Born John Alexander on June 9, 1929 in Memphis, Tennessee. Johnny Ace recorded a song that has become a rock classic. His 1955 hit record…PLEDGING MY LOVE on the legendary Duke Records label has been recorded over and over through the years. Artists that have charted this fabulous love song include, Roy Hamilton-#45 in 1958, Johnny Tillotson-#63 in 1960 and Teresa Brewer-#17 in 1955. Many other artists have recorded the song on albums, including the “King of Rock and Roll”, Elvis Presley, on his last studio album, “Moody Blue”. His version was the flip-side of his last single record in his lifetime…WAY DOWN / PLEDGING MY LOVE. WAY DOWN charted at #1 Country and #22 Hot 100, but PLEDGING MY LOVE did not chart on the Hot 100. Johnny Ace’s classic is that important in rock history.
Johnny was an R&B singer/songwriter. He worked with the legendary blues artist…B.B. King’s band. He formed The Beale Streeters with another legend…Bobby Bland and Earl Forest before going solo.
On February 19, 1955 his recording of…PLEDGING MY LOVE on Duke Records (Duke 136) made its Billboard Top 100 debut. Johnny’s hit charted at #17 and stayed on the Top 100 for 9 weeks. PLEDGING MY LOVE crossed over to the Billboard R&B chart, topping the chart at #1 and remaining at #1 for 10 weeks. The flip-side of the single…NO MONEY did not chart. PLEDGING MY LOVE was also issued with…ANYMORE as the flip-side, it failed to chart.
What is even more facinating about this song is that it was released two months after Johnny died. Johnny shot himself while playing Russian Roulette backstage at the City Auditorium in Houston, Texas on December 24, 1954. He died the following day…December 25, 1954 at the age of 25.
We can only guess at the hits he would have recorded…what we do have is his early rock, solid-gold hit…PLEDGING MY LOVE. The “GOLDEN ERA OF ROCK AND ROLL” IS HAPPY TO PRESENT…THE LEGENDARY…JOHNNY ACE…
Till the next time—Joe