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Pop vocalist Ed Ames was born Ed Urick in 1927. The youngest of four brothers, he began to sing with Joe, Gene, and Vic in the late '40s. The Ames Brothers hit the Top Ten three times between 1954 and 1957, and starred in their own series in 1955. After the group broke up in 1959, Ames traveled to New York to study acting; he appeared in a few stage productions and then accepted a role in the series Daniel Boone playing Mingo the Indian. He began recording again in 1964, eventually notching seven hits in the charts, including 1967's Top Ten single "My Cup Runneth Over." Twelve albums were eventually released from the mid-'60s to early '70s, including The Best of Ed Ames (1969).
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 including My Cup Runneth Over, Who Will Answer? and When the Snow is on the Roses". He was part of a popular 1950s singing group called the Ames Brothers."Joe Ames, the Eldest Member of the 1950s Singing Group the Ames Brothers, Dies at 86". The New York Times. January 17, 2008.
Early life and career
Ames was born in Malden, Massachusetts, to Jewish parents Sarah (Zaslavskaya) and David Urick (Eurich), who had immigrated from Ukraine. He was the youngest of nine children, five boys and four girls.
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.
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.
The Ames Brothers 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 "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.Tugend, Tom (2005-04-01). "Zionist Organization Sings Way to L.A.". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved 2006-12-13. Wickedlocal.com
In the early 1960s, the Ames Brothers disbanded, and Ed Ames, pursuing a career in acting, studied at the Herbert Berghof 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 were on Broadway. He was in the national touring company of Carnival.
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.
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. His character's father was an English officer. 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. 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
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.Ibdb.com Broadwayworld.com Ctva.biz Ed Ames, throwing a tomahawk. Video on YouTube.
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 "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.
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" became president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Zionist Organization of America.Cite error: The named reference ZOA_sings was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Jewishjournal.com