Even though we knew people wanted them, from the amount of letters and e-mails we got asking us to restore it them catalogue, we’re still pleased with the continuing sales and acclaim we’ve received for the expanded CD reissues of our “Ace Story” vinyl LPs. The appreciation for the two volumes that appeared in 2010 has showed us that there’s still a significant market for the kind of package upon which we built our reputation some 30 years ago.
Here on the third volume, the tracks that appeared on the original vinyl LP are joined by eight more goodies from the vault of Ace Records of Jackson, Mississippi, each selected to complement those originally chosen by Ted Carroll, Roger Armstrong and Ray Topping back in the early 1980s. Although nearly all of the featured tracks have been issued on CD at some point, most have been out of circulation for at least a decade and we’re mighty glad to restore them all to catalogue.
Johnny Vincent’s little label might have been based one state over, and a few hundred miles away, but there is no more consistent provider of the great New Orleans sound of the 1950s than Ace. The sheer exuberance of Huey Smith’s ‘Little Liza Jane’ and ‘Everybody’s Whalin’’ and the crackling excitement of Bobby Marchan’s ‘Loberta’ (finally heard here in mastertape quality for the first time in 52 years) sound as fresh today as they did when committed to tape. The sessions Vincent cut elsewhere on blues acts such as Mercy Baby and Frankie Lee Sims are just as vital now as they ever were. And even the tracks Johnny bought or leased in, represented by Jerry McCain and Sonny Boy Williamson II, have a quality that immediately identifies them as Ace.
John Vincent Imbragulio was one of the most astute A&R men of his time, with a vision matched only by the quality of his catalogue and the timeless hits that came out of it. For dancing or listening, there’s really no better way to have a good time than by slipping this compact disc into your player and, to coin a phrase from Earl King’s ‘Darling Honey Angel Child’, let the good times roll! By Tony Rounce