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New Book: The Death of Johnny Ace

NEW NOVEL: The Death of Johnny Ace


What really happened backstage at that deadly Christmas Eve concert in 1954?


Steve Bergsman’s new book brings the world of 1950s R&B to vivid life through the fictionalized story of musician Johnny Ace.


Vancouver, Canada – (October 2012). In the early 1950s, a young, African-American took the music world by surprise, transforming himself from a navy veteran and church organist into one of the country’s biggest stars. His name was Johnny Ace and he jammed with musical giants such as B.B. King, Ike Turner, Bobby Bland, Roscoe Gordon, Johnny Otis, Junior Parker, Rufus Thomas and Big Mama Thornton.


The Death of Johnny Ace by veteran writer Steve Bergsman is based on the life of a real person, 1950s rhythm & blues singer Johnny Ace, whose meteoric career was cut short by his unexpected death. He allegedly blew his brains out playing Russian roulette just before he was to appear on stage at a Christmas concert in 1954. Although largely forgotten now, Johnny Ace was the biggest star in R&B, a teen idol if you will, in the early 1950s.


The tale of Johnny Ace starts in the late 1940s as a young man returns from the Navy to his hometown of Memphis to try and figure out what to do with his life. The man, Johnny Alexander, will eventually make his way to Beale Street, the epicenter of the blues culture in the United States, successfully launch his recording career as Johnny Ace, and battle against his record company, owned by African-American music mogul Don Robey.


Eventually Johnny Ace works his way to the fateful concert at the Houston Auditorium, where a moment of violence ends his life. Did Johnny Ace think he could beat Russian roulette one more time? Or, did something else happen in that backstage dressing room crowded with girlfriends, record people and a very angry Don Robey?


Book details

Price: $12.95 USD

Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9876897-8-8

Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9876897-9-5

Finished page count: 218

Binding: perfect


About the author

Steve Bergsman has contributed to a wide range of magazines, newspapers and wire services for more than twenty-five years, including New York Times, Wall Street Journal Sunday, Global Finance, Executive Decision, Chief Executive, The Australian, Investment Dealer’s Digest, Reuters News Service and Copley News Service. He has written five previous books.