Ace Records Marker
Mississippi Blues Trail Marker: Ace Records
Backstory and Context
Johnny Vincent, originally John Vincent Imbraguglio, was born in 1925 in Laurel, Mississippi. He joined the Merchant Marines straight out of high school, and in 1953 became a talent scout for Specialty Records. His most popular production under Specialty was "The Things I Used to Do," featuring Guitar Slim, aka Eddie Jones, and Ray Charles on piano; it became one of the biggest R&B hits of the 1950s.
Despite some success with Specialty, Vincent left the company in 1955 to form his own company. Despite being located in Mississippi, Ace Records became incredibly important for New Orleans music. The company's first hit, "These Lonely Lonely Nights," featured New Orleans blues artist Earl King.
Ace Records was successful through the late 1950s and into the 1960s, but as more record companies began popping up in New Orleans, artists began leaving Vincent. Though Vincent himself blamed The Beatles and the British Invasion for his declining success, it was largely due to these Louisiana-based competitors. However, a British company, Music Collective, bought Ace Records for a reported one million pounds in 1997. Vincent died three years later.
Ace Records, Mississippi Blues Trail. Accessed April 1st 2021. http://msbluestrail.org/blues-trail-markers/ace-records.
Ace Records: New Orleans Hits, Made in Mississippi, NPR. July 22nd 2011. Accessed April 1st 2021. https://www.npr.org/2011/07/22/136137734/ace-records-new-orleans-hits-made-in-mississippi.