For more than six decades, John Daniel Sumner has been known as J.D. Sumner. His voice and personality place him solidly in a list of Southern Gospel’s ten all-time most remembered singers—to the point where, in our industry, someone can jut say “J.D.” and everyone knows who is being discussed.
Or do we?
It turns out there have been quite a few other people with the first two initials J and D.
- J.D. Vaughan – James D. Vaughan, the man credited with starting Southern Gospel in 1910.
- J.D. Habedank – Joseph David Edward Habedank, seven-year lead singer for the Perrys and noted songwriter.
- J.D. Brady – James David Brady, Jim Brady of the Booth Brothers.
- J.D. McGlamery – Jon Devin McGlamery, lead singer for Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (and, previously, for Karen Peck & New River and the Dixie Melody Boys)
- J.D. Rowsey – John Darin Rowsey, former member of Karen Peck and New River, and noted songwriter. He has written or co-written “Singing With the Saints,” “Freedom Band,” “Hey,” and “It Ain’t Gonna Worry Me Long.”
- J.D. Smith – Joseph David Smith, Booth Brothers baritone and Mark Trammell Trio lead singer.
- J.D. Walbert – James D. Walbert, grandson of James D. Vaughan, was a noted Southern Gospel pianist in his day. Today, he is best remembered for his compositions, “Peace Like a River” and “Tell It, Sing It, Shout It” among them. He has been inducted into the Southern Gospel Piano Roll of Honor and the Southern Gospel Hall of Fame.
- J.D. Byler – Author of “Nobody Saved but Me,” recorded by the Kingsmen Quartet on their 1986 Stand Up at Opryland project. (Byler went by J.D.)
- J.D. Miller – Co-writer of a number of Gaither songs, including “I Just Can’t Make it By Myself,” “I’ll Worship Only at the Feet of Jesus,” and “Still the Greatest Story Ever Told.” (Miller went by J.D.)
Are there any others?