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The Aces

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Biography All Music Guide

Group Members: Louis Myers, Dave Myers, Junior Wells' Chicago Blues Band, Junior Wells

All Music Guide:

Led by brothers Louis and Dave Myers, the pioneering Chicago blues combo the Aces earned their greatest success in support of Little Walter. Natives of Byhalia, Mississippi, guitarist Louis and bassist Dave originally performed under the name "the Little Boys"; with the subsequent addition of harpist Junior Wells, they rechristened themselves the Three Deuces, followed by the Three Aces. The 1950 enlistment of drummer Fred Below prompted another name change, this time to the Four Aces; finally, to simplify matters once and for all, the group performed as just the Aces. Influenced in large part by jazz, they developed an urbane, sophisticated style well ahead of its time; in particular, Below's refined rhythms led to the rise of the blues shuffle beat, and helped launch the drums to a new prominence within the blues band hierarchy. In 1952, Wells quit to join the Muddy Waters band, filling the vacancy created by the recent departure of harpist Little Walter Jacobs; ironically, Walter himself quickly signed the remaining Aces as his new backing unit, renaming the trio the Jukes. A series of seminal recordings followed -- "Mean Old World," "Sad Hours," "Off the Wall," and "Tell Me Mama" among them -- before Louis' 1954 exit resulted in the Jukes' gradual dissolution. The Myers brothers and Below re-formed under the Aces moniker in 1970 to tour Europe before again going their separate ways.