Ed Ames

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Ed Ames
Ed Ames.JPG
Ed Ames
Background information
Birth name Edmund Dantes Urick
Born (1927-07-09) July 9, 1927 (age 86)
Origin Malden, Massachusetts
Genres Pop, Adult Contemporary
Occupations Singer, Actor
Years active 1955–present
Labels Decca Records, Coral Records, RCA Victor Records
Associated acts 1950s: Ames Brothers; 1960s: Daniel Boone (TV series)

Ed Ames (born Edmund Dantes Urick; July 9, 1927) is an 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.

Early life and career[edit]

Ames was born in Malden, Massachusetts, to Jewish parents Sarah (Zaslavskaya) and David Urick (Eurich), who had immigrated from Ukraine.[1][2] He was the youngest of nine children, including five boys and four girls.[citation needed]

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

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 City, where they were hired by bandleader Art Mooney. Playwright Abe Burrows helped the brothers along the way, suggesting the siblings change their group's name to the Ames Brothers.[citation needed]

Photo of the Ames Brothers, 1955. Ed Ames is seen at top.

The Ames Brothers were first signed on with Decca Records in 1948, but because of the Musician Union's ban[clarification needed], 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 "Rag Mop" and "Sentimental Me". The Brothers joined RCA Victor records and continued to have success throughout the 1950s 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 programs, and for a short period of time in 1955 had their own 15-minute show.[citation needed]

Acting career[edit]

Ames as Mingo in the 1960s NBC television series, Daniel Boone

In the early 1960s, 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.[citation needed]

Ames' dark complexion and facial bone structure led to his being cast regularly as a Native American. He played Chief Bromden in the Broadway production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, opposite Kirk Douglas.[3][4]

Talent scouts at 20th Century Fox saw Ames in the production and invited him to play the Cherokee tribesman, Mingo on the NBC television series, Daniel Boone, with Fess Parker, Patricia Blair, Darby Hinton, and Veronica Cartwright. In an episode of Season One, Ames also portrayed Mingo's evil twin brother, Taramingo.[5][6] (Ames' main character was actually named Caramingo, but went by Mingo throughout the series.)[7] Ames played a bandit on a 1962 The Rifleman episode and guest-starred as Kennedy in the 1963 episode "The Day of the Pawnees, Part 2" on ABC's The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, with Kurt Russell in the title role. He guest-starred in 1963 on Richard Egan's NBC modern western series, Redigo.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson[edit]

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. As the studio band played a bar of the Adventures of Pow Wow theme, Ames proceeded to throw the tomahawk, which hit the "cowboy" square in the groin with the handle pointing upward. This led to a very long burst of laughter from the audience, which has been called the longest sustained laugh by a live audience in television history. After a moment, Ames proceeded to walk toward the target to retrieve the tomahawk but Carson stopped him and allowed the situation to be appreciated for its humor. Carson ad-libbed: "I didn't even know you were Jewish!" and "Welcome to Frontier Bris." Ames then asked Carson if he would like to take a turn throwing, to which Carson replied: "I can't hurt him any more than you did." The clip became a favorite of Carson's own yearly highlight show and subsequent blooper television specials.[8]

Singing career[edit]

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

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 "Time, Time" "When the Snow Is on the Roses", and "Timeless Love". the latter written by Buffy Sainte-Marie. He did make the Pop Top Twenty one last time in his singing career with "Who Will Answer" in 1968.

Ames's distinctive baritone is a regular radio presence during Christmas season, as well, thanks to his version of "Do You Hear What I Hear?" 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.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

While maintaining his career, he attended UCLA, receiving his degree in theater and cinema arts in 1975. 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 Los Angeles chapter of the Zionist Organization of America.[9]

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

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 - - When the Snow Is On the Roses
"When the Snow is on the Roses" 1 98 -
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 - A Time For Living, A Time For Hope
"Son of a Travelin' Man" 21 92 - The Windmills of Your Mind
"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 - -

Albums[edit]

  • Try to Remember, RCA Victor 2781, 1964
  • The Ed Ames Album, RCA Victor 2944, 1964
  • My Kind of Songs, RCA Victor 3390, 1965
  • It's a Man's World, RCA Victor 3460, 1966
  • 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
  • A Time For Living, A Time For Hope, RCA Victor 4128, 1969
  • The Windmills of Your Mind RCA Victor 4172, 1969
  • The Best of Ed Ames, RCA Victor 4184, 1969
  • Love of the Common People, RCA Victor 4249, 1969
  • Sing Away The World, RCA Victor LSP-4381, 1970
  • This is Ed Ames, RCA VPS-6023, 2 Record Set, 1970
  • Christmas is the Warmest Time of the Year, RCA Victor LSP-4385, 1970
  • Sings the Songs of Bacharach and David, RCA Victor LSP-4453, 1971
  • Somewhere My Love RCA Camden CAS 2598, 1972
  • Ed Ames, RCA Victor LSP-4634, 1972
  • Ed Ames Remembers Jim Reeves, RCA Victor LSP-4683, 1972
  • Songs From Lost Horizon and Themes From Other Movies, RCA Victor LSP-4808, 1972
  • The Very Best Of Ed Ames, Taragon TARCD-1070, 2000

References[edit]

External links[edit]