Thanks to Rick Penrose here's the story of the Blue Aces, one of the early groups playing around Cornwall in the 50s.
One Christmas when I was 10 or 11 I had a Elvis Presley guitar as a present, when I say guitar it was made out of plastic and had four nylon strings,I had no idea who Elvis Presley was but I liked the guitar! All three of us were in the cubs and latter in the scouts, my Mother ran the cubs and there was going to be a concert with the scouts and cubs to raise funds which would be open to the public, so my Mother put the three of us together and we had to learn three songs,which meant lots of practice. To us it seemed like a great thing to play infront of people so we worked hard. Ernie was a natural, he had leather gloves with chains sewn along the fingers to play the washboard and had an amazing rhythm, he also sang and had this presents that all good front men had, he was a natural talent, I always thought he was amazing.
I'm not sure how many years we played together but I joined The Strangers when I was 15 so almost up to that time. To get back we played the concert and it was the start for us, we then played The City Hall annex in a concert which was packed with people, in those days we would play with singers, magicians, a real variety of acts but we were the only group. We were pretty nervous as we had never played infront of so many people but we went down a storm and mainly to Ernie's showmanship, he really was a class act at a young age, they didn't want to let us off the stage and I knew then that was what I wanted to do with my life.
My Mother wasn't too happy with me as with so many people in the hall the plastic guitar and nylon strings had gone out of tune, so for my next birthday I was allowed to have a real guitar which needed lots of practice as not only was it big but had six strings.
Ernie had two older brothers and I think a sister and his parents ran The Britannia Inn in Truro. His brother had a super record collection, nothing like the 78's my Aunt had, these were small and called 45's! This gave us great scope to learn new songs and we would meet Ernie at the pub and he would play the records and I would write the words down so we could learn them, his brother didn't find out for some time what we were doing with his records!
We won the talent contest in St Austell and that made a big difference to us, although we were playing Skiffle we were playing the new sounds from Ernie's brothers record collection and at St Austell we played "Party" by Elvis Presley....hey he was the guy that my plastic guitar came from! I sang with Ernie sometimes but Ernie was the lead singer, Ernie started, " Some people like to rock, some people like to roll a moving and a grooving gonna satisfy your soul" He had a great voice and he moved around a lot, I played those six strings so hard my fingers bleed, but we won.
We also played Tabs Ballroom at Redruth and lots of concerts and clubs like the old folks, but we had to calm it down a bit for the old folks! We were asked to play for half an hour at Ernie's brother's 21st and Mr Mrs Scott how were lovely people had hired a tea room for the night in Truro, as Mr Mrs Scott where there Geoff and myself didn't have to have our Mothers with us who came everywhere to make sure we behaved. The place was full up with teenagers, and the music playing was Summertime Blues, My True Love, Only Make Believe, songs I had never heard before but thought were amazing, and all the lad were kissing the girls everywhere you looked, it was a very special time.
The Blues Aces wore royal blue jeans and yellow T shirts with a blue A.
I can't remember the last time I saw Ernie but I feel very sad that he is no longer here, we had great times together and if it wasn't for Ernie I might not had a lifetime of playing music and travelling. He was a natural talent and a good friend and I am proud to not only to have known him but to have played on stage with him.