Ace Spectrum

Ace Spectrum was an R&B, soul and disco musical group that was popular in the mid-1970s.

Ace Spectrum
OriginNew York City, New York, U.S.
Years active1966–76
Past members
  • Rudy Gay
  • Elliot Isaac
  • Aubrey Johnson
  • Henry Zant


Based in New York City[1] the group consisted of Rudy Gay Sr., Elliot Isaac, Henry "Easy" Zant, Aubrey "Troy" Johnson, and, on their final album, Frederick G. Duff and Lawrence Coley.[2] Zant, (also known as Edward "Easy" Zant), was not only a member but he also managed the group.[3] Gay, Isaac, Zant and Johnson began collaboration as a group in 1966.[3] "Don't Send Nobody Else", written by Ashford & Simpson,[3] was their biggest single. From their Tony Sylvester-produced[4] debut album, it peaked at number 57 on Billboard's Hot 100[5] while finding its way to the top 20 on the R&B Singles chart. Their single "Keep Holdin' On" was released as a 12-inch single, and heavily promoted by their record label at disco clubs.[6] Another single "Live and Learn" with lead vocals by Frederick, reached position 35 on the Dance Music/Club Play Singles chart. Their first two albums saw chart action. Inner Spectrum attained position 28 on the R&B Albums chart, and Low Rent Rendezvous saw action on the Billboard 200 (#138),[7] as well as on R&B Albums (#35).[8] Patrick Adams produced and arranged the group's 1976 recordings, but consequential success eluded them.[9][10]

Style and influenceEdit

Ace Spectrum never developed into a huge hitmaker, although Allmusic considers it a "decent soul ensemble."[2] Their recordings have generated considerable interest among Northern Soul collectors.[11] The 1975 release "Keep Holding On" was one of the first 12-inch singles.[12] Musically, the group employed a mix of up-tempo and down-tempo songs. The group eschewed the "high-voice technique" that was common for the era. Backing strings were important to the group's sound. Billboard commented positively about group, stating it deserved "as much exposure as possible." Rudy Gay Sr., a member of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Incorporated, later went on to both father the famous basketball player and become music director for The Stylistics.[13]



Year Title b-side Label/Catalog # Billboard Hot 100 R&B Singles Dance Music/Club Play Singles
1974 "Don't Send Nobody Else" "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" Atlantic 3012[14] 57 20 -
1975 "Trust Me" "I Just Want to Spend the Night With You" Atlantic 3281[14] - - -
1975 "Without You" "Keep Holding On" Atlantic 3296[14] - - -
1976 "Live and Learn" "Just Like in the Movies" Atlantic 3353[14] - - 35


Year Title Label/Catalog # Billboard Albums R&B Albums
1974 Inner Spectrum Atlantic SD 7299[14] - 28
1975 Low Rent Rendezvous Atlantic SD 18143[14] 138 35
1976 Just Like in the Movies Atlantic SD 18185[14] - -


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2000). Top Pop Singles 1955–1999. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, Inc. p. 5. ISBN 0-89820-139-X.
  2. ^ a b Wynn, Ron. "Ace Spectrum Artist Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "New on the Charts". Billboard. October 12, 1974. p. 38. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  4. ^ "New on the Charts". Billboard. January 11, 1975. p. 16. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Pop Memories 1890–1954. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, Inc. p. 5. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  6. ^ "'Hijack' Inspires Strong Atlantic Disco Promotion". Billboard. September 6, 1975. pp. 4, 22. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  7. ^ The Billboard Albums, 6th ed. Joel Whitburn. 2006. Record Research Inc. p. 20. ISBN 0-89820-166-7
  8. ^ "Ace Spectrum Artist Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  9. ^ "New York Beat". Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. March 11, 1976. p. 56. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  10. ^ Black Music & Jazz Review. IPC Specialist & Professional Press. 1 (10): 27. 1979.CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
  11. ^ Miller, Chuck (2011). Warman's American Records. Krause Publications. ISBN 9781440228216. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  12. ^ Shapiro, Peter (2006). Turn the Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco. Macmillan. ISBN 9780865479524. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  13. ^ "Top Album Picks - Soul". Billboard. April 20, 1974. p. 52. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g Popoff, Martin (2010). Goldmine Standard Catalog of American Records 1948–1991. Krause Publications. ISBN 9781440216213.