In April 1965, he released Ace Cannon Live (HL 12025); according to the liner notes by Nick Pesce the album was recorded in front of a live audience inside Hi's recording studio, and Pesce claims this was the first time such an album had ever been recorded (as opposed to previous live albums recorded in concert venues). Cannon was inducted into both the Rock and Soul Hall of Fame and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2000. In May 2007, his hometown of Calhoun City, Mississippi, hosted its first annual Ace Cannon Festival, and on December 9, 2008, he was honored with induction into the Mississippi Musicians' Hall of Fame. After years of traveling and entertaining fans the world over, he moved back to Calhoun City in the late 1980s, where he resided until his passing. He played numerous dates each year, and would be found most days working on his golf game at his home course. He died at his home on December 6, 2018, at the age of 84. 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's 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. Presently considered one of the top artists for TV sales, Ace Cannon has made numerous appearances on "Nashville Now", "New Country", "Charlie Daniels' Jam", and "Fan Fair." He has traveled far and wide appearing at concerts, clubs, fairs and major festivals. Also in 1986, he was asked by Dick Clark to join the All Star Band for the Country Music Academy TV Special. Ace is considered a musical genius even as far away as the Caribbean, where more than 10,000 people recently showed up for two sold-out shows at The Spectakula Forum in tiny Port of Spain, Trinidad. This has been the main reason Ace was asked to return on at least a dozen tours in the Caribbean which included the islands of Barbados, Trinidad, Tobago and British Guyana, South America, Hamilton, Bermuda since 1975. Ace Cannon has appeared as either a solo artist or with a full band. He is an artist that is on the rise again.
His wide and varied repertoire contains everything from rock and roll to country standards to pop, and he is also no stranger to jazz and blues, which makes his music appeal to audiences of all ages and musical preferences. The 1990s have been great for Ace as he has recorded two new CDs for WIRL records, located in Barbados, entitled Music For Lovers and Sweet Dreams. They have also been distributed in the U.S. with tremendous response. He has also overdubbed his terrific horn on some record tracks on the late and great Ivory Joe Hunter. In 1997, Scotty Moore and D.
J. Fontana, two of the original Elvis Presley Band, recorded an album entitled All The Kings Men, which consisted of 11 songs by various artists, such as Keith Richards, Ron Wood, Jeff Beck, Steve Earl, Ronnie McDowell and Bill Black's Combo. Of the 11 songs on the record, the Bill Black's Combo selection was nominated for a Grammy Award. This was an exciting honor for Ace, as this was a group he had started his career with 40 years ago.
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