Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:37 pm
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?”
Warren: “Well, what did you do?”
Ed: “I sang.”
Warren: “You SANG?”
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
Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:08 pm
Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:13 pm
Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:12 pm
Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:25 pm
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.
Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:59 pm
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
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."
Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:27 am
Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:14 am
Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:43 am
Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:47 am
Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:08 am
Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:34 am
Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:16 pm
Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:37 pm
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
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!
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.
Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:24 pm
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.
Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:32 pm
drjohncarpenter wrote:I know the site, and their information is not 100% accurate...
Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:35 pm
Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:00 pm
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).
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