As the Bill and Gloria Gaither gospel empire expands throughout the world and picks up new inspirational artists, it doesn't forget to pay tribute to some of the longstanding voices in the industry. In January 2004, Jake Hess, a legend of the gospel world, was felled by a heart attack. Hess started as a sideman in the 1940s, but when he joined the innovative, ragtime-incorporating Statesmen, he started on a road to renown that even included rescuing a rival band member from a burning plane.
A TRIBUTE TO JAKE HESS, released in the year of his passing, pays homage to Hess in true Gaither style with a collection of rousing spirituals. Friends drop by, including everyone from former bandmate J.D. Sumner to football hero Terry Bradshaw (the two actually duet on "That's Enough"). The record begins with the sweetest of energies as Bill Gaither introduces the set with "God Takes Good Care of Me." The album crescendos with the "Faith Unlocks the Door Medley," and "The Fourth Man" features the voice of Hess, accompanied by Bill Gaither and other friends.