Inductees Archive

W.J. “Jake” Hess

W.J. “Jake” Hess was born December 24, 1927, in Limestone County, Alabama. He started his musical career at the age of five with the Hess Brothers Quartet. Later he sang with the Haleyville Melody Boys, John Daniel Quartet, Melody Masters Quartet, and was an original member of the Statesmen Quartet. As lead singer for the Statesmen, he set forth a style which has often been imitated through the years. In 1964 he formed the Imperials Quartet. He was a leader in southern gospel music publishing and television programing. The winner of three Grammy Awards for solo albums and one Dove Award, Jake now sings with the Masters V, and this group won a Grammy for its first album in 1982. Hess passed away on Jan. 4, 2004 at the age of 76.


Induction Year




Limestone County, AL



  • Hess Brothers Quartet
  • John Daniels Quartet
  • Statesmen Quartet
  • Imperials Quartet
  • Masters V
  • The Sound of Youth


Grammy Awards

4 in his career



Hess sang with Elvis Presley on Elvis’ gospel album How Great Thou Art



Jake Hess and The Imperials singing “It’s No Secret”


Jake Hess singing “If God Didn’t Care”