Johnny Ace: A Life of Unfulfilled Dreams


 Early life

Even though he passed away at the young age of 25, the life Of Johnny Ace had been a remarkable one. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, John Marshall Alexander, Jr, who was also popularly known as Johnny Ace, had seen the face of earth on 9th June, 1929.

Music career

After serving the Navy during the World War II, Johnny Ace wanted to contribute in the field of musical genre and therefore his battle and journey had started towards fame, success and admiration. To start with, he joined as a pianist in the band of Adolph Duncan, followed by joining B.B. King’s band. Later he rose to the position of the band’s focal point, as King and Bland left the band to serve in the army.

Johnny Ace Took charge of the band and its vocal duties and requirements and went on to renaming it as The Beale Streeters. Apart from these leadership qualities that Johnny had proved, he had also pioneered the craze and charm of original musical radio shows as he took over the radio show which of WDIA, which was earlier being looked after by King. From this day onwards he moved forward to contributing some of the heart-filling and most appreciative ballads and blues and his ‘My Song’ topped all R&B charts for consecutive 9 months of September, in the year 1968.

Appeal to both black and white music lovers

Johnny’s innocent charm and soul-full blues touched all hearts, despite of the colors of the skin of listeners and had a sensitive appeal in them which have succeeded in gaining attention and accolades from his admirers and fans of rhythm n blues.

In the meantime, as his popularity started to soar and push him higher in the charts and popularity levels, he started to tour heavily for musical concerts and shows, wherein he was often accompanied by Willa Mae “Big Mama” Thornton.

With his musical journey and his augmentation of musical sphere, he offered eight hits at a stretch with his wonderfully sung and played tracks like “Please Forgive Me,” “Never Let Me Go”, “Cross My Heart,” “Yes, Baby,” and “The Clock”. His superior singing quality, his musicianship and admirable lyrics made him one of the most promising and bankable music stars of his times and eventually in the year 1954, he was named The Most Programmed Artist of 1954.

Johnny Ace’s music and songs had an air of sensitivity and down-to-earthiness which made him an instant hit amongst all his subtle ballads which he sang with smooth and elegant tone had elements of sweet nostalgia and versatility.

However, at the end of 1954 his life tragically came to an ending. The legendary singer who lived life and his musical dreams in his own terms, keeping in sync with his admirers and their expectations.

Johnny Ace’s life has really been an adventure full of spirit, determination, musical progression and fine-tuned success in the field of rhythm n blues, which he amazingly transformed into the popular rock n roll. It’s evident by even his short life he could not stop from making his own impact on the music industry. His impact cannot be underestimated or forgotten by anyone who can truly appreciate the significance of his contribution.

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