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Ace Cannon
Ace Cannon.png
Cannon in 1968
Background information
Birth name John Henry Cannon
Born (1934-05-05)May 5, 1934
Grenada, Mississippi, U.S.
Died December 6, 2018(2018-12-06) (aged 84)
Calhoun City, Mississippi, U.S.
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Saxophone
Labels Hi

John Henry "Ace" Cannon (May 5, 1934 – December 6, 2018) was an American tenor and alto saxophonist. He played and toured with Hi Records stablemate Bill Black's Combo, and started a solo career with his record "Tuff" in 1961, using the Black combo as his backing group. "Tuff" hit #17 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1962, and the follow-up single "Blues (Stay Away from Me)" hit #36 that same year. In April 1965, he released Ace Cannon Live (HL 12025); according to the liner notes by Nick Pesce the album was recorded in front of a live audience inside Hi's recording studio, and Pesce claims this was the first time such an album had ever been recorded (as opposed to previous live albums recorded in concert venues).

Cannon was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2000. In May 2007, his hometown of Calhoun City, Mississippi, hosted its first annual Ace Cannon Festival, and on December 9, 2008, he was honored with induction into the Mississippi Musicians' Hall of Fame.

After years of traveling and entertaining fans the world over, he moved back to Calhoun City in the late 1980s, where he resided until his death. He played numerous dates each year, and would be found most days working on his golf game at his home course.

He died at his home on December 6, 2018, at the age of 84.

Selected Discography


  • 1962 - Tuff Sax (US Hot Albums #24)
  • 1964 - Plays the Great Show Tunes
  • 1964 - Aces Hi
  • 1964 - The Moanin' Sax of Ace Cannon
  • 1964 - Christmas Cheers from Ace Cannon (US Hot Albums #44)
  • 1965 - Live
  • 1966 - Sweet & Tuff
  • 1967 - Incomparable Sax of Ace Cannon
  • 1967 - Memphis Golden Hits
  • 1967 - The Misty Sax of Ace Cannon
  • 1969 - Ace of Sax
  • 1972 - Cannon Country - Ace, That is!
  • 1972 - Country Comfort
  • 1973 - Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me
  • 1974 - That Music City Feeling


Year Title Chart positions Album
1961 "Tuff" A 17 Tuff Sax
1962 "Blues (Stay Away From Me)" 36
"Sugar Blues" 92 Singles only
"Volare" 107 Looking Back With Ace Cannon
"Rest / Big Shot" Singles only
1963 "Since I Met You Baby" 130 Singles only
"Cotton Fields" 67 Aces Hi
"Swanee River" 103
1964 "Searchin'" 84
"Empty Arms" 120 Nashville Hits
1965 "Sea Cruise" 135 Singles only
1966 "Funny How Time Slips Away" 102 Sweet and Tuff
1968 "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" 110 Incomparable Sax
1977 "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" B Peace In the Valley
  • A Peaked at #3 on US R&B charts
  • B Peaked at #73 on US Country Singles
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