Terry Jacks was born and raised in Winnipeg. His family relocated to Vancouver in the early 1960s. Jacks at 18 formed group and took up guitar in his teens. The group had four top-ten hits in Vancouver between 1966 and 1964. Following Susan Pesklevits, Terry and The Chessmen (Susan Jacks), whom he afterwards married, formed The Poppy Family along with Satwant Singh and Craig McCaw. The tune was composed and produced by Terry Jacks which earned him a Gold Leaf (Juno) award for his creation in 1970.
“Seasons in the Sun”
It earned two Juno Awards to Jacks and became one of the largest selling Canadian Singles ever. The tune was based on Rod McKuen’s 1965 rewrite of “Le moribond”, initially by Belgian singer Jacques Brel from 1962. For his variation, Jacks made some changes to the lyrics, which along with McKuen’s, resulted in a work that bears little similarity to substance Brel’s first in tone or poetry. In America, in Germany and in Great Britain, it was released on Bell Records, as well as the tune still went to #1 on the graphs. In Canada it was released on his own label, Goldfish Records.
Jacks composed and recorded several other tunes and went on to make many artists including The Beach Boys using a variation of “Seasons in the Sun” just before his own, but that was never released. Jacks also created the singles “Crazy Talk” and “there is Something I Like About That” for Chilliwack from their record Riding High. He also spent lots of time with Buddy Knox in the 1970s and made a single for him with two tunes: “Me and You” (composed by Jacks) and the George Jones tune “White Lightnin.”
A limited edition white vinyl 45 sold and was made to help Tsunami sufferers in Japan. Jacks’ friend’s new record release, “Starfish on the shore” is a double CD of 40 of his favourite tracks, from the last 40 years, and attributes some of his biggest hits of the 70s and 80s. The bundle includes a 32 page booklet with Terry’s memories of his musical journey and never before seen photographs. It’s now accessible from www.regeneratorrecords.com and in select stores throughout Canada.
In closing one cant wonder if having “Put the Bone In” on the front cover didn’t seal his fate. I mean come on, even in the 1970’s, this album cover screamed of sexual innuendo as loud as the speakers would dare go. Terry Jacks, truly a “One Hit Wonder!”
“Johnny Ace” scored a string of hit singles in the mid 1950’s, dying prematurely of an unintentional self-inflicted gunshot wound. Born John Marshall Alexander, Jr, he was the son of a preacher, in Memphis, Tennessee, and grew up near LeMoyne-Owen College. Alexander joined Adolph Duncan’s Group as a pianist after serving in the navy during the Korean War. Then he joined the B. B. King group. Shortly King departed for Los Angeles and vocalist Bobby Bland joined the military. Alexander renamed the group The Beale Streeters, additionally taking over King’s WDIA radio show and took over vocal duties.
Becoming “Johnny Ace”, he signed to Duke Records (initially a Memphis label connected with WDIA) in 1952. Urbane ‘heart-ballad’ “My Song,” his first record, topped the R&B charts for nine weeks in September. Ace started significant touring, generally with Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton.
Ace had been performing at the City Auditorium in Houston, Texas on Christmas after touring for a year. During a rest between sets, he was playing with a .22 caliber revolver. Members of his group said he did this regularly, occasionally shooting from their automobile at roadside signs.
It was reported that Ace killed himself playing Russian roulette. Big Mama Thornton’s bass player Curtis Tillman, nevertheless, who watched the occasion, said, “I’ll let you know just what occurred! Johnny Ace had been drinking and he had this small pistol he was waving across the table and someone said ‘Be careful with that matter…’ and he said ‘It Is alright! Firearm’s not loaded…see?’ and pointed it at himself with a grin on his face and ‘Bang!’–unhappy, sad thing. Big Mama ran out of the dressing room screaming Johnny Ace killed himself!”
Based on Thornton, Ace pointed the gun at his girlfriend and another girl who were sitting nearby, but didn’t fire. Then he pointed the gun toward himself, bragging that he understood which chamber was loaded. The gun went off, shooting at him in the right or left side of the head.
According to Nick Tosches, Ace really shot himself with a .32 pistol, not a .22, also it occurred little more than an hour after he’d purchased a brand new 1955 Oldsmobile. Ace’s funeral was at Memphis’ Clayborn Temple AME Church, on January 9, 1955 with an estimated five thousand mourners in attendance. As Billboard bluntly put it, Ace’s earthly departure “created one of the greatest demands for a record which has happened since the passing of Hank Williams only over a couple of years back.”
It is highly doubtful that Johnny Ace would have been considered a “One Hit Wonder” if her had led a longer life. For some, success, or the lack thereof is from an artistic, talent, material and kin this unfortunate scenario, untimely death. Now, enjoy some of Johnny Ace’s music while at the pinnacle of his success in the industry.
What is Breaking the Curse Music? How about finding out as we offer a historical look at the many “One Hit Wonders” of the music industry. Do you have a favorite, “One Hit Wonder” Band? Ever wonder why the band couldn’t overcome the dreaded “sophomore slump?” If so, please join our trip down “Memory Lane” as we research even the most obscure music groups and/or solo artists.
The music business is without question a brutal industry filled with high hopes, visions of stardom and dollar signs. Obviously, the majority never come close to realizing these “star-filled” dreams. With that said, please take a listen to the song “Hollywood” from the much underrated Kansas City band, “Shooting Star.”
Rest assured, we will cover many genres, so there is something sure to please nearly everyone musically. Please feel free to bookmark us now as we uncover deserving music groups and solo performers of yesteryear. Thank you!