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JD Stamps

Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:55 pm

I read in one of my Elvis books long ago that Elvis sent JD and the Stamps over to do the MDA Jerry Lewis telethon in Vegas. Does anybody know what year that was and or if there is any video of that event? Or maybe I just dreamed this and didn't read it at all.

Re: JD Stamps

Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:27 pm

If memory serves, they were already there performing. Elvis saw it on TV and either he, or he had someone call the telethon and pledge some money if JD would jump in the pool (I don't know where the telethon was but apparently there was a pool in evidence). JD jumped in and Elvis made good on the pledge. Or so the story goes.

Re: JD Stamps

Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:55 pm

OK that sounds right, thanks.

Re: JD Stamps

Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:52 pm

srovenstine wrote:I read in one of my Elvis books long ago that Elvis sent JD and the Stamps over to do the MDA Jerry Lewis telethon in Vegas. Does anybody know what year that was and or if there is any video of that event? Or maybe I just dreamed this and didn't read it at all.


This funny anecdote seems likely to be true, although I've never seen a video clip.

Elvis' encouragement of the Stamps Quartet to jump in the pool in order to get a donation from him must have happened during the 10th annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon Against Muscular Dystrophy. The event originated from Del Webb's Hotel Sahara in Las Vegas, and ran for 21 and a half hours, 8-31 to 9-01-1975. About 82 million watched, and pledges exceeded $18 million dollars.

Presley was at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis from 8-21 to 9-05-1975, recuperating from his most recent hospital stay for "fatigue," and probably watched a ton of TV. Note both he and the quartet were working during the Labor Day weekend in 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1976, so it could not have happened those years. Finally, it's unclear if the Stamps were in Las Vegas for the 1975 telethon, or were seen in a local cutaway. The pool at the Hotel Sahara was very nice, though.


Del Webb's Hotel Sahara pool_01.JPG

Del Webb's Hotel Sahara pool_02.JPG
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Re: JD Stamps

Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:26 pm

Another reason it couldn't have been 1976 is that Bill Baize claims to have been with The Stamps at the time. Bill left the group after the Tahoe gig, in May 1976.

Re: JD Stamps

Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:38 pm

UPDATE

Well, scratch that first reply I made. As well-reasoned as it may be, it is not right. I uncovered more information which strongly indicates the event was in 1974, for a smaller TV benefit held prior to the annual Labor Day MDA Telethon.

At his 8-27-1974 MS Elvis speaks about the "Landmark" and a telethon for a new church where the Stamps went into the pool for a pledge. Super-fan Sandi Pichon was there and recalled his comments in her 2004 memoir:


040723_Raised on Elvis Elvis Elvis_Pinchon.JPG
Sandi Haynes Pichon, Raised on Elvis! Elvis! Elvis!: A Look Back at the Good Times (United Kingdom: Apex Publishing Ltd, July 23, 2004)


Looking around, the event was confirmed in the October 1974 issue of the gospel magazine, Singing News:


For those of you who were not around - and for the rest of us with failing memories - here's a look back at the October 1974 Singing News. Enjoy this look back!

Sumar Talent Agency was reporting that JD Sumner & The Stamps took a dive - fully clothed - into a hotel swimming pool. The quartet was singing for a church telethon on a TV station in Las Vegas and a caller called in and said he would donate $2500 to the church if the all the Stamps would dive into the pool. They did - and the caller called back and said he'd throw in an extra $1000 if the preacher would jump in, too. He did.

(Now, here's the rest of the story. Even though it was not reported at that time, the caller was Elvis Presley. JD told me that story many times. And, just for the record, Elvis had the money - in cash - delivered to the church that day.)

http://singingnews.com/blogs/danny-jones/11583821/




Note that the Sumar Talent Agency was created by J.D. Sumner to book gospel shows, so they fed the story to the magazine themselves. But who was the preacher? And what church was it? I found this out as well, with more digging.

In Stanley Steward's Where Sin Abounds: A Religious History of Las Vegas (Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers, March 20, 2012), he writes of Pastor Dr. Bill Sharp, who worked for Trinty Temple, an Assembly of God church in Las Vegas. Sharp was known as the "Chaplain of the Strip." He was considered flashy, but filled the seats every Sunday. However, in 1974, after charges of financial and sexual impropriety, Sharp was asked to leave Trinity, and he chose to set up a breakaway group at the Landmark Hotel. He had plans to purchase the Landmark, and turn it into a Christian resort and religious center, so perhaps the telethon was to raise money for this goal.

So the correct answer is:

The telethon happened at the Landmark Hotel in mid-August 1974. Gospel singers J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet all jumped in the pool for a $2,500 pledge, and Pastor Dr. Bill Sharp got another $1,000 pledge after the Stamps threw him in the pool as well. Two of the Sweet Inspirations were also there, but were not asked to go into the pool. The telethon probably only aired on local Las Vegas TV, and likely no video archive exists today. And none of it was publicized at the time as coming from Elvis.

The Landmark Hotel pool was ALSO kind of nice. ;-)


Landmark Hotel_01.JPG

Landmark Hotel_02.JPG



Phew! Hope this makes your day, srovenstine!


::rocks
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Re: JD Stamps

Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:44 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:UPDATE

Well, scratch that first reply I made. As well-reasoned as it may be, it is not right. I uncovered more information which strongly indicates the event was in 1974, for a smaller TV benefit held prior to the annual Labor Day MDA Telethon.

At his 8-27-1974 MS Elvis speaks about the "Landmark" and a telethon for a new church. Super-fan Sandi Pichon was there and recalled his comments in her 2004 memoir:


040723_Raised on Elvis Elvis Elvis_Pinchon.JPG
Sandi Haynes Pichon, Raised on Elvis! Elvis! Elvis!: A Look Back at the Good Times (United Kingdom: Apex Publishing Ltd, July 23, 2004)


Looking around, the event was confirmed in the October 1974 issue of the gospel magazine, Singing News:


For those of you who were not around - and for the rest of us with failing memories - here's a look back at the October 1974 Singing News. Enjoy this look back!

Sumar Talent Agency was reporting that JD Sumner & The Stamps took a dive - fully clothed - into a hotel swimming pool. The quartet was singing for a church telethon on a TV station in Las Vegas and a caller called in and said he would donate $2500 to the church if the all the Stamps would dive into the pool. They did - and the caller called back and said he'd throw in an extra $1000 if the preacher would jump in, too. He did.

(Now, here's the rest of the story. Even though it was not reported at that time, the caller was Elvis Presley. JD told me that story many times. And, just for the record, Elvis had the money - in cash - delivered to the church that day.)

http://singingnews.com/blogs/danny-jones/11583821/




Note that the Sumar Talent Agency was created by J.D. Sumner to book gospel shows, so they fed the story to the magazine themselves. But who was the preacher? And what church was it? I found this out as well, with more digging.

In Stanley Steward's Where Sin Abounds: A Religious History of Las Vegas (Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers, March 20, 2012), he writes of Pastor Dr. Bill Sharp, who worked for Trinty Temple, an Assembly of God church in Las Vegas. Sharp was known as the "Chaplain of the Strip." He was considered flashy, but filled the seats every Sunday. However, in 1974, after charges of financial and sexual impropriety, Sharp was asked to leave Trinity, and he chose to set up a breakaway group at the Landmark Hotel. He had plans to purchase the Landmark, and turn it into a Christian resort and religious center, so perhaps the telethon was to raise money for this goal.

So the correct answer is:

The telethon happened at the Landmark Hotel in mid-August 1974. Gospel singers J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet all jumped in the pool for a $2,500 pledge, and Pastor Dr. Bill Sharp got another $1,000 pledge after the Stamps threw him in the pool as well. Two of the Sweet Inspirations were also there, but were not asked to go into the pool. The telethon probably only aired on local Las Vegas TV, and likely no video archive exists today. And none of it was publicized at the time as coming from Elvis.

The Landmark Hotel pool was ALSO kind of nice. ;-)


Landmark Hotel_01.JPG

Landmark Hotel_02.JPG



Phew! Hope this makes your day, srovenstine!


::rocks

Good post. Thanks.

Re: JD Stamps

Fri Sep 04, 2015 5:58 am

As Bill Baize tells the story, a brownish blob floats on top of the water.

It's not what you're thinking. It was Ed Hill's hairpiece.