The Aces were considered to be the top Blues backing unit in Chicago. Its basic lineup included brothers Louis and Dave Myers, and in its definitive form, Fred Below on drums, though at times there would be other drummers. What made the Aces so special is that they seemed to fit into any Chicago Blues lineup, and raised the musicianship to that genre’s apex. Formed initially with Junior Wells as their singer/harmonica player, this band became most famous when Little Walter left Muddy Waters and struck out on his own, choosing the Aces for his backup band. The recordings made with Little Walter and the Aces would define the direction of the Chicago Blues Harmonica band format, and are considered evergreen classics. Throughout the 1950s, up until the 1970s, the Aces would appear on a multitude of recording sessions, both as a standalone band and a crack backing unit. Here are some memorable photos and clippings of the Aces and their associates to enjoy.
Aces Promo Photo – 1970s
Note That They Are Standing on Lincoln Avenue Right in Front of Wise Fool’s Pub (Photo Courtesy of Kevin Johnson of Delmark Records)
Louis Myers at Louise’s in South Side Chicago – Summer of 1975
The Aces Held a Regular Blue Monday Jam There During That Time (Photo by Bob Corritore)
Saxophonist John Cameron, Singer Bobby Jones (Who Recently Resurfaced on the Mannish Boys CD Big Plans on Delta Groove Records), Dave Myers, Odie Payne Jr., Louis Myers – 1959 (Photo from Dave Myers’ Personal Collection, Courtesy of Scott Dirks)
Freddie Hall, ABCO (Cobra) Recording Session
Per Scott Dirks, Dave said this photo was from the session at Cobra’s studio on West Roosevelt Road, which would probably make it 1956. But, since there are no microphones, it is possibly at a rehearsal there. It doesn’t look like a gig at any rate. The drummer is Eugene Lyons (according to his union card, but mispronounced by Louis in an interview, and then known forever after as Eugene Lounge). Pinanist is Freddie Hall, Willie Dixon on bass guitar, and possibly Eli Toscano behind the drummer. Dave and Louis are in the center. (Photo From Dave Myers’ Personal Collection, Courtesy of Scott Dirks)
Dave & Louis – 1954
This is From a Gig That Dave Myers Said Was in Detroit, Where Little Walter & The Aces Shared The Bill With Muddy Waters’ Band; Therefore There Are Two Drum Kits. (Photo From Dave Myers’ Personal Collection, Courtesy of Scott Dirks)
Dave & Louis Myers
Ad in the Chicago Defender – Late 1950s (Photo Courtesy of Scott Dirks)
Louis Myers & Fred Below – 1970s (Photo Courtesy of the André Hobus Library – Thanks to Photographers Bob Vanderschueren, Claude Meyer, Annique Massange, André Hobus & March De Jonghe)
Fred Below (Photo Courtesy of Scott Dirks)
Eddie Boyd, B.B. King, Miss Hi-Fi, Earl Hooker, Louis Myers, B.B’s Drummer – Robert’s Show Lounge in Chicago, Illinois – 1958
Excerpt From The Chicago Defender – October 20, 1956 (Photo Courtesy of Scott Dirks)
Promotional Flyer for Dave Myers’ 1998 Black Top Album
Little Walter & The Aces Appearing at The Apollo
Sunnyland Slim and Louis Myers. Photo Magnus Calais.
Freddy Below in the back seat!
Photo James Fraher