Think the day after Christmas is a drag for you? Imagine how it felt for Johnny Ace fans, circa 1954.
Johnny Ace was this R&B singer back in the day who blew his head off on Christmas Eve playing Russian Roulette backstage at his own concert. All of his music happened to sound a whole lot like funeral music, too. Heavy on the slow piano. When we get into the impending start of a year, where the Egg Nog is souring in the fridge and everyone is bushed from the Holiday rush, when the feeling isn’t so much post coital as post traumatic, I think of poor old Johnny Ace, with a chip on his shoulder and too much to prove. By default, Pledging My Love is a good sad Christmas song, even though there’s no Christmas in it.
Imagine young Johnny Ace with his ego swelling, his records hitting the charts, buying a new suit, fitted and everything. His family and friends proud and jealous, his voice on the radio, the world opening it’s arms and legs for him. Then you imagine that revolver stuffed down the back of his well pressed sharkskin pants daring him to take fate on one more thrillride. Did Johnny Ace figure that he was fated to be Johnny Ace and thus was fated to never die? To be Johnny Ace forever? Was Johnny Ace immortal? Well, we’re still talking about Johnny Ace about 50 years later. So yeah. Maybe he was.
The sad, stupid bastard.