SHOW 24: OCT 20-NOV 5, 2015
DEATH OF JOHNNY ACE
Authors Steve Bergsman and R. Gary Patterson discuss the mysterious death of Johnny Ace on this Halloween special. Johnny Ace was considered one of the first African-American pop stars with a string of eight consecutive hits on the R&B Charts and becoming the most radio programmed artist of his day. Before launching his solo career, he was a member of the Beale Streeters with some of the biggest artist of the time, including B.B. King, Junior Parker, Willie Nix, Rosco Gordon and Earl Forest. At the height of his career, on Christmas evening, Johnny mysteriously died backstage from a single gunshot wound to the head. The cause of death was reported as Russian roulette and one police detective stated he succumbed to “pistolitis.” Big Mama Thornton was among the eye-witnesses. Johnny had a posthumous number one hit, Pledging My Love, which became the biggest cross-over hit of his era. Special guests: Steve Bergsman is a musicologist and author of the books “The Death of Johnny Ace,” and “The Seduction of Mary Wells.” R. Gary Patterson is a music historian and author of the books “Hellhounds on Their Trail,” “The Walrus was Paul” and “Take a Walk on the Darkside.” Gary is considered the Fox Mulder of Rock and Roll and regularly appears on VH1, E! Networks and Coast to Coast am.