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The Aces

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There are at least five different artists called The Aces.

1. The Aces was one of the earliest and most influential of the electric band in the 1950s. Led by guitarist brothers Louis Myers and Dave Myers, natives of Byhalia, Mississippi, the brothers originally performed under the name “the Little Boys”; with the subsequent addition of harpist Junior Wells, they rechristened themselves the Three Deuces, followed by the Three Aces. The 1950 enlistment of drummer Fred Below prompted another name change, this time to the Four Aces; finally, to simplify matters once and for all, the group performed as just The Aces. Influenced in large part by , they developed an urbane, sophisticated style well ahead of its time; in particular, Below’s refined rhythms led to the rise of the blues shuffle beat, and helped launch the drums to a new prominence within the blues band.

In 1952, Wells quit to join the Muddy Waters band, filling the vacancy created by the recent departure of harpist Little Walter; ironically, Walter himself quickly signed the remaining Aces as his new backing unit, renaming the trio first as Little Walter and the Nightcats and then the Jukes to capitalize on his current hit single “Juke”. A series of seminal recordings followed — “Mean Old World”, “Sad Hours”, “Off The Wall”, and “Tell Me Mama” among them — before Louis’ 1954 exit resulted in the Jukes’ gradual dissolution as Little Walter’s band, but freeing up the members to reform as a backing band for other Chicago blues artists such as Otis Rush and others.

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