DAVE ALVIN lyrics - Johnny Ace Is Dead

DAVE ALVIN
"Johnny Ace Is Dead"

Down in Houston, Texas on a Christmas night
With a gun in his hand and his name up in lights
He was young and handsome, the Prince of the Blues
In a sharkskin suit and alligator shoes
He was flirting with some women who had come backstage
He said, "Ladies, want to see me play a wild little game?"
But Big Mama Thornton said, "Go sing Your Song
And put that damn thing down before something goes wrong"

Big Mama cried, "Dear Lord," Big Mama said,
He put a 22 pistol right up to his head
Then he smiled at the ladies
Now Johnny Ace is dead

The band leader set his saxophone down
And said, "I think I better split before the cops come 'round"
While the crowd in the theater slowly drifted away
With their heads hung low, not sure of what to say
But Big Don Robey, the record company man
With big diamond rings on both of his hands
Said, "I'm gonna send him back to Memphis in a refrigerated truck
'Cause Johnny Ace is gonna make me a million bucks."

Big Mama cried, "Dear Lord," Big Mama said,
He put a 22 pistol right up to his head
Then he smiled at the ladies
Now Johnny Ace is dead

When Johnny came home to Memphis, Tennessee
Everyone on Beale Street came out to see
There were pimps and gamblers, husbands and wives,
Women young and old all came to say goodbye
And as the choirs sand and the preachers prayed
Five thousand mourners marched him to his grave
Well, there may be a Heaven and there may be a Hell,
No one knows for sure but now Johnny Ace knows damn well.

Big Mama cried, "Dear Lord," Big Mama said,
He put a 22 pistol right up to his head
Then he smiled at the ladies
Now Johnny Ace is dead