In early 1973, Sherrill Nielsen, having most recently sung tenor with the Statesmen, joined Statesmen bass player Tim Baty and Donnie Sumner, nephew of J D Sumner and the lead singer with JD Sumner And The Stamps Quartet, to form a male trio in Nashville. They released one album -- Distilled Gospel -- which was credited to Nielsen Sumner And Baty. Inspired by the Oak Ridge Boys' move to country music, they changed directions musically, named their group the Tennessee Rangers, and performed on the Grand Ole Opry. The group caught the attention of Elvis Presley, who flew the group to Las Vegas in September and suggested to Tom Jones that they could join Jones' act. When Jones demurred, Elvis signed them himself as his opening act, to sing with him on stage, on recordings, and in private. It was Elvis who renamed them Voice after a religious periodical he was reading entitled New Age Voice. Voice sang with Elvis for three years, last performing with him in Las Vegas in August 1975, when Donnie Sumner quit the group to join the ministry. Sherrill Nielsen continued to sing with Elvis until Presley's death in 1977.
1973 Distilled Gospel (BMC? 4388): A Little More Time; Sailing Toward Home; Guess We'll Understand It; The World The Way I Want It; Keep On Holdin' On; Where Has Our Love Gone; I'll Live On; Teach Your Children; Mama Sang; Got Any Rivers.
(:tags male trio:)