Pledging My Love

Album: Johnny Ace Memorial Album (1955)
Charted: 17
  • 1969 Is the Twentieth Anniversary of Duke/Peacock Records of Houston, Texas, one of the best R & B Soul companies. This song was written by Don Robey, who owned the Bronze Peacock Lounge in Houston and founded Peacock Records, where Johnny Ace recorded. Peacock specialized in heartfelt Blues ballads, and while these songs didn't have wide commercial appeal, many of them stood the test of time and are considered classics by fans of R&B/Blues.

    In "Pledging My Love," Ace sings passionately about how he will always be there for his girl. Other artists on the Peacock label also recorded similar sensitive Blues songs, notably by Bobby "Blue" Bland. Johnny Ace was the first to do really well, particularly with slow sad ballads which invariably had him feeling very sorry for himself and stirred deep passions in his lady listeners. His biggest hit was 'Pledging My Love', a pop song written by Robey which Ace sang with the intensity of a blues: the singer has the macabre distinction of being the first name in the Hall Fame of modern rhythm and blues singers who died too young, followed by Willis, Belvin, Cooke, and Redding. Strangely, the singer who seemed to be Ace's successor as Robey's ballad singer, Joe Hinton, also died young.
  • This song was released shortly after Johnny Ace died on Christmas day, 1954. He shot himself with a gun, either by accident or playing Russian Roulette, depending on who is telling the story. Regardless, he was one of the first artists of the modern R&B to die young (he was 25). Other artists in this genre who died before their time include Joe Hinton, Chuck Willis, Sam Cooke and Otis Redding.
  • This song plays in the movie Back To The Future when Marty McFly turns up at the school dance with his mom. The song also appears in the movies Mean Streets and Christine.

Comments: 2

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 18, 1959, Roy Hamilton was a guest on the Dick Clark ABC-TV Saturday-afternoon program, 'American Bandstand'...
    He didn't have a record on Billboard's Top 100 at the time, three weeks earlier his covered version of "Pledging My Love" was at #88 and in it's twelve and last week on the Top 100, five weeks ealier it had peaked at #45 for one week...
    In 1955 Johnny Ace's original version reached #17 on the Top 100 and it spent ten weeks at #1 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Two other covered version had charted, Teresa Brewer {#17 in 1955} and Johnny Tillotson {63 in 1960}...
    Between 1955 and 1961 Roy Hamilton had ten records on the Top 100 chart, one made the Top 10, 'Unchained Melody", in peaked at #6 in 1955...
    He had two Top 20 records, "Don't Let Go" {#13 in 1958} and "You Can Have Her" {#12 in 1961}...
    Roy Hamilton passed away at the young age of 40 on July 20th, 1969 {cerebral hemorrhage}...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Coy from Palestine, TexasDon Robey, who owned Duke/Peacock Records was a black 'mogul" in Houston who also owned clubs (Mostly the Bronze Peacock) and a booking agency. He had a reputation as a gun toting strong arm, who ran his business ruthlessly. Robey took credit on many songs he released, but really never wrote a tune. Pledging my Love was written by Ferdinand "Fats" Washington and probably Johnny Ace. Ace was exhausted after doing 340 shows on the road and while drinking and playing with a gun, he accidently shot himself on Christmas Day, 1954 in Houston. Pledging My Love was the first R&B tune to cross over to the "white" charts (Billboard Pop) and opened the door for other artists to bring on rock and roll.
    The song was produced by Johnny Otis, the brilliant greek bandleader, singer and songwriter who was often thought of as black. Otis plays vibraphone on the recording.
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