Here at Ace Towers we usually have a pretty realistic advance idea of how many copies we’re likely to sell of any CD that we release. But once in a while we put out something that catches the public imagination in a manner that exceeds our expectations in terms of sales and acclaim. Such was the case with our “Special Country Edition” of our “Golden Age Of American Rock’n’Roll” series, which has already sold almost twice as many copies as we initially anticipated, and which is still selling strongly six years on from its initial release.
Ace has long been associated with the Stax catalogue and we are continually looking for new ways to keep the connection going via packages of exciting vault discoveries. Many of our recent Stax compilations have concentrated on the company’s later era – the yellow period, as it’s known in collector circles – but we’re starting our 2016 schedule with a project that draws on releases from their earlier blue period.
Tampa Red's influential later recordings for RCA Victor (1945-53) have never been officially reissued on CD and rarely on LP, yet are a crucial element in the post-war blues canon. Many of his songs were covered by B. B. King, Muddy Waters and other top bluesmen. They feature the majestic piano of latter-day Elmore James sideman, Johnny Jones and include the harmonica of Big Walter 'Shakey' Horton and Sonny Boy Williamson II. There are four previously unissued tracks but none are available on authorised CD, not even on OOC releases.