A: Charlie Ace & Johnny Lover – Ride on Johnny

B: version

Charlie Ace and Johnny Lover are often mixed up. So much so, that even Joe Gibbs couldn’t tell them apart, as proven by the credit to Johnnie Lover on ‘Straight to the head/Two edged sword’, which actually featured mister Ace on vocal duties. Though their style is certainly similar, both deejays display an approach to the music that is truly their own. Johnny Lover  – or Little Johnny Jones as he would also be called –  is more laid back than his colleague, leaning against the ropes, so to speak, while occasionally attacking with a sting. Being close to the Wailers at the time – I’m not sure, but I believe he worked for the then newly set up Tuff Gong enterprise – Johnny also took this style to wax next to Bob Marley on ‘Like it like this andHeathens rage.‘ Charlie Ace is the opposite, really. The low voiced Scorpio displays more energy, sounds more upbeat and is unrelenting in his approach, hanging back only sporadically.

On ‘Ride on Johnny’ both deejays take a shot at the mic and the difference between the two becomes even more clear. Johnny and Charlie ride a Joe Gibbs version of Ernie Smith’s ‘Ride on Sammy’ (FRM, 1970) which has such an infectious organ hook, it’s a shame Gibbs used this riddim only once. Lizzy, who also recorded for Gibbs regularly in this era, rode the riddim as well, but this time for Studio One. 


Label: Sterling (blank/ JA)
Release date: 1970
Matrix: Dyna JG 3154 / Dyna JG 3155
Posted:  05-02-2017


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