Various Artists

Ace Story, Vol. 4

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This fourth entry in chronicling the story of Johnny Vincent's Jackson, Mississippi based Ace Records by the British company that has (legally) used the company logo to become one of the world's largest reissue companies is another fine one. Loaded with 16 tracks of New Orleans styled dynamite from the label's early days, this compilation kicks off with Johnny Angel's "Teenage Wedding," a perfect example of the crossover sound that Vincent often sought on his releases. Angel, a White Cajun singer, is backed by Huey "Piano" Smith and his band, with the end result being a typical 1950s insert the names of hit songs in the lyrics rocker propelled by a driving Crescent City beat. Soul singer Joe Tex started his early career with Ace and he's represented by one of his most uncharacteristic tracks, "Charlie Brown Got Expelled," an answer record to the Coasters' hit, "Charlie Brown" and a later effort, "Yum Yum Yum." More of the Crescent City alumni saw single releases on the label and are collected here with "Happy Sax" and "Walk On" by saxman Alvin Tyler, "I Wanna Know Why" by Roland Cooke, "Tee-Na-Na" by Dicky Williams and Eddie Bo's "I'll Keep On Trying" being the notable tracks here. And of course, the ever present Huey "Piano" Smith and the Clowns are here with two selections, "Scald Dog" and "Free, Single And Disengaged." Selections from Jesse Allen, Joe & Ann, Floyd Brown, Albert Scott and Frankie Lee Sims (his "Walkin' With Frankie" which, inexplicably, got the 50 something Texas bluesman a shot on American Bandstand back then) round out the compilation. No hits aboard, but a great cross section of music, making this a worthy entry in the series.

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