Ace’s first volume of Jackie DeShannon’s Liberty and Imperial singles left her at the end of 1963. The same girl who performed a blistering set of folk and blues at LA’s Ash Grove venue had, a few weeks later, effortlessly climbed the Wall of Sound with Jack Nitzsche to produce one of the generation’s great pop records, ‘When You Walk In The Room’. The late 50s and early 60s are a long way from the worst years to find yourself reliving. I would bet that I am far from the only person here who, given the choice, would not permanently reset his personal controls for a one-way ticket to a similar time frame.
However you slice it, the soundtrack to that period is worth abandoning DAB for in favour of the return of Fabulous 208, Juke Box Jury and ceaseless attempts to locate AFN’s signal.
The series continues to offer Ace fans their own personal time machine via some of the best American records of their era, all of which appeared on the cherished black-and-silver imprint. This month Ace’s equivalent of the TARDIS lands in 1959 – a pivotal year in popular music that managed to survive the US payola scandals, a UK printers strike, a failed experiment with stereo 45s (Sun and Specialty in stereo? Methinks not, thanks) and all attempts to kill off rock’n’roll and replace it with lots of people called Bobby and Frankie, to bring us some of the most wonderful and well-remembered recordings of that life-changing decade.