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Jake Hess

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Dec 15, 2021

Jake Hess (December 24, 1927 – January 4, 2004) was an American Grammy Award-winning southern gospel singer.[1]

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Jake Hess

Jake Hess (second from right) with the Imperials in the 1966 film Sing A Song For Heaven’s Sake.
Background information
Birth name William Jake Hess
Born (1927-12-24)December 24, 1927
Limestone County, Alabama, U.S.
Died January 4, 2004(2004-01-04) (aged 76)
Opelika, Alabama
Genres Southern gospel
Years active 1945–2003
Associated acts The Statesmen Quartet, The Imperials, The Masters V, Old Friends Quartet
Musical artist

. . . Jake Hess . . .

The son of “a sharecropper who was a shape-note singing-school teacher,” Hess was born in Mt. Pisgah,[2] near Athens,[1] in Limestone County, Alabama. His parents were Stovall and Lydia Hess. He was the youngest of 12 children.[3]

Hess’s entry on the Encyclopedia of Alabama’s website says of his name: “His parents did not officially name him, so the attending physician entered his name as ‘Man Child’ Hess in official documents.”[4]

When he registered with the draft board in Lincoln, Nebraska, he gave his name as “William Jesse Hess.”[citation needed] In 1997, when Hess was preparing to get a passport to travel overseas, he discovered that his birth certificate actually read Manchild Hess.[citation needed] His son, Jake Jr., named his recording company Manchild Records in honor of his father.

Hess’ career started at the age of 16, when he joined the popular John Daniel Quartet in 1943,[5] making his recorded debut on “Just a Prayer Away”. (He had previously sung with Louie Auten and the Tennessee Valley Boys.)[4] After that, he sang with three of his brothers as the Hess Brothers Quartet. He also sang with the Sunny South Quartet and their rival, the Melody Masters Quartet. In the latter part of his life, Hess sang with The Old Friends Quartet which was featured on the Bill Gaither Homecoming videos.

. . . Jake Hess . . .

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. . . Jake Hess . . .