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Ames Brothers singer dies at 95 – Billboard

Ed Ames, the youngest member of the popular 1950s singing group the Ames Brothers, who later became a successful actor in television and musical theatre, has died. He was 95 years old.

The last survivor of four singing brothers, Ames died of Alzheimer’s disease on May 21, his wife Jean Ames said on Saturday (May 27).

“It was a wonderful life,” she said.

On television, Ames was probably best known for his role as Mingo, an Oxford-educated Native American, in the 1960s adventure series Daniel Boone in which Fess Parker starred as the famous frontiersman. he was also a little center the tonight show That — thanks to his painfully involuntary aim with a hatchet — became one of the show’s most memorable surprise moments.

Ames had guest roles in TV series such as murder She Wrote And in the heat of the Nightand toured frequently in musicals, performing popular songs such as “Try to Remember” and the song that became their biggest hit single, “My Cup Runneth Over”.

As part of the 1950s music scene, he and his brothers were one of several pop quartets, including the Four Aces, the Four Lads, the Gaylords, the Hilltoppers, the Lancers, the Four Knights, the Ink Spots and, still from the previous era, the Mills Brothers were involved. , But the Ames brothers – Ed, Joe, Gene and Vic – had a unique voice: they were bass and baritone, not tenor.

His recordings of “Rag Mop,” “Sentimental Me” and “Undecided” became huge hits, and he embarked on a busy career appearing on TV variety shows, recording 40 albums and playing in nightclubs and auditoriums across the country. .

By the late 1950s, rock ‘n’ roll had overtaken the pop charts and the singing quartets were on the decline. Meanwhile, the Amys had grown weary of the constant travel and absence from their growing families. Ed concludes when he comes home unexpectedly and his wife calls their 3-year-old daughter: “Who is this?” The girl replied, “One of the Ames Brothers.”

“Did it,” he told a reporter. “My brother and I agreed that we had all had it and should go our separate ways.” The group, which was making $20,000 a week, played its last engagement at the Las Vegas Sahara on New Year’s Day 1961.

Ed’s attempts to establish himself as a solo singer were not immediately successful and he turned to acting. He almost lost his home before getting a role in Arthur Miller’s production the crucible,

in long lasting music the fantastics, she sang “Try to Remember”, which became one of her theme songs. He joined the traveling company of Gower Champion CARNIVAL and transferred to the New York company until the final performance of the show.

in a role that foreshadowed his future Daniel BooneHe then gained attention as the stoic Native American in the 1963 Broadway play One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest With Kirk Douglas and Gene Wilder in the adaptation of Ken Kesey’s novel.

Ames made top money playing Las Vegas casinos and hotel supper clubs and touring extensively in musicals. man of la mancha, Fiddler on the Roof, South Pacific And I do I do,

I do I do Their biggest hit single in 1967, “My Cup Runneth Over,” delivered a gold record winner. In 1968 he wrote “Who’ll Answer?”

it was during his run on Daniel Boone that they contributed to the longest-lasting burst of laughter in history the tonight show,

He was persuaded to demonstrate the hatchet-throwing skills he had learned as Mingo for a 1965 episode. The silhouette of a cowboy was painted on a piece of wood, and Ames threw an ax at the target. It landed straight on the cowboy’s crotch.

Ames was born Edmund Dantes Urich in Malden, Massachusetts, the youngest of 11 children, four of whom died in childhood. His parents were Ukrainian immigrants and his mother taught the children to read Shakespeare and appreciate music which they heard every Saturday on Metropolitan Opera broadcasts.

The four youngest boys began singing at local events as the Urick Brothers. Ed was still in high school when they moved into nightclubs, but as a six-foot husky with a deep voice, he was able to pass for 21.

In New York, humorist Abe Burroughs suggested a name change because Urick was difficult to remember. Ames was the choice of the brothers.

After the four brothers split up, the other brothers continued to perform and record, but received less notice than Ed. Vic died in 1978, Jean in 1997 and Joe in December 2007.

Ames and his first wife, Sarah Cashero, had three children: Sonja, Ronald, and Linda. The couple divorced in 1978 and he married Jean Arnold in 1998.

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