The Four Aces

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The Four Aces
The Four Aces in 1957
The Four Aces in 1957
Background information
OriginChester, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Years active1949–1987
Past members
  • Harry Heisler
  • Al Alberts
  • Lou Silvestri
  • Dave Mahoney
  • Rosario "Sod" Vaccaro
  • Tony Alesi

The Four Aces are an American male traditional pop quartet popular since the 1950s. Over the last half-century, the group amassed many gold records. Its million-selling songs include "Love is a Many-Splendored Thing",[1] "Three Coins in the Fountain",[2] "Stranger in Paradise",[2] "Tell Me Why",[3] and "(It's No) Sin".[3] Other big sellers included "Shangri-La", "Perfidia", and "Sincerely", and “Written On The Wind”. “Love Is A Many Splendored Thing” won the Academy Award for Best Song in 1955. The original members, responsible for every song made popular by the group, included Al Alberts, Dave Mahoney, Lou Silvestri, and Rosario "Sod" Vaccaro.[4]


Alberts went to South Philadelphia High School and Temple University and served in the United States Navy, where he met Mahoney. Originally, Alberts sang with Mahoney playing behind him, and later they added Vaccaro on trumpet and Silvestri on drums.[4] They played locally in the Philadelphia area, and Alberts started his own record label, Victoria Records, when they could not find a distributor to release their first record, "(It's No) Sin".[4] It sold a million copies, and Decca Records soon signed the group, billing them as The Four Aces featuring Al Alberts.

Alberts left the group in 1958 to try to make it as a soloist but never made the charts. He was replaced as lead singer by Fred Diodati, who had attended South Philadelphia High School a few years after Alberts. After Alberts had left the group, Mahoney and Vaccaro also left. Silvestri never left the group but led three new members: Diodati, Tony Alesi, and Joe Giglio. The Original Aces later asked Silvestri to rejoin the original group, and he did.

It was then that Diodati led a new line-up, which consisted of Diodati, Alesi, Giglio, and Harry Heisler. After almost 19 years with the group, Alesi developed a medical condition that forced him to leave the group. As of 2013 the Four Aces members were Diodati, Giglio, Heisler, and Danny Colingo. By 2019 Heisler had been replaced by Bob Barboni.

In 1975, Diodati, Alesi, Giglio, and Heisler were awarded the right to the name in a court suit in which the original members tried to re-establish their right.[4] The court allowed the founding members to tour as "The Original Four Aces, Featuring Al Alberts", which they did, finally retiring the act in 1987. Diodati, Giglio, Barboni, and Colingo continue to legally use the name of the Four Aces and perform the songs made popular by the Original Four Aces.

The founding lead singer, Alberts, died of natural causes on November 27, 2009, at age 87.[5] Mahoney died on July 12, 2012, of complications from Alzheimer's disease at age 86.[6] Silvestri died on January 27, 2013, at age 86.[7] Vaccaro (born in 1922) died on April 5, 2013, at age 90.[8]


Year Single (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
Chart positions Album
1949 "Baby, wha hoppen"
b/w "Try, try again"
Non-album tracks
1951 "(It's No) Sin"
b/w "Arizona Moon"
4 1 Non-album tracks
"There's a Christmas Tree in Heaven"
b/w "There's a Small Hotel"
"Tell Me Why" / 2 2 Sentimental Souvenirs
1952 "A Garden in the Rain" 14 17 The Four Aces Sing
b/w "You Brought Me Love" (Non-album track)
7 7 Sentimental Souvenirs
"Two Little Kisses"
b/w "Who's to Blame"
29 34 Non-album tracks
"My Hero"
b/w "Spring Is a Wonderful Thing" (Non-album track)
20 Sentimental Souvenirs
"I'm Yours"
b/w "I Understand" (from Sentimental Souvenirs)
21 Heart and Soul
"Should I"
b/w "There's Only Tonight" (Non-album track)
9 16 The Four Aces Sing
"Heart and Soul" / 11 14 Heart and Soul
"Just Squeeze Me" 20
1953 "Ti-Pi-Tin"
b/w "Heaven Can Wait"
"La Rosita"
b/w "Take Me in Your Arms"
"I'll Never Smile Again"
b/w "My Devotion"
"You Fooled Me"
b/w "If You Take My Heart Away"
22 32 Non-album tracks
"Organ Grinder's Swing" / 17 18 Heart and Soul
"Honey in the Horn" 24 23 The Four Aces Sing
"False Love"
b/w "Don't Forget Me"
24 23 Non-album tracks
"Laughing on the Outside (Crying on the Inside)"
b/w "I've Been Waiting a Lifetime" (Non-album track)
22 28 The Four Aces Sing
"Stranger in Paradise" / 3 1 6* Mood for Love
"The Gang That Sang Heart of My Heart" 7 5 Sentimental Souvenirs
1954 "Bandera (Texas Polka)" (Al Alberts solo)
b/w "What More Is There" (Al Alberts solo)
Non-album tracks
"Amor" / 21 20 Heart and Soul
"So Long" 26 20
"Three Coins in the Fountain" / 1 1 5 Mood for Love
"Wedding Bells (Are Breaking Up That Old Gang of Mine)" 22 18 Sentimental Souvenirs
"Dream" / 17 13
"It Shall Come to Pass" 37 Non-album Track
"It's a Woman's World"
b/w "That Cuckoo Bird in the Pickle Tree"
11 15 The Four Aces Sing
"Mr. Sandman"
b/w "(I'll Be with You) In Apple Blossom Time"
5 1 9 Sentimental Souvenirs
1955 "Melody of Love"
b/w "There Is a Tavern in the Town" (from Sentimental Souvenirs)
3 1 Mood for Love
"There Goes My Heart"
b/w "You'll Always Be the One" (Non-album track)
b/w "Sluefoot" (Non-album track)
13 12 The Best of The Four Aces
"Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing" / 1 1 2 Hits from Hollywood
"Shine On Harvest Moon" 45 Non-album Track
"The Christmas Song"
b/w "Jingle Bells"
Merry Christmas
"O Holy Night"
b/w "Silent Night"
"A Woman in Love" / 14 16 19 Hits from Hollywood
"Of This I'm Sure" 56 47 Non-album tracks
1956 "If You Can Dream" / 62 34
"The Gal with the Yaller Shoes" 91
"To Love Again"
b/w "Charlie Was a Boxer" (from The Four Aces Sing)
43 26
"I Only Know I Love You" / 22 38 The Four Aces Sing
"Dreamer" 86 43 Non-album track
"You Can't Run Away from It" / 20 The Four Aces Sing
"Friendly Persuasion (Thee I Love)" 45 10 29 Hits from Hollywood
"Someone To Love" / 47 The Four Aces Sing
"Written on the Wind" 61 39 Hits from Hollywood
1957 "Bahama Mama" / 53 36 Beyond the Blue Horizon
"You're Mine" 76 45 The Four Aces Sing
"Yes Sir, That's My Baby"
b/w "Three Sheets to the Wind" (from The Four Aces Sing)
Non-album tracks
"Half of My Heart"
b/w "When My Sugar Walks Down the Street"
"How Do You Say Goodbye"
b/w "I Would Love You Still"
1958 "Rock and Roll Rhapsody"
b/w "I Wish I May, I Wish I Might"
"Saturday Swing-Out"
b/w "Take My Heart"
"Heartache in Costume"
b/w "Two Arms, Two Lips, One Heart"
"Roses of Rio"
b/w "Hangin' Up a Horseshoe"
"The World Outside"
b/w "How Can You Forget" (from Hits on Broadway)
63 25 18 Beyond the Blue Horizon
"Ol' Fatso"
b/w "Christmas Tree"
Non-album tracks
1959 "No Other Arms, No Other Lips"
b/w "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness"
74 28
"Ciao, Ciao, Bambino"
b/w "Paradise Island" (from Beyond the Blue Horizon)
"The Five Pennies"
b/w "Anyone Would Love You" (from Hits from Broadway)
"Waltzing Matilda"
b/w "The Wonder of It All" (Non-album track)
Beyond the Blue Horizon
"Til Tomorrow"
b/w "I Love Paris" (from Beyond the Blue Horizon)
Non-album tracks
1960 "Poor Butterfly"
b/w "You Are Music"
"Dolce far niente"
b/w "Searching"
1961 "The Ballad of Patrick Henry"
b/w "Me Without You"
1962 "Lonely Hill"
b/w "It's All Over but the Crying"
1963 "Marina"
b/w "When Will You Come Back to Me"
1965 "Dans nos souvenir"
b/w "Dis pourquoi"
1969 "Always Keep Me in Your Heart"
b/w "Didn't We"
120 A Time for Us
"I Started a Joke"
b/w "Summer Won't Be Summer"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or not released in the territory

* "Stranger in Paradise" charted in 1955 in the UK

Awards and recognition[edit]

The Four Aces were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001. The Four Aces were inducted into the Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame in 1988.

Other uses[edit]

In the 1930s a vocal group recorded under the name The Four Aces (A Human Orchestra). They vocalized not only the lyrics but all instrumental parts of their music, recording on the Decca label in the UK.[11]

In 1948–49, Bill Haley fronted a group called the Four Aces of Western Swing – often referred to as simply The Four Aces. The style of music this group played was country and western, and it was with the group that Haley recorded his first singles for the Cowboy Records label in 1948. The group disbanded in 1949, and Haley went on to form The Saddlemen, which later became Bill Haley & His Comets.


  1. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 73. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  2. ^ a b Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 68. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  3. ^ a b Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 55. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  4. ^ a b c d "The Four Aces - Inductees - The Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation". The Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  5. ^ "The Dead Rock Stars Club 2009 July to December".
  6. ^ Naedele, Walter (July 11, 2012). "David A. Mahoney, 86, 1950s singer was one of Four Aces". Philadelphia Media Network. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  7. ^ "Louis P. Silvestri Obituary (2013) Delaware County Daily & Sunday Times". Retrieved August 28, 2021.
  8. ^ "Rosario Vaccaro Obituary". Retrieved April 10, 2013.
  9. ^ "The Four Aces Songs • Top Songs / Chart Singles Discography • Music VF, US & UK hits charts".
  10. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 209. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  11. ^ "78 RPM - The Four Aces (A Human Orchestra) - Diga Diga Doo / Dinah - Decca - UK - F5198". Retrieved August 23, 2014.

External links[edit]