02 April 2016

B is for Bass and Big Chief


Since the advent of the gospel music quartet, there have been some amazingly awesome bass singers. Among the best in Southern gospel music were George Younce (1930-2005), J. D. Sumner (1924-1998) and last, but certainly not least, is my all-time favorite - James "Big Chief" Wetherington of the Statesmen Quartet.

The Big Chief was a Georgia boy, born in Ty Ty, Georgia, on Halloween 1922. He joined the Statesmen Quartet in 1949 and was with them until his untimely death at age 50 on 3 October 1973. He died in his hotel room of a massive heart attack at the National Quartet Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

An interesting bit of trivia that you may not already know is that it is from James Wetherington that Elvis Presley got his famous leg shaking. Elvis idolized the Statesmen. He modeled his singing after the style of the Statesmen lead singer Jake Hess, who you'll learn more about in a later post.

Here are two videos in which you can hear why he is considered one of the best bass voices ever!

Rock of Ages

How Great Thou Art



  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Denise. I am so sorry that I missed responding to this comment.

      Have a blessed day!


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