A.C. Jones & The Atomic Aces

Archie Cleveland Jones of Soperton, Georgia, built a career in Orlando but left a tiny legacy in Cleveland. An accomplished guitar player and a fiery vocalist, Jones modeled his approach after James Brown, including the discipline he demanded from his band, the Atomic Aces, featuring Bernard Wells on bass, James Wright on drums, Charles Moore on keys, and MC Richard Barnes. When the opportunity to roost with relatives in Cleveland arrived in 1965, Jones and his Aces headed for Ohio, finding lucrative engagements in Akron and Canton. Through a tertiary connection to Boddie, an introduction was made. Signed to a one-page contract, A. C. Jones & the Atomic Aces cut three tracks for the Luau label, with “Oh Baby” b/w “Give Me Your Love” leaving the gate first. Following Thomas’ engineering of the O’Jays at Leo’s Casino for Imperial Records, he placed the second A. C. Jones 45, “Hole In Your Soul” (Parts 1 & 2), with the Liberty subsidiary. Why the 45 is credited not to the Atomic Aces but to Boddie’s in-house girl group the Soulettes is unknown. In any case, neither Jones nor the Aces took the deal terribly seriously, and in the words of drummer James Wright, “It got too cold, so we went back home.”

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