Ed Ames

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Ed Ames
Ames in 1959
Ames in 1959
Background information
Birth nameEdmund Dantes Urick
Also known asEddie Ames
Born(1927-07-09)July 9, 1927
Malden, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedMay 21, 2023(2023-05-21) (aged 95)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Occupation(s)Singer, actor
Years active1947–2023
LabelsDecca, Coral, RCA Victor
Formerly ofAmes Brothers

Edmund Dantes Urick (July 9, 1927 – May 21, 2023), known professionally as Ed Ames or Eddie Ames, was an American pop singer and actor.[1] He was known for playing Mingo in the television series Daniel Boone, and for his Easy Listening number #1 hits of the mid-to-late 1960s including "My Cup Runneth Over", "Time, Time", and "When the Snow Is on the Roses". He was also part of the popular 1950s singing group with his siblings, the Ames Brothers.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Ames was born in Malden, Massachusetts, on July 9, 1927,[2] to Jewish parents Sarah (Zaslavskaya) and David Urick, a.k.a. Eurich, who had emigrated from Ukraine.[3][4] He was the youngest of nine children, five boys and four girls.[4]

Ames grew up in a poor household.[4] He attended the 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 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.[4]

The Ames Brothers were first signed on with Decca Records in 1947, but because of the Musician Union's ban in 1948, a holdover from the 1942–1944 musicians' strike, Decca released only three singles by the brothers, and one backing Russ Morgan. As the ban was ending, they signed with 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 later 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 regular appearances on network television variety programs, and in 1955 briefly had a 15-minute show of their own.[4]

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 Berghof School.[2] His first starring role was in an off-Broadway production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, going on to starring performances in The Fantasticks off-Broadway and Carnival!, which was on Broadway.[2]

Ames was in the national touring company of Carnival. His dark complexion and sharp facial features 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.[5][6]

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,[2] with Fess Parker. His character's father was an English officer, the Fourth Earl of Dunmore, played in the show by Walter Pidgeon. In that show, Mingo was the Earl's eldest son and thus entitled to claim the title as the fifth Earl, but decided to remain part of the Cherokee Nation.[citation needed]

In an episode of Season One, Ames also portrayed Mingo's evil twin brother, Taramingo. Ames' main character was actually named Caramingo, but went by Mingo throughout the entire series.[citation needed]

Ames played a wanted murderer holed-up in a hotel during a smallpox quarantine on a 1962 The Rifleman episode ("Quiet Night, Deadly Night"), 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.[citation needed]

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 27, 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 theme music from Adventures of Pow Wow, Ames proceeded to throw the tomahawk, which hit the drawn cowboy square in the groin with the handle pointing upward. This led to a very long burst of laughter from the audience.

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. Ames then said to Carson: "Think I'm going into another business, John." To which Carson ad-libbed: "I didn't even know you were Jewish!" and "Welcome to Frontier Bris."[citation needed]

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.[7][8]

Summer stock[edit]

Later in his career, Ames became a fixture on the Kenley Players circuit, headlining in Shenandoah (1976, 1979, 1986), Fiddler on the Roof (1977), South Pacific (1980), Camelot (1981), and Man of La Mancha (1984).[9]

Singing career[edit]

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

Ames recorded under the name "Eddie Ames" while still with the Ames Brothers, releasing the single "The Bean Song (Which Way to Boston?)" in January, 1957.[10]

Ames returned to singing as a solo artist in 1965. Ames is known for his baritone voice. He released his first RCA Victor chart single, "Try to Remember".[2] The song did respectably (#73 on the pop charts, #17 in the Adult Contemporary listing). A bigger success came in 1967 with "My Cup Runneth Over".[2] The song was both a #8 pop hit and a #1 adult contemporary radio hit. Thereafter he 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 20 one last time in his singing career with "Who Will Answer?" in 1968.[2] "Apologize" reached No. 47 in the Canadian RPM Magazine hot singles chart.

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.[4]

Ames also sang the "Ballad of the War Wagon" in the John Wayne/Batjac Productions movie, The War Wagon in 1967.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Ed Ames married Sarita (Sara) Cacheiro in 1947 and they had three children, Sonya, Ronald, and Linda (aka Marcila, who died in 2007). The couple divorced October 5, 1973 in Santa Monica, California.[12] Ames married Jeanne Arnold Saviano in 1998, the marriage lasted until his death in 2023.[citation needed]

While maintaining his career, he attended University of California, Los Angeles, receiving his degree in theater and cinema arts in 1975.

At the age of 77, Ames, saying "I am a secular Jew, but I feel strongly about Israel and the Jewish communities of Europe",[3] became president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Zionist Organization of America.[13]

While appearing in Daniel Boone, Ames maintained homes in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, and Teaneck, New Jersey.[14]

From 1968 until 1987, he also owned a percentage of the Phoenix Suns.[15]

Ames died of Alzheimer's disease at his Beverly Hills, California, home on May 21, 2023, at the age of 95.[16][17] He is buried at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park & Mortuary in Westwood (L.A.), California.



Year Single Chart Positions Album
1965 "Try to Remember" 17 73 83 39 - - Try to Remember
1967 "My Cup Runneth Over" 1 8 8 9 - 34 My Cup Runneth Over
"Time, Time" 1 61 66 60 - - Time, Time
"Timeless Love" 2 - 109 - - - When the Snow Is on the Roses
"When the Snow Is on the Roses" 1 98 97 - - -
1968 "Who Will Answer?" 6 19 14 6 - 71 Who Will Answer and Other Songs of our Time
"Apologize" 10 79 66 47 - - Apologize
"All My Love's Laughter" 12 122 106 - - -
"Kiss Her Now" 22 - 77 65 - - The Hits of Broadway and Hollywood
1969 "Changing, Changing" 11 130 112 - 6 - A Time For Living, A Time For Hope
"Son of a Travelin' Man" 21 92 94 81 14 61 The Windmills of Your Mind
"Think Summer" (with Marilyn Maye) 17 - - - - -
"Leave Them a Flower" 19 - - - 33 - Love of the Common People
"A Thing Called Love" 21 - 115 - 22 -
1970 "Three Good Reasons" 38 - - - - - Sing Away the World
"Think Summer" (with Marilyn Maye) 38 - - - - -
"Chippewa Town" 36 - - - - -


  • Try to Remember, RCA Victor LPM/LSP 2781, 1963
  • The Ed Ames Album, RCA Victor LPM/LSP 2944, 1964
  • My Kind of Songs, RCA Victor LPM/LSP 3390, 1965
  • It's a Man's World, RCA Victor LPM/LSP 3460, 1966
  • More I Cannot Wish You, RCA Victor LPM/LSP 3636, 1966
  • My Cup Runneth Over, RCA Victor LPM/LSP 3774, 1967
  • Time, Time, RCA Victor LPM/LSP 3834, 1967
  • Christmas with Ed Ames, RCA Victor LPM/LSP 3838, 1967
  • When the Snow Is on the Roses, RCA Victor LPM/LSP 3913, 1968
  • Who Will Answer?, RCA Victor LPM/LSP 3961, 1968
  • Apologize, RCA Victor LPM/LSP 4028, 1968
  • The Hits of Broadway and Hollywood, RCA Victor LSP 4079, 1968
  • A Time for Living, a Time for Hope, RCA Victor LSP 4128, 1969
  • The Windmills of Your Mind RCA Victor LSP 4172, 1969
  • The Best of Ed Ames, RCA Victor LSP 4184, 1969
  • Love of the Common People, RCA Victor LSP 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, RCA/BMG 07863 69394–2, 2001


  1. ^ a b "Joe Ames, the Eldest Member of the 1950s Singing Group the Ames Brothers, Dies at 86". The New York Times. January 17, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Larkin, Colin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Vol. I (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. pp. 77–78. ISBN 978-0-8511-2939-6. Retrieved June 14, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Tugend, Tom (April 1, 2005). "Zionist Organization Sings Way to L.A." The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Archived from the original on April 7, 2005. Retrieved 2006-12-13.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Babitskaya, Inna (August 5, 2012). "Historical Perspectives Malden's Ed Ames: A life in music". Wickedlocal.com. Retrieved June 14, 2022.
  5. ^ "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest – Broadway Play – Original". IBDb.com. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  6. ^ "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Original Broadway Cast - 1963 Broadway". Broadway World. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  7. ^ Ed Ames, throwing a tomahawk. Video on YouTube.
  8. ^ "Comedy Flashback - Singer Ed Ames Performs a "Bris" on The Johnny Carson Show". Jewish Humor Central. October 24, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  9. ^ "Most Appearances by a Headliner". Kenleyplayershistory.com. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
  10. ^ "Eddie Ames - The Bean Song (Which Way to Boston?)". 45cat.com. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  11. ^ Franklin, Mark (June 28, 2015). "The War Wagon (1967)". Once Upon a Time In a Western. Retrieved June 14, 2022.
  12. ^ "People: Ed Ames Divorces". The Cincinnati Enquirer. October 7, 1973. p. 5A. Retrieved June 14, 2022.
  13. ^ Tugend, Tom (March 31, 2005). "Zionist Organization Sings Way to L.A." Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved June 14, 2022.
  14. ^ "Daniel Boone's Pal; Actor's Family Lives in Contrasts". The Desert Sun. Palm Springs. July 3, 1965. p. 3. Retrieved June 30, 2019 – via University of California at Riverside. Ed Ames, who plays the half-breed Indian on the "Daniel Boone" series, is a two-house family man with homes in Teaneck, N.J., and Woodland Hills in the San Fernando valley of southern California. As a result, the Ames clan lives a life of contrasts. His east coast diggings are traditional and solidly conservative.
  15. ^ Myer, Mike (November 1, 2017). "50 Years of the Suns". Phoenix. Retrieved June 14, 2022.
  16. ^ "Ed Ames, pop singer and 'Daniel Boone' actor, dies at 95". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 1, 2023.
  17. ^ Hevesi, Dennis (26 May 2023). "Ed Ames, Singing Star Who Became a Familiar Face on TV, Dies at 95". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2023.

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