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Russian Roulette: 

 

 

 

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Russian Roulette:

Terry Kath:   Age 31
Chicago
(b. 31 January 1946, Chicago, USA, d. 23 January 1978).
Formed in 1966 in Chicago, Illinois.  Chicago was a consistent hit-making group throughout the '70s and '80s.   On 23 January 1978 founding member Kath was killed by a self-inflicted accidental gunshot wound. Here's the Story:
He was at the home of a Chicago crew member [Don Johnson] cleaning his guns. Kath enjoyed shooting at targets and was a gun collector. The crew member expressed some concern over what Terry was doing, but Kath told him that because the clip was not in the automatic pistol, there was no need to worry.  However, a round was already chambered before he removed the clip. ~Timothy M. Wood All rights reserved.    Mr. Johnson asked him to stop playing with the gun, the account continued, and Mr. Kath replied, "Don't worry, it's not loaded, see?" Mr. Kath put the pistol to his head and pulled the trigger, killing himself instantly, Mr. Johnson told police. ~ UPI

 

Johnny Ace: Age 25         The Late Great Johnny Ace and the Transition from R&B to Rock 'N' Roll by James M. Salem
(John Marshall Alexander Jr, 9 June 1929, Memphis, TN, d. 25 December 1954, Houston, TX).
Ace began his professional career as an R&B singer in 1949 playing piano in a band that eventually evolved into the Beale Streeters, which included at various times B.B. King, Bobby Bland, Roscoe Gordon and Earl Forest.  Ace, by committing a spectacular suicide playing Russian Roulette behind stage at a concert on Christmas Day, 1954, made his death his claim to fame, unfairly obscuring the fine music of his legacy.    Ace scored his biggest hit of all posthumously. His haunting "Pledging My Love" (cut with the Johnny Otis orchestra in support) remained atop Billboard's R&B lists for ten weeks in early 1955. One further hit, "Anymore," exhausted Duke's stockpile of Ace masters, so they tried to clone the late pianist's success by recruiting Johnny's younger brother (St. Clair Alexander) to record as Buddy Ace.  When that didn't work out, Duke boss Don Robey took singer Jimmy Lee Land, renamed him Buddy Ace, and recorded him all the way into the late '60s.

 
 
 

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