In the world of gospel music, there are certain individuals who leave an indelible mark on the hearts of audiences and fellow musicians alike. Bill Baize, the cherished tenor member of the renowned Stamps Quartet, was just that person to Elvis and Graceland.
Graceland was saddened to learn of Bill Baize’s passing on May 15. He left us with memories of his extraordinary talent and unwavering embodiment of faith which captivated both Elvis fans and gospel music fans.
Bill’s most memorable performances with Elvis – from singing “Sweet, Sweet Spirit” to crafting the “Burning Love” rock ‘n’ roll lyric all love to sing (“ahhh”) – will forever leave a lasting impact on Elvis fans.
With the voice of angel that could yield powerful performances, Bill would always share a radiant smile and a genuine warmth that made him approachable and beloved by fans. Bill Baize understood the transformative power of music and used it to uplift, encourage and inspire others.
Bill recently shared with us how blessed he felt to be part of the Elvis world, which sums up how we all felt about him as well:
“I feel that I have been one of the most blessed people on earth to have been able to work with Elvis when I did, and I cherish all the fond memories that I have of that time. I have wonderful memories of the days that we spent working in Hawaii on the Aloha From Hawaii show, and wonderful memories of when I spent days there working on the 40th anniversary show. I miss the fans and their enthusiasm about being at Graceland, and I definitely miss my dear friends there at Graceland. I feel like I have been one of the most blessed people on earth to have been able to work with Elvis when I did.”
Bill, an ordained minister, spent his life singing gospel. He sang tenor for the "Smitty Gatlin Trio" from 1966 - 1967 and later sang tenor for "JD Sumner And The Stamps Quartet" from 1971 - 1976. Baize performed with gospel quartets like the "Echoes of Calvary," "The Illinoisans," "The Trailsmen Quartet," and into the professional spotlight with the "Smitty Gatlin Singers." He was with the "Stamps Quartet" from 1971 to 1976 and took the gospel to the world through their highly respected spot with Elvis. Bill was a guest at Elvis Week and Elvis Presley Birthday Celebrations for many years and remained a close friend to Graceland and Elvis Presley Enterprises.