Statesmen Quartet on Gene Scott program?

Televangelist Gene Scott was and is a colorful character who brings many adjectives to mind: flamboyant, reclusive, iconoclastic, and even vulgar at times. This article provides a good summary of his tactics.

With that in mind, reader TM points out this video clip on YouTube and asks if the Statesmen Quartet actually appeared on Scott’s program.

If this was a live appearance, it would have taken place in 1979 or 1980, since Ed Hill appears in the clip and he only sang baritone for the group in those years.

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9 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. Dr. Scott played that video of the Statesmen over and over and over again. He’d ask for money, and then play “I Wanna Know” once again. I only Dr. Scott’s program once, and that night he must have played that song ten times.

    And yes, that is Jake Hess pictured on the link Tom posted singing with his son, Chris. Jake worked for Dr. Scott for several years. You can learn more about Jake’s time with Dr. Scott in Jake’s autobiography, “Nothin’ But Fine”.

    • What was the name of Gene Scott’s son that played the piano/organ for a period of time, in the beginning of when Scott was just getting started on TV?


  2. There’s a still of them on this page. [EDIT, 6/7/12: Broken link removed.] There’s also a picture of what looks like Jake Hess and somebody else.

  3. I realize Dr. Scott died recently, but I wonder whether any current southern gospel artists would make an appearance with Dr. Scott if he were still around? Has this genre and industry shifted in such a way that no one would touch Dr. Scott with a 10 foot pole? I have a hard time thinking of any current artists who might do something like that.

    And another thing: Were there other southern gospel artists who were around in the 1970s who would have taken a dim view of the Statesmen and Hess for condoning Dr. Scott’s style of Christianity?

  4. Hess worked on the program during his pre-Masters V years, before Scott completely went around the bend, mentally speaking. The Gene Scott that Hess worked for wasn’t the stuff of legends at the time, at least not to the same degree as in later years.

    I believe there are some SG artists who would still work with a flamboyant character like Scott if they got the chance…maybe not with what he was at the end of his “ministry,” but at the level he was on when Hess worked for him, sure, they would.

  5. I think some artists are currently working with “ministers” today that are scarier than Dr. Gene Scott.

  6. John – I was thinking the same thing …in fact I see them sometimes on a network that uses a lot of gold on their sets.

  7. Granted that a lot of artists cozy up to the Father/Son/Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network. I certainly wish they didn’t because it’s so embarrassing to the industry, but southern gospel artists aren’t the only ones to fall for it–CCM artists also show up on that network. But compared to that kind of stuff, Gene Scott really takes the cake. Like most of those who have commented, I have little use for that network’s style of Christianity. But at least they put on a facade of being in the mainstream of Christianity. I think you can make some comparisons (in a few ways, not all ways) between Gene Scott and Mormonism–in the sense that most Christians would view Scott as being outside Christianity, plus his restrictions on who could or could not enter his temple is a coincidental parallel. But I’ll assume that DBM was correct when he asserted that Hess and the Statesmen were involved with Scott before he totally flipped over into the deep end. I haven’t really studied Scott’s evolution over time–I tend to equate him with what he was like during his last decade or so. But then again, wasn’t a well-known Statesmen a Mormon during at least part of his southern gospel career?

  8. Melissa Scott, wife of the late Gene Scott, can still be seen on some networks. One of the stations on my broadcasts her program and sometimes shows an old program with Gene Scott.