Monday, October 5, 2009
Jackson will unveil its seventh Mississippi Blues Trail marker this afternoon, honoring Ace Records and its founder, Johnny Vincent Imbragulio (1925-2000). Known simply as "Johnny Vincent," he founded Ace Records in 1955, a block from the Trumpet Recording Studio on Farish Street. Ace Records used Trumpet's studio and Cosimo Matassa's studio in New Orleans to record.
Ace was a major player in developing New Orleans R&B and blues, and Vincent was among early rock 'n' roll's more colorful characters. One of the most famous artists Ace recorded was Huey "Piano" Smith & His Clowns who recorded "Rockin' Pneumonia and Boogie Woogie Flu."
"I like to produce music that makes people move. They might want to shake; they might want to dance; they might want to fight; but they all want to move," Vincent once said.
Vincent was successful in producing notable country, blues and R&B artists from Jackson and New Orleans. Ace Records' artists Earl King, "Piano" Smith, teen-idol Jimmy Clanton and others helped put Mississippi on the map for music.
"When you review the famous names that came through Mississippi and Ace Records in particular, you get a better understanding of how Mississippi earned the name 'The Birthplace of America's Music,'" Gov. Haley Barbour said in a release.
In the 1960s, the bankruptcy of Vee-Jay Records, an Ace partner, forced Ace Records to temporarily shut down. Vincent revived Ace in 1971, recording local Jackson bluesmen such as Sam Myers and King Edward, until London-based Demon Music Group bought the label in 1997.
Today's ceremony will take place on the corner of West Capitol and Roach streets, the site of Ace Records' former headquarters, at 3:30 p.m.
The Mississippi Blues Commission's primary project is creating the Mississippi Blues Trail in recognition of the state's numerous musicians. The markers are funded by grants from National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Mississippi Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.
For more information, visit the Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau Web site or call 601-960-1891.