• Planets, Rockets, Rocketeers, Magic-Tones :( L to R) Billy Steward, Jimmy Brunsen, Vince House & Woody Johnson

    The Planets (1)  (Chicago) 

    aka The Magic Notes
    aka The Rockets (3)
    aka The Rocketeers (2) 
    aka The Rhythm Aces


    Personnel :

    Billy Steward (First Tenor)

    Woody Johnson (Second Tenor)

    Jimmy Brunsen (Tenor)

    Vince House (Baritone/Bass)


    Discography :

    The Rhythm Aces
    Singles :
    1954 - I Wonder Why / Get Lost (Vee Jay 124)
    1955 - Whisper To Me / Olly, Olly, Atsen Free (Vee Jay 138)
    1955 - That's My Sugar / Flippety Flop (Vee Jay 160)
    Unreleased :
    1954-  I Realize Now (Vee Jay)

    The Rockets (3)
    1956 - You Are The First One / Be Lovey Dovey (Modern 992)

    Jimmy Beasley & The  Rockets (3)
    1957 - Johnny's House Party, Part 1 / Part 2 (Modern 1021)

    The Rocketeers (2)
    1956 - Talk It Over Baby / Hey Rube (Modern 999)
    1958 - My Reckless Heart / They Turned The Party Out At Bessie's House (M-J-C 501)

    Darla Hood & The Rocketeers (2)
    1957 - No Secret Now  / Jody (Encino 1007)

    The Magic Notes
    1957 - The Wrong Door / Never Again (Era 1035)

    The Planets (1)
    1957 - Stand There Mountain / Never Again (Era 1038)
    1957 - Be Sure / Wild Leaves (Era 1049)

    Biography :

    R&B harmony group the Rhythm Aces formed in 1950 comprising first tenor Billy Steward, second tenor Chuck Rowan, baritone Clyde Rhymes, and bass Vince House; all were members of the U.S. Army's Special Services division stationed in Germany at the time of the quartet's formation, ultimately winning the "All-Army Soldier Singing Contest" and landing an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show as a result. Following their 1954 discharge, the Rhythm Aces returned to the U.S. and mounted a tour of the Midwest -- their performance at Chicago's Crown Propeller Lounge proved such a hit that the club named the group its regular headline act, firing former marquee act the Moonglows in the process.

    The Rhythm Aces : Billy Steward, Chuck Rowan, Clyde Rhymes & Vince House

    Vee-Jay Records exec Ewart Abner soon caught the Rhythm Aces' act and arranged an audition with label owners Vivian and Jimmy Carter, who immediately extended a contract offer. Their debut single "I Wonder Why" followed in late 1954, but the group's sharp, sophisticated harmonies made few inroads at radio or retail. Vee-Jay issued the Rhythm Aces' luminous sophomore effort "Whisper to Me" in the spring of 1955, but it too failed to attract much attention, and when a similar fate befell their third single, "That's My Sugar," the label terminated the group's contract.


    After adding guitarist Sam Alexander and installing Rowan on piano, the Rhythm Aces toured Canada in late 1955, but during a break from the road Rhymes wed while Steward and Alexander spent the holidays in their native Detroit, when only Rowan and House turned up for a scheduled gig in New York City, the group dissolved. After the Vee Jay Rhythm Aces broke up late in 1955, they all returned home. It is not known when or where, but Lloyd McCraw ( Jacks/Cadets) had previously met Vince House.

    Jimmy Beasley                                                                                                                      

    In 1956, he communicated with House, asking him to assemble a group and come west to record for his organization.  House rounded up Steward and Rowan and picked up Jimmy Brunsen, they were now "the Rockets.  McCraw got them a contract and session with Modern Records .  When their Modern disc failed, Rowan left for good, rejoining the service. He was replaced in the group by Brunsen's friend Woody Johnson. Modern then changed the group's name to Rocketeers late in 1956 and released a new single.

    Johnny Otis Show

    Nothing happened with the name change or the Modern release, and the group moved to Era, where House's name was changed to Vince Howard. The Group cut three singles, as the Planets & The Magic Tones. One disc that the Planets released on Era, "Stand There Mountain," became their biggest hit. At this point they hooked up with Johnny Otis and became part of his touring "Johnny Otis Show" (once again as the Rockets). In early 1958, they became the "Rocketeers" again, for a single recording as backup for Willie Davis.

    Songs :
    (updated by Hans-Joachim) 

    The Rhythm Aces

    I Wonder Why                        Get Lost                     That's My Sugar

    Flippety Flop                         Whisper To Me                         I Realize Now

    Olly, Olly, Atsen, Free

    The Rockets (3)

    You Are The First One                      Be Lovey Dovey

    Jimmy Beasley & The  Rockets (3)

    Johnny's House Party, Part 1 / Part 2

    The Rocketeers (2)

    Talk It Over Baby                   Hey Rube

    My Reckless Heart / They Turned The Party Out At Bessie's House

    Darla Hood & The Rocketeers (2)

    No Secret Now                                      Jody

    The Magic Notes

    Never Again

    The Planets (1)

    Stand There Mountain              Never Again                         Be Sure

    Wild Leaves


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