One of, if not THE earliest photo of Elvis with J.D. Sumner who sang bass with Elvis in Las Vegas & on tour - (L-R) James Blackwood, Jackie Marshall, J.D. Sumner, Elvis, Mark Blackwood (not a group member, son of Cecil) circa 1957; Elvis was familiar with JD in 1953-54 when JD sang with the Sunshine Boys.
The three men pictured with Elvis have often been referred to as " the men who invented Southern Gospel Music " The man on the far left is James Blackwood of the Blackwood Brothers' Quartet, Hovie Lister, founder of the Statesmen Quartet, a quartet that greatly influenced Elvis' style, and on the right of Elvis is JD Sumner. When this shot was taken in October 1970, JD was in the process of reorganizing the Stamps Quartet into the quartet that would work with Elvis until his death.