From the 1950's through the late 1970's few areas of the country boasted a more dynamic or more exciting popular music scene than Northeast Ohio and Southwest Pennsylvania. Many of the rock era’s most celebrated rock stars spent their formative years in this area.
One of most popular area bands throughout the 70s was Youngstown, Ohio’s LAW, featuring 21 year old Steve Acker on guitar and vocals. Acker was the band’s principal songwriter and on the strength of his songs—and the band’s amazing live show—LAW was discovered and signed to MCA Records by Roger Daltrey of the Who. The band opened one leg of The Who’s 1976 Summer Tour. Three albums later the band disbanded.
Acker (aka “Ace”) moved to Mississippi in 1978 to re-join his family, who had moved there in 1972. While attending Mississippi College he also commenced a lengthy career in adverting. He obtained a B.S.B.A. degree in business and communications at Mississippi College while also working as a copywriter, broadcast producer, and jingle producer at Mississippi’s largest ad agency, GodwinGroup. In 1985 he accepted a job as Creative Director at Bill Hudson and Associates in Nashville, where he directed campaigns for numerous national and regional clients such as McDonald’s, Bridgestone Tires, Sara Lee Foods, Dockers, and Johnston & Murphy Shoes.
In 1987, Acker created and implemented the Dollar General Stores Adult Literacy Program, for which President Reagan presented his Presidential Award for Private to Dollar General Chairman, Cal Turner, Jr., in a White House ceremony. Saturday Evening Post honored the program with its 1988 Benjamin Franklin Award. In 1992, Acker’s original program evolved into the present day Dollar General Literacy Foundation. To date, more than 6 million Dollar General customers have earned their GED Certificates and/or learned to read as a result of Dollar General’s educational efforts.
In 2007, Acker re-entered the music business when he was signed to the Studios @ SST in New York City as a staff writer and producer. In that capacity he wrote and produced songs for several NYC recording artists and produced new hit fight songs for several major universities under the banner of University Jams. Following the destruction of the recording studio by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 he returned to Jackson, MS to resume his advertising career.
In April 2016 Acker moved to Pittsburgh, PA to be close to his Youngstown, Ohio home, to serve Pittsburgh marketing and advertising clients, and to resume his performing career as a solo artist in regional clubs, casinos, and special events. Finally, in August 2017, he moved back home to Youngstown, Ohio. The studio in New York is now IIWII Sound and he has resumed his work there with owner and executive producer John Hanti.
Acker has also just published a book written with the Indiana Dog Whisperers titled Problem Pup to Perfect Pup.
As an advertising and marketing professional, Acker boasts an unprecedented range of skills, from writing to graphic design to social media planning to web marketing and email campaigns. His advertising and music work can be seen and heard on numerous websites.
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The Story of My Production Company with John Hanti, Destroyed by Hurricane Sandy--University Jams
Steven "Ace" Acker
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