- Released: August 3, 1999
- Label: New Haven
- 1.I'm Holding to God's Unchanging Hand
- 2.God Made a Way
- 3.Lord Teach Me How to Pray
- 4.Ole Man Death
- 5.Keep Me
- 6.Rolling Along
- 7.Just Thinking Out Loud
- 8.A Soul Such as I
- 9.Somebody Prayed for Me
- 10.What a Homecoming Day
- 11.Aloha Time
Full performer name: J.D. Sumner & The Stamps Quartet.
Personnel includes: J.D. Sumner (vocals); Steve W. Mauldin (conductor).
The Nashville String Machine: Pam Sixfine, Lee Larrison, Mary Katherine Van Osdale, David Angell, Cate Myer (violin); Jim Grosjean, Monisa Angell, Bob Mason (viola); Anthony LaMachina (cello).
Includes liner notes by Jake Hess, Donnie Sumner, James Blackwood, Mark Lowry, Rick Strickland, Ed Enoch, Ken Harding, Bill Gaither and Shirley Sumner Enoch.
THE FINAL SESSIONS was nominated for the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Southern, Country, Or Bluegrass Gospel Album.
Personnel: Mary Kathryn Van Osdale, Lee Larrison, David Angell, Cate Myer (violin); Jim Grosjean, Bob Mason , Monisa Angell (viola); Anthony Lamachina (cello); The Nashville String Machine (strings).
Audio Mixer: Bill Warner.
Liner Note Authors: Donnie Sumner; Eddie Hill; George Younce; Jake Hess; James Blackwood; Ken Harding; Mark Lowry; Robert Strickland.
Recording information: Oak Valley Studios; Sumner & Associates "The Sound.
J.D. Sumner led the Stamps to great fame as one of the preeminent post-war gospel groups. Their sound blossomed throughout the decades, often breaking through to the mainstream (by the '70s, they performed regularly with Elvis Presley). As indicated by the title, this album contains the last recordings made by Sumner, who died not long after these sessions. Sumner possessed a cavernously deep voice that gained in color and gravity over the years. On these songs, his distinctive bass vocal sounds like it's fashioned out of the ground itself, wide and deep enough to dive into for an extended swim. He's ably assisted by the Stamps, who harmonize eloquently and occasionally switch off on lead vocals. It's apparent that Sumner picked up a thing or two from Elvis's glitzy '70s concerts as well; the production here is marked by sweeping strings and a soaring, high-gloss sound that recalls the grandest moments of the King's own final years.