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Ed Ames (born Edmund Dantes Urick on July 9, 1927) is a Jewish American popular singer and actor. He is best known for his pop and Adult Contemporary hits of the 1960s like "When the Snow is on the Roses" and the perennial "My Cup Runneth Over." He was part of a popular 1950s singing group called the Ames Brothers.

BiographyEdit

Early lifeEdit

Born in Malden, Massachusetts to Russian Jewish immigrant parents[1], Ed Ames was the youngest of nine children, five boys and four girls.

Ames grew up in a poor household. He attended the prestigious [2] Boston Latin School and was educated in Classical and Opera music, as well as literature.

While still in high school, the brothers formed a quartet and often won competitions around the Boston area. Three of the brothers later formed the Amory Brothers quartet and went to New York, where they were hired by bandleader Art Mooney. Abe Burrows, a playwright entertainer at the time who helped the brothers along the way, had suggested the brothers change their names to the Ames Brothers.

Early careerEdit

They were first signed on with Decca Records in 1948, but because of the Musician Union's ban, their records from Decca were never released. They signed on with another label, Coral Records, a subsidiary of Decca. They had their first major hit in the 1950s with the double-sided "Ragg Mopp" and "Sentimental Me." The Brothers joined RCA Victor records and continued to have success throughout the 50s with many hits like "It Only Hurts For a Little While," "You, You, You" and "The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane." The brothers made appearances regularly on variety shows, and for a short period of time had their own 15 minute variety show in 1955.

Acting careerEdit

In 1960, the Ames Brothers disbanded, and Ed Ames, pursuing a career in acting, studied at the Herbert Berghoff School. His first starring role was in an Off-Broadway production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, going on to starring performances in The Fantasticks and Carnival!, which was on Broadway. He was in the national touring company of Carnival.

Although Ames is Jewish, his dark complexion led to his being cast regularly as an American Indian. His greatest success as a stage actor came when he played Chief Bromden in the Broadway production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, opposite Kirk Douglas.

Talent scouts at 20th Century Fox saw Ed in the production and invited him to play the Native American Mingo on the television show Daniel Boone, with Fess Parker, Patricia Blar, Darby Hinton and Veronica Cartwright.

While playing Mingo on television, Ames developed some skill in throwing a tomahawk. This led to one of the most memorable moments of his career, when he appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on April 29, 1965. During the course of the show, Ames and Johnny Carson were discussing Ames' tomahawk throwing abilities. When Ames claimed that he could hit a target from across the room, Carson asked Ames if he could demonstrate this skill. Ames agreed, and a wood panel with a chalk outline of a cowboy was brought on to the stage. Ames proceeded to throw the tomahawk, which hit the "cowboy" square in the groin. This led to a very long burst of laughter from the audience and Carson's famous ad-libs. "I didn't even know you were Jewish" and "Welcome to Frontier Bris." Ames then asked Carson if he'd like to take a turn throwing, to which Carson replied, "I can't hurt him any more than you did."

Singing careerEdit

Ames recorded under the name "Eddie Ames" while still with the Ames Brothers, releasing the single "Bean Song (Which Way To Boston?)" in 1957.

During the 1960s, Ames returned to singing, this time as a solo artist. He released his first RCA Victor chart single, "Try to Remember," in 1965. The song barely made the charts. A bigger success came in 1967 with "My Cup Runneth Over." The song was both a Pop hit and an Adult Contemporary hit. He had less success on the Pop charts soon after, and only had Adult Contemporary hits with "When the Snow Is On the Roses," "Time Time" and "Timeless Love". He did make the Pop Top Twenty one last time in his singing career with the song "Who Will Answer" in 1968.

Ames's distinctive baritone is a regular radio presence during Christmas season, too, thanks to his version of "Do You Hear What I Hear?" Written originally in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the song received its best-selling treatment from Bing Crosby in 1962, but Ames' version, recorded a few years later, is in frequent holiday rotation.

Personal lifeEdit

While maintaining his career, he attended UCLA, receiving his degree in theater and cinema arts in 1975. He continues to be actively involved in plays like South Pacific, Camelot and Fiddler on the Roof. He continues to make TV show and concert appearances. Today, he lives in Santa Ynez, California. He often visits his Daniel Boone co-star, Fess Parker, who lives only fifteen minutes away.[3]

At the age of 82, Ames, saying "I am a secular Jew, but I feel strongly about Israel and the Jewish communities of Europe" [1] became president of the Zionist Organization of America's Los Angeles chapter.[4]

DiscographyEdit

SinglesEdit

Year Single US AC US Pop Canada Album
1965 "Try to Remember" 17 73 39 Try to Remember
1967 "My Cup Runneth Over" 1 8 9 My Cup Runneth Over
"Time, Time" 1 61 - Time, Time
"Timeless Love" 2 - - Timeless Love
"When the Snow is on the Roses" 1 98 - When the Snow is on the Roses
1968 "Who Will Answer?" 6 19 6 Who Will Answer and Other Songs of our Time
"Apologize" 10 79 47 Apologize
"All My Love's Laughter" 12 122 -
"Kiss Her Now" 22 - - The Hits of Broadway and Hollywood
1969 "Changing, Changing" 11 130 - The Windmills of Your Mind
"Son of a Travelin' Man" 21 92 -
"Think Summer" (with Marilyn Maye)17 - -
"Leave Them a Flower" 19 - - Love of the Common People
"Thing Called Love" 21 - -
1970 "Three Good Reasons" 38 - - Sing Away the World
"Chippewa Town" 36 - -

AlbumsEdit

  • Try to Remember, RCA Victor 2781, 1964
  • More I Cannot Wish You, RCA Victor 3636, 1966
  • My Cup Runneth Over, RCA Victor 3774, 1967
  • Time, Time, RCA Victor 3834, 1967
  • Christmas with Ed Ames, RCA Victor 3838, 1967
  • When the Snow Is on the Roses, RCA Victor 3913, 1968
  • Who Will Answer?, RCA Victor 3961, 1968
  • Apologize, RCA Victor 4028, 1968
  • The Hits of Broadway and Hollywood, RCA Victor 4079, 1968
  • The Windmills of Your Mind 1969 RCA Victor LSP 4172,
  • A Time For Living, A Time For Hope, RCA Victor 4128, 1969
  • Love of the Common People, RCA Victor 4249, 1969
  • Sing Away The World, RCA Victor 4381, 1970
  • This is Ed Ames, RCA VPS-6023, 2 Record Set, 1970
  • Christmas is the Warmest Time of the Year, RCA Victor 4385, 1970
  • Sings the Songs of Bacharach and David, RCA Victor 4453, 1971
  • Somewhere My Love 1972 RCA Camden CAS 2598
  • Ed Ames Remembers Jim Reeves, RCA Victor 4683, 1972
  • Lost Horizon, RCA Victor 4808, 1972

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Tugend, Tom (2005-04-01). "Zionist Organization Sings Way to L.A.". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. http://www.jewishjournal.com/home/preview.php?id=13889. Retrieved 2006-12-13. 
  2. http://www.blackboardawards.com/honorees_2007/high_BrooklynLatin.php
  3. http://radiopatriot.blogspot.com/2006/11/off-to-great-start-at-restoration.html reports: Ed says he and Fess Parker, whom he described as a "decent man and a real conservative", are still close friends, almost 40 years after the series went off the air.
  4. http://www.jewishjournal.com/tag/ed%20ames/

External linksEdit

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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Ed Ames. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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