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Ace Cannon

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Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Ace Cannon started his career in Memphis, Tennessee, USA, recording on many of the 1950’s hits on Sun Records. Says Sam Phillips: “Ace Cannon is the greatest saxophone player who ever lived, but then he came out of the same stables as Carl Perkins, Elvis, Jerry Lee, Bill Justice, etc.” In 1959 he started with the Bill Black Combo, which was one of the most popular instrumental groups of their era. They traveled the U.S. and the Bahamas, where he traveled on all concert dates and played the lead saxophone on all the original recordings. They appeared on the most prominent TV shows of that era, including The Ed Sullivan Show, The Merv Griffin Show, Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, and The Buddy Dean Show in Baltimore, MD.

In 1962 Ace recorded the instrumental smash “TUFF”. Since that time he has recorded 52 albums and 37 singles, from the kind that gets nominated for Grammy Awards (such as his recording of “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain”) to million-selling TV albums (such as Golden Classics and The Entertainer). When he was paired with trumpeter legend Al Hirt, the result was a historic duet of country classics that could be one of the biggest TV albums in history.

In 1986, he performed on The Class of ‘55 album, which brought together Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Roy Orbison for a first time. This led Ace and Carl Perkins to perform together for the entire year of 1986, playing show dates all over the U.S., and a tour of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, and the World’s Fair in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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