Dearman, Sally Stamps 1987-11-18

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Sally Stamps Dearman reviews the gospel music business in Dallas and the region.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Sally Stamps Dearman

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: November 18, 1987

Location: Arlington, Texas

Interviewer: Richard Mason

Length: 85 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: She was raised in Fort Myers, Florida, Her father was minister in Church of God Pentecostal, Parents were I. H. Marks and Ruth Marks, He was from Kentucky and moved to Florida, Her mother grew up in Florida, They lived in Illinois 2 years, She was married at age 17 to Frank Stamps, They met at a singing convention in south Georgia, She then moved back to Florida from Illinois, Frank Stamps and the All-Star Quartet came to Florida, They got married within 2 months, parents concerned but later approved, She was 17, Frank was 34, a happy marriage, They ran a printing plant in Oak Cliff section of Dallas, Her father had sent her to a V. O. Stamps school earlier, She and Frank lived in New Mexico, and then 6 years in North Carolina, When V. O. Stamps died in 1940, they moved back to Dallas, She played the piano since age 6, mother “forced her”, Vaughan Music Company books in her childhood and church, Her parents nor son do any singing, Her father played fiddle for dances, mother had no music talent, She learned piano on round notes, Shaped notes at 12-13 years old, Frank Stamps, There were 6 boys, lived in East Texas, Gladewater area, V. O. Stamps and Frank Stamps were gospel singers, Younger brother Fred wanted to be evangelical singer, At 1st concert the preacher took off with all the money, Fred caught him and whipped him, Parents were Charley and Louise Stamps, Six boys Charles, Hampton, Oscar, Virgil O., Frank and Fred, V. O. and Frank both worked for Vaughan Music Company, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, Church of God in Cleveland, TN bought copyrights, V. O. worked for Vaughan by 1920, Frank wanted to be a lawyer, but V. O. persuaded him, They traveled separately with quartets and taught, V. O. came to Dallas 1st, and had KRLD radio show for 25 years, She and Frank moved to Dallas about 1940, In 1945 it became Stamps-Baxter Company but had conflicts, Frank to the Quartet and 7-8 employees across the street, Stamps Quartet Music Company was founded by Frank Stamps, V. O. Stamps (again), Very outgoing, 6 foot 4 inches tall and 250 pounds, Handsome, a smile, but fiery-people would fall out, Frank Stamps, Quieter type, formed relationships better, V. O. Stamps (again), He started the company in Jacksonville, Texas, moved to Dallas, Baxter loaned him $1,000 for shares in the company, J. R. Baxter, Lived in Chattanooga, Tennessee and managed that office, He moved to Dallas when V. O. died, He and wife both dead now, Role of radio, Stamps was most popular KRLD show for 20 years, Songs later on Mexican stations, Gospel music versus church hymns, Gospel music more accepted now due to rhythm, She and Frank were Baptist, Pentecostal accepted it faster, Personal appearances to promote gospel music, Frank had 36 traveling quartets on his payroll, Blackwoods in Iowa, others in North Carolina and elsewhere, During World War II, many groups disbanded, Broadcast at the Sportatorium in Dallas, crowds of 10,000, Singing schools at Oak Cliff, She taught for 20 years, 3 week courses, Smallest enrollment was 500, One year about 1955, 1,100 attended, from every state, They met at Bethel Temple with crowd of 1,000, Country singing schools, Dallas schools in November and June, then later just June, Hours from 7 AM to midnight, Shaped note music, Many students with no music skills, Teachers were mostly Texans and worked in the printing plant, Dr. C. C. Stafford of East Texas came and taught, He knew harmony, Eight to ten class members plus private teachers, Cost to students was $30 plus private lessons

Tape 1, Side 2: They also taught type-setting of music, Book sales twice a year about 100,000, They would ship several hundred to each rep, Convention books, Church books, and quartet books, Decline in singing schools, Mr. Stamps died in 1965, decline had started by 1960, Blackwoods took over the business for copyrights, Zonderman bought Stamps-Baxter and publish 1 book a year, Decline due to other interests, Old promoters were Stamps, Harley Lester and Vaughan, Competition between publishers to get friendly with conductors, Mr. Baxter (again), He was a quiet business type who sat behind his desk and wrote songs, No interest in publicity, Song writers were mostly amateur, Music editor was John Cook, He would volunteer music for words sent in, Sally Stamps would help edit, Type-setters and print shop, They published Oral Roberts rush printing for several years, They sang while they worked, Vaughan in Tennessee was largest publisher, Stamps approached Stamps-Baxter in volume after 10 years, exceeded in 1955, Tennessee Music Company now publishes Vaughan book once a year, Radio show on KRLD twice a day, and Sunday at 8 AM, Stamps Quartet, Style and rhythm not related to black spirituals, Gospel Quartets split off in 1965 to do concerts, Young people prefer quartets, one in Ft. Worth quarterly, Blackwood bought Stamps Company, J. D. Sumner the bass singer took the Stamps Quartet, Move to Memphis, Tennessee, Licensing with CSAC or VMI, Hartford Music Company in Arkansas, Winsett was an early publisher, Texas State Singing Convention started by V. O. and Frank Stamps, Frank loved the music but not the business, Their accountant was a gospel singer, Mr. Baxter did not like quartets, just one mixed one at the plant, Stamps had a quartet in South Carolina for 2-3 year, Best areas for songbook sales, All of Arkansas and most of Texas except cities, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi and part of Florida, Oklahoma, Southerners performed faster tempo than west Texas

Tape 2, Side 1: Dearman, Sally Stamps (again), Texas areas best were in East Texas, Mrs. Baxter caused problems, She wanted it to be the Baxter-Stamps Company, Monthly Stamps Quartet News Bulletin, Her son in Richardson has some in a piano bench, She has re-married and moved several times so lost hers, Stamps Company records went with Blackwoods to Tennessee, James Blackwood was the main person, son Cecil sings, Roy Blackwood was in original group but died several years ago, Singing school pictures would be in the July edition each year, Frank Stamps (again), He died at age 68 of lung cancer, April 12, 1965, She had about 50-60 songs published, Writing words and music, She used to feed lots of gospel singers at their home, Singing schools in 1950’s (again), Rowdy group locked in Fair Park at night, Frank was very upset, Her son (Bob) is personnel manager in Richardson school system, He has no musical interest, Writing songs (again), Some took 10 minutes, some a month, [Tape ends after 25 minutes.]

Tape 2, Side 2: Blank

Range Dates: 1915-1987

Bulk Dates: 1920-1965

Access Information

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