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Black Ace biography


Black Ace was the most frequently used stage name of American blues musician Babe Kyro Lemon Turner (21 December 1907 – 7 November 1972), who was also known as B.K. Turner, Black Ace Turner or Babe Turner. Born in Hughes Springs, Texas, he was raised on the family farm, and taught himself to play guitar, performing in east Texas from the late 1920s on. During the early 1930s he began playing with Smokey Hogg and Buddy Woods, a Hawaiian-style guitarist who played with the instrument flat on his lap. Turner then bought a National steel guitar, and began playing what one later critic called “Hawaii meets the Delta”, smooth and simple blues. In 1937 Turner recorded six songs (possibly with Hogg as second guitarist) for Chicago’s Decca Records in Dallas, including the blues song Black Ace. In the same year, he started a radio show in Fort Worth, using the cut as a theme song, and soon assumed the name. In 1941 he appeared in The Blood of Jesus, an African-American movie produced by Spencer Williams Jr. In 1943 he was drafted into the United States Army, and gave up playing music for some years. However, in 1960, Arhoolie Records owner Chris Strachwitz persuaded him to record an album for his record label. His last public performance was in a 1962 documentary, The Blues, and he died of cancer in Fort Worth, in 1972.