out for singing engagements just about every night.

Frank Stamps decided to narrow his attention to publishing songbooks around 1950. The quartet composed of the “Old Gentlemen” was disbanded and the Stamps All Star Quartet became the Stamps Quartet. Long time Stamps-Baxter and Stamps employee Harley Lester became the manager of the group. They continued with their radio and concert work and made a number of recordings. When Lester left the quartet around 1955, Howard Welborn took on the role of manager.

In August of 1956, the members of the Stamps Quartet parted ways with the publishing company and became the Plainsmen Quartet. Another Stamps Quartet was soon organized using personnel from the publishing company. This group operated until 1962.

Ready for retirement, Frank Stamps sold his company to James Blackwood, Cecil Blackwood, and J D Sumner. The new owners created a new version of the Stamps Quartet with Jerry Redd, Roger McDuff, Terry Blackwood, "Big" John Hall and "Smiling" Joe Roper.

In 1965, J D Sumner left the Blackwood Brothers and began traveling with the Stamps. Once Sumner joined the group, they were billed as JD Sumner And The Stamps Quartet.

Discography

Stamps Quartet 78s & LPs

hi-res
1948 Gospel Hymns (Bibletone Records): If We Never Meet Again; God Put A Rainbow In The Cloud; Rock Of Ages Cleft For Me; Mother And Home; I've Got A Lot Of Heaven In My Soul; Wonderful Savior (Walter Rippetoe, Bob Bacon, Bob Arnold, Frank Stamps, Jack Hendricks) (album set of 78s).

hi-res
hi-res
1961 What A Savior (Skylite Records/SRL P5976): What A Savior; I'm Rejoicing; If You Miss Heaven You've Missed It All; Just An Echo From Heaven; When The Sun Sets Over Jordan; When Life Is Over; I've Found The Way; Time And Time Again; What Will I Leave Behind; My Thanks To Him; Keep Walking; O Lord, Hear My Prayer. (Loy Hooker, Arthur Watson, Billy Porter, Jimmy Grisham, Cecil Pollock, Frank Stamps, Mary "Sally" (Mrs. Frank) Stamps. This line-up was known as the "Stamps Office Quartet." They did most of their singing at singing conventions near the Dallas area and all worked in the Stamps office. A later release by the Stamps Quartet after the name was sold to JD Sumner featured a similar cover and shared the same catalog number, but with different singers and mostly different songs. Click HERE to compare the other LP.)

hi-res back cover
1964 Whispering Hope (Columbia Records/HL 7305): Whispering Hope; He's The Lily Of The Valley; Jesus; God Is Right; Heaven's Avenue; The Road That Leads To Tomorrow (Is The Road That Leads To God); His Name Is Jesus; I Will Not Be A Stranger; My Lord Grows More Precious To Me; There's A Ranch House In Heaven.

hi-res
1968 Give The World A Smile (RCA Camden/CAS-2193): Give The World A Smile; Living For Jesus; He Bore It All; Walk And Talk With Jesus; Love Leads The Way; He's A Wonderful Savior To Me; Singing In My Soul; Do Your Best Then Wear A Smile; We Shall Reach Home; Let Me Live Close To Thee (A compilation of recordings made between 1925 and 1930. Palmer Wheeler, Roy Wheeler, Odis L. Echols, Frank Stamps, Dwight Brock).

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Page last modified on February 18, 2019, at 02:59 PM EST