The son of a minister, Edwin Lee Hill was born in St. Louis, MO, and started singing at the early age of 15 with a group called “Humble Hearts.” Ed became acquainted with Lewis Garrison, (a.k.a. “Big Lew”) who was the choir director serving with Ed’s dad. Ed incorporated Lew’s high tenor sound into a new group he was organizing called The Prophets Quartet. Little did they realize at the time that, together, they would become one of America‘s most respected Gospel quartets.
Ed and The Prophets soon became regulars on the Gospel Singing Caravan television series with the LeFevres, the Blue Ridge Quartet and the Johnson Sisters.
After Ed retired The Prophets, he enjoyed a lengthy tenure with Hovie Lister and The Statesmen. J.D. Sumner of the Stamps Quartet asked Ed to manage his talent agency and music companies, and in 1973 was asked to sing baritone temporarily until a permanent voice could be acquired. “Temporarily” lengthened into five years of fulltime service with the Stamps Quartet and with the late Elvis Presley.
In 1980, Ed was instrumental in the fast rise to popularity of The Singing Americans and was able to give a “hand up” to many young gospel artists—including Mike LeFevre, Rick Strickland, Michael English and Ivan Parker.
In 1987, J.D. Sumner reorganized the Stamps Quartet from his existing Master’s V group, and J.D. again asked Ed to become a member of his group. According to J.D., Ed was “one of the best quartet men I ever worked with.”
Ed, along with The Stamps were permanent members of the Elvis Presley Show until Elvis’ death in 1977. The voice heard at the close of each Elvis performance . . . “Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building. Thank you and good night!” . . . was none other than Ed himself.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.