The Rhythm Aces

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R&B harmony group the Rhythm Aces formed in 1950 comprising first tenor Billy Steward, second tenor Chuck Rowan, baritone Clyde Rhymes, and bass Vince House; all were members of the U.S. Army's Special…
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R&B harmony group the Rhythm Aces formed in 1950 comprising first tenor Billy Steward, second tenor Chuck Rowan, baritone Clyde Rhymes, and bass Vince House; all were members of the U.S. Army's Special Services division stationed in Germany at the time of the quartet's formation, ultimately winning the "All-Army Soldier Singing Contest" and landing an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show as a result. Following their 1954 discharge, the Rhythm Aces returned to the U.S. and mounted a tour of the Midwest -- their performance at Chicago's Crown Propeller Lounge proved such a hit that the club named the group its regular headline act, firing former marquee act the Moonglows in the process. Vee-Jay Records exec Ewart Abner soon caught the Rhythm Aces' act and arranged an audition with label owners Vivian and Jimmy Carter, who immediately extended a contract offer. Their debut single "I Wonder Why" followed in late 1954, but the group's sharp, sophisticated harmonies made few inroads at radio or retail. Vee-Jay issued the Rhythm Aces' luminous sophomore effort "Whisper to Me" in the spring of 1955, but it too failed to attract much attention, and when a similar fate befell their third single, "That's My Sugar," the label terminated the group's contract. After adding guitarist Sam Alexander and installing Rowan on piano, the Rhythm Aces toured Canada in late 1955, but during a break from the road Rhymes wed while Steward and Alexander spent the holidays in their native Detroit, when only Rowan and House turned up for a scheduled gig in New York City, the group dissolved. House later led the Rockets (aka the Rocketeers), and under the alias "Vince Howard" released a solo effort, "If You Believe, If You Believe," on the Era label in 1957.