Johnny Ace (Johnny Marshall Alexander, Jr.)
Johnny Ace  Born: June 9, 1929
Died: December 25, 1954
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.

Johnny Ace is actually a blues artist, who sang with a lot of soul. He is mentioned in our hall of fame because he started his recording career at SUN. He started out as a singer after serving in the Navy during World War II. In 1949, Johnny played the piano in Memphis, with a band led by Adolph Duncan. The band's vocalist at the time was a nineteen year old named Robert Calvin Bland.

In 1952 Johnny recorded two songs for the well known Memphis based SUN label, both songs were never issued and are today considered "lost". After that he began recording for Don Robey's Duke records out of Houston Texas. He recorded a song in 1954 written by Robey and Ferdinand Washington called "Pledging my love". On Christmas eve of that year, while on a promotional tour of concerts, Johnny was playing Russian Roulette backstage at the City Auditorium in Houston, and accidently shot himself. He died the next day (Christmas day) and his song went on to become one of the biggest top hits of 1955.

Songs by Johnny Ace

1952 Remember I love you (SUN, unissued)
1952 I cried last night (SUN, unissued)
1952 My song (Duke)
1953 Cross my heart (Duke)
1953 The clock (Duke)
1954 Saving my love for you (Duke)
1955 Pledging my love (Duke)
1955 Anymore (Duke)

The before mentioned  Robert Calvin Bland also recorded two songs at SUN studios, 706 Union, Memphis which were both issued on the Chess label.

1951 Crying (Chess)
1951 Letter from a trench in Korea (Chess)

Source: "Rock On, Illustrated Enc. of Rock 'n' Roll" by Norm N. Nite

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