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Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:37 pm

When Richard Sterban, bass voice in the Stamps Quartet, left the group in September 1972 to sing with the Oak Ridge Boys, his replacement a few months later was named Ed Wideman.

Billboard - Jan 13 1973 p41.jpg
Billboard - January 13, 1973

Wideman had previously sung with the King James Version gospel unit out of Toronto. Ed's timing was fortuitous, as he was part of the group for the heralded "Aloha From Hawaii" concert and worldwide TV broadcast.

Billboard Mar 03 1973 p56.jpg
Billboard - March 3, 1973
This is probably from January, when the group headed to fulfill their "Aloha" duties.

Here's a nice review of his one LP with the Stamps, 1973's Leaning On The Arms Of Jesus:


730000_Heartwarming 3207_Stamps.JPG


Classics Corner: JD Sumner and the Stamps – “Leaning On The Arms Of Jesus”
http://burkesbrainwork.wordpress.com/2008/03/12/classics-corner-jd-sumner-and-the-stamps-leaning-on-the-arms-of-jesus/

And here's the song mentioned in that review as a Wideman highlight:

phpBB [video]


J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet, "Must I Empty-Handed Go" (Leaning On The Arms Of Jesus, Heartwarming 3207, 1973)
Bass vocal: Ed Wideman, tenor vocal: Bill Baize.


At some point in 1973, he left the Stamps, and Dave Rowland took his spot in the group. From there Wideman faded into obscurity. What happened to him? Well, this remembrance seems to answer the question.

CHUM, Toronto -- The Elvis Canadian Connection

It was 1975. We had a week to produce the first hour of an Elvis Presley Radio Documentary and get it on the air.

While Bill McDonald was writing script at the Mount Soudan Hotel in Toronto, I was telephoning everyone that Jerry Hopkins mentioned in, what was at the time, the only book written about Elvis. We needed interviews.
So, of course, I also called RCA Records in Toronto.

A lot of people in Canada claim to have a connection with Elvis ... but the best connection has always been Barry Hoagan (I’m sorry to blow your cover Barry ... but hell ... it’s been 22 years!).

Barry told me that there was someone in Stouffville, Ontario “who had worked with Elvis. Barry didn’t think he would talk to us. And, as it turned out, he wouldn’t. But we went ahead and produced the only radio documentary about Elvis that Elvis, himself, authorized in his lifetime. It’s still being syndicated to this day by a U.S. company.

Two years later, when Elvis died, Canada AM asked me to come on their show to talk about Elvis. But I couldn’t. I was going to be on CHUM-FM the next morning with Pete Griffin and Dave Tollington producing our own Elvis Tribute. So I told the Canada AM producer to call Barry.

It wasn’t until some years later that I found out that the mysterious “someone”, from Stouffville, who had worked with Elvis, consented to be interviewed by Canada AM.

It was now 1978. I was programming CHUM-FM. A major promotion was The El Mocambo live concert broadcasts. In ’78 alone, we produced 62 shows for radio. Frankly, we were the best. King Biscuit in New York may have had better distribution and the WMMS shows at The Agora in Cleveland better hype ... but musicians and managers often told me that The El Mocambo had the best mix.

Our rep was mostly because of the people we had hired to produce the shows. John Cordina, Ed Wideman and, later, Mike Elder were fabulous. It was a tough job. Often, they had to make it work without the benefit of a soundcheck.

One day I came in early for a Todd Rundgren Show. Ed Wideman was setting up the board. For the first time I could remember, he wasn’t wearing a T-Shirt. It was an open neck dress shirt. And I could see, around his neck, he was wearing The Medallion.

The Medallion was solid gold, in the shape of a thunderbolt, with the letters T.C.B. embedded in it. I’d never seen it before. But I’d heard of it.

The Medallion was copyrighted. No reputable jeweler could reproduce it. The copyright was owned by Elvis Presley. Legend has it that Elvis only gave it to people that mattered to him.

Ed Wideman ... my recording engineer, was wearing The Medallion.

Ed was always a man of few words.

Warren: “Ed where did you get that Medallion.”

Ed: “From Elvis”.

Warren: “From Elvis PRESLEY?”

Ed: “That’s right.”

Warren: “Why did he give it to you?”

Ed: “I used to work for him.”

Warren: “Work? For ELVIS PRESLEY? What did you do….record his concerts?”

Ed: “No.”

Warren: “Well, what did you do?”

Ed: “I sang.”

Warren: “You SANG?”

Ed: “Yeah.”

Warren: “You SANG WITH ELVIS PRESLEY????”

Ed: “Yeah….for a while.”

Warren: “You were in J.D. Sumner and The Stamps??”

Ed: “Yeah…that’s right.”

So the mysterious “someone” who had “worked” for Elvis Presley ... was Ed Wideman.

Tragically, Ed died in a car crash a year later.

But next time you see the legendary Elvis Live By Satellite From Hawaii concert, check out stage left. J.D. Sumner is on one microphone, two other guys share another ... and between them on his own mike is Ed Wideman. From Stouffville, Ontario Canada.

And now ... you’ve read the rest of the story.

Warren Cosford
RPM Music Weekly August 16/97
http://www.440.com/favesc.html


Wow.

Well, Ed Wideman, may you R.I.P.
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Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:08 pm

Great post! A lot of time would have gone into compiling and posting that. Well appreciated.
::rocks

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:13 pm

Thanks for the thread, very interesting.
I always thought Larry Strickland was the one that replaced him

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:12 pm

Never knew this.

Excellent post .

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:25 pm

It only goes to show how a footage I have watched a million times, can bring new information. I've seen the guy a million times and I never realized who he really was.

I have just watched "An American Trilogy" from Aloha concert and he is in J.D. Sumner's right side. And for some reason, I never questioned myself his name. Just like my brother told me now, watching EOT so many times, our minds probably automatically placed Bill Baize there, when in fact he was not present.

That was Ed Wideman!

Sad he died so young.

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:52 pm

Delboy wrote:Great post! A lot of time would have gone into compiling and posting that. Well appreciated.
::rocks

Thanks. I found a few things here and there and decided to tie them together. Ed wasn't around long (neither was his predecessor, Richard Sterban), but he had a great voice. It was disheartening to discover he died over 30 years ago.

If you look around the internet using Google -- such a great tool -- you'll see Ed Wideman misidentified quite a bit as being a part of "Elvis On Tour" (he was not there) and Richard Sterban credited in Elvis concerts well past September 5, 1972, sometimes alongside Wideman's name!

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:59 pm

Another nice one Doc..nice work.

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:08 am

Jove wrote:Thanks for the thread, very interesting.
I always thought Larry Strickland was the one that replaced him

No, after Ed Wideman, the next Stamps hire was Dave Rowland.

All available research indicates Dave joined up by the time of the Presley Stax sessions in late July, and he likely was aboard for the August - September 1973 Las Vegas booking. Rowland had nice things to say about his year working with Presley.

What was it like to sing with the Stamps backing Elvis?

THE MOST ELECTRIFYING, AWESOME, EXCITING, WONDERFUL, FULFILLING, FANTASTIC, UNIMAGINABLE, FEELING A SINGER COULD HAVE, BAR NONE. It is hard to put into words. Elvis would feature the Stamps at each show and have us sing "How Great Thou Art." Elvis would come over and stand by us while we sang and would smile and sing along with us (off mike) and tell us, "Great Job Guys." Elvis loved gospel music and J. D. Sumner. We would go up to his suite every night after a show and gather around the piano and sing gospel music. Elvis would try and sing the bass part and we had lots of fun listening to him try. Elvis would end up saying, "Oh, you sing it, J. D."

I also did karate with Elvis. I wasn't allowed to strike but just defend as Elvis would show me a new move he had just learned. Elvis always said to me "If I break it I will replace it." Elvis had his karate instructors come to Las Vegas to work out with him. Elvis was always very polite and pleasant to be around in his suite. We had a lot of laughs and fun. I still miss being on stage with him, doing karate, singing in his suite after the shows, but the memories are "priceless."

http://sogospelnews.com/index/features/comments/7661/



Rowland left in September 1974 to join a country group called the Four Guys, they were regulars at the Grand Ole Opry. Not long after that, Dave moved on to form Dave & Sugar in 1975.

Dave & Sugar ended up having a bunch of #1 country hits, kind of like a country Tony Orlando and Dawn:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_&_Sugar

780923_RCA APL1-2861_Dave & Sugar.JPG
Dave & Sugar, Tear Time (RCA APL1-2861, September 1978)
http://ultimatetwang.com/blog/classic-album-review-dave-sugar-tear-time/

The Stamps carried on, adding baritone Ed Hill for the September 1974 tour, and J.D. took on Rowland's bass duties. Bass singer Larry Strickland came aboard in December 1975.
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Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:27 am

Great post Doc.
What a humble unassuming guy he was.What did you do with Elvis ? I Sang.Brilliant

norrie

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:14 am

No, after Ed Wideman the next Stamps hire was Dave Rowland, who started with Elvis at the Hilton in January 1974. Rowland had nice things to say about his eight months with Presley.

I met Dave during intermission at the March 11th 1974 show in Hampton, VA. He was standing off stage to himself watching the crowd. But I noticed the TCB emblem on the side of his glasses. That's when I realized he was with the group.

Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:43 am

Thanks for this information Doc

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:47 am

Cool info.

I wonder why none of the bass singers seemed to last long with the group? From what JD has said, he intended Sterban to be the sole bass singer on the Stamps' first tour with Elvis, but Elvis intervened and convinced JD that he should continue singing with the group. Maybe Sterban and the singers who followed didn't enjoy sharing bass duties with JD.

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:08 am

Hello,

Doc, I think you're a bit wrong with regard to Dave Rowland. He started earlier than the January, 1974 engagement. In fact he was in place for the July, 1973 Stax sessions and he took part for the December, 1973 Stax sessions. My question is who sang on the May, 1973 Lake Tahoe engagement - Wideman or Rowland. Same question also applies to the June / July, 1973 tour.

And when did Gary "Buck" Buckles come into the fold.

Daryl
Last edited by Daryl on Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:34 am

Nice story and research. Thanks, Doc.

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:16 pm

Enjoyed the post- and the song. Thanks Doc.

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:37 pm

Here you'll find the whole history of the Stamps Quartet and the members through the years.


colonel snow

http://www.sghistory.com/index.php?n=J. ... ps_Quartet

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:02 pm

colonel snow wrote:Here you'll find the whole history of the Stamps Quartet and the members through the years.
http://www.sghistory.com/index.php?n=J. ... ps_Quartet

Very informative... thanks for the link.

I've known for decades about Ed Wideman being a part of the Stamps Quartet for a brief period, but I never knew the history behind it.
Thanks for the info, drjohn!

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:07 pm

Renan wrote:Just like my brother told me now, watching EOT so many times, our minds probably automatically placed Bill Baize there, when in fact he was not present.

That was Ed Wideman!

Again, Ed Wideman was not with the show in April 1972, and thus not in the MGM documentary. The line-up was Bill Baize, Ed Enoch, Richard Sterben, Donnie Sumner and J. D. Sumner (with Nick Bruno on piano).

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:13 pm

Daryl wrote:Doc, I think you're a bit wrong with regard to Dave Rowland. He started earlier than the January, 1974 engagement.

Actually, no. If you read this topic with care you'll note my focus is on the Stamps line-up with Elvis in concert, in particular the brief tenure of bass singer Ed Wideman.

Dave Rowland is a part of the July and December 1973 Stax studio sessions, what I've yet to determine, based on everyone's queries, is how long Ed Wideman stayed in the Stamps during the tours. Right now my assumption is he made the Presley shows up to July 3, 1973.

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:24 pm

Based on the information from the website link provided by colonel snow, it appears as though there was no other bass singer in the group other than JD from 1973 (following Wideman's departure) to 1976 when Larry Strickland joined the group.
Interesting information about the group... thanks for the post Doc.

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:30 pm

elvis-fan wrote:Based on the information from the website link provided by colonel snow, it appears as though there was no other bass singer in the group other than JD from 1973 (following Wideman's departure) to 1976 when Larry Strickland joined the group.

I know the site, and their information is not 100% accurate. It's true of several Elvis sites as well. My topic is correct.

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:32 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:I know the site, and their information is not 100% accurate...

Well that's annoying. :(

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:35 pm

Thanks Doc, this is another informative and nice topic! ::rocks

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:00 pm

Excellent work, John.

Was surprised to find songwriting credit to Nielsen/D. Sumner/Baty on "Street Corner Preacher," one of the songs The Stamps sang on the '77 Elvis tours. I've always liked the song, but never knew my boys in Voice were responsible.

It's a good song, and it would have fit Elvis well.

Re: Ed Wideman --> Mystery Member of Stamps Quartet !

Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:47 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Renan wrote:Just like my brother told me now, watching EOT so many times, our minds probably automatically placed Bill Baize there, when in fact he was not present.

That was Ed Wideman!

Again, Ed Wideman was not with the show in April 1972, and thus not in the MGM documentary. The line-up was Bill Baize, Ed Enoch, Richard Sterben, Donnie Sumner and J. D. Sumner (with Nick Bruno on piano).


DJC, I know that. I meant that I have watched EOT a million times and I'm used to see Bill Baize there. So, automatically on Aloha, I have always seen Mr. Wideman there and maybe thinking it was Bill Baize. Our minds can trick us sometimes, as I never questioned myself who the guy (Wideman) was.