Posted by themusicsover on December 25, 2009
Johnny Ace (Born John Alexander)
June 9, 1929 – December 25, 1954
Johnny Ace was a popular R&B singer during the early ’50s. Ace became a professional musician after he served in the Korean War. His first gig of prominence came when he joined B.B. King’s band. After King and band mate Bobby “Blue” Bland, left the group, Ace took over lead vocals and changed the name to the Beale Streeters. He landed a record deal in 1952 and released a handful of R&B hits including “My Song,” “Cross My Heart,” “Pledging My Love,” and “Never Let Me Go.” On Christmas Day, 1954, Johnny Ace, age 25, died of a self-inflicted gun wound. It has been wrongly reported that Ace was playing Russian Roulette, when in fact, according to witnesses such as Big Mama Thornton, he shot himself accidentally while basically showing off after a concert.