Johnny Ace

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Johnny Ace

John Marshall Alexander, Jr. (Memphis, June 9, 1929 – Houston, December 25, 1954), better known as Johnny Ace , was a singer and American pianist of urban blues, soul and R & B.

Johnny_Ace’s Biography


Alexander’s father was a preacher in Tennessee. In his youth he served in the navy during the Korean War, after which he would begin his artistic career.


He debuted as a pianist at the Adolph Duncan’s Band. He then joined the gospel band The Beale Streeters, which was created in Memphis with B.B. King, Bobby Bland and Earl Forest. Later he signed with the local record company Duke, owned by DJ Mattis. The same year he joined the company, 1952, he filled the lists with the ballad “My Song”. From this moment on, his blues and gospel style was increasingly urban, reaching almost R & B and soul. “Cross My Heart”, “The Clock”, “Saving My Love for You”, “Please Forgive Me” and “Never Let Me Go” were some of his other hits.


The night of Christmas Day 1954, Ace gave a show in the Auditorium of the city of Houston, and between sets had fun with a weapon that his musicians say he took everywhere and with which he even shot at the Posters on the route when traveling by bus with the band. At one point, according to his musicians, he pointed to his girlfriend and a friend, and then pointed to his face and boasted to know in what drum was the bullet that had the gun and fired. The bullet came out, killing him on the spot. The news shocked the people. His greatest success, posthumously, was the song Pledging My Love, in which the orchestra of Johnny Otis participated, reaching the top of the charts in 1955. The label Duke hired the brother of Johny Ace, St. Clair Alexander , putting the nickname of Buddy Ace. This name was later given to him by the director of Duke singer Jimmy Lee Land, recording it throughout the decade of the 60s.

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