One of the most popular groups of the late ‘40s and ‘50s, the Ames Brothers were actually the four Urick brothers from Malden, Massachusetts: Ed (lead), Vic (first tenor), Gene (second tenor), and Joe (bass). They were a tight-knit singing quartet, starting as far back as their grammar school days in the 1930s, in spite of diverse interests: Gene wanted to be a baseball player, and made it to the semi-pro circuit in New England. Vic seemed on his way to becoming a serious actor until on of his high school performances had the crowd in stitches, paying the way for a later role as the Ames Brothers’ resident comedian. Ed became a ping-pong perfectionist and won his way into interstate tournament play. Joe had operatic aspirations and turned down several scholarships to continue his music studies.
The Ames Brothers performed in every major club in America, for Ciro’s in Hollywood to the Roxy Theatre in New York, and they appeared regularly as TV guests of Milton Berle, Perry Como, Jackie Gleason, and Ed Sullivan.
Billboard magazine voted them Best Vocal group of the Year in 1958. In 1956 the group charted eight songs (one almost every seven weeks), and did it again in 1958.
Ed eventually left his brothers in the early 1960's to begin a new career.
He studied acting in New York. He started in various productions, not singing for approximately two years. Ed was starring in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, when he was discovered by a Hollywood producer. Ed was asked to provide some pictures of himself including in swimming trunks. He was offered and accepted a role in the television series Daniel Boone.
Ed co-starred in the television series Daniel Boone during the years 1964 to 1968. He played the Oxford educated Cherokee brave Mingo. He befriended Daniel Boone in the first show and accompanied Daniel in the building of Boonesbourgh and on many weekly adventures. Ed wanted to become an actor so he attended the Herbert Berghof Acting School. In 1961 he won the part of 'John Proctor' in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible". Although this production was off Broadway, he was soon on Broadway as El Gallo in "The Fantasticks," and Paul Berthalet in "Carnival". He also was in the national touring company of "Carnival" again with his Broadway co-star Anna Maria Alberghetti. In the non musical role of the Native American Chief Broaden in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" costarring Kirk Douglas, Ed was a critical and popular success. He was so successful that this led to his part of Mingo, an Oxford Educated Native American, and good fiend to Daniel Boone. He played Mingo from 1964-1968 in the "Daniel Boone" series.
During this time he returned to singing. His first solo major hit was "Try to Remember". Ed gives his appearance on the "Johnny Carson Show" singing this song much of the credit for helping in its popularity. Ed's singing and the song was such a hit Ed came back every night for the rest of the week to sing another song.
This naturally leads to the legendary performance on "the Carson Show" of April 29, 1965. Ed showing of his expertise with a tomahawk, threw it at a silhouette of a man. The tomahawk landed squarely in the outlined crotch. After much laughter (still considered by many as the longest in TV history). Carson turned to Ed and said, "I didn't even know you were Jewish."
His other major hits are 1966 "Time, Time, Time,"1967 "My Cup,Runneth Over', a top 10 hit, and 1968 "Who Will Answer?".
He has continued to perform in plays: "South Pacific" "Man of La Mancha", "Fiddler on the Roof", "Shenandoah", "Camelot". "Carousel", and "Romeo and Juliet." Ed also has made many TV guest appearances.
During the 1990's Ed fulfilled a lifelong dream. He acquired a horse ranch in Utah where he raises paints and quarter horses. His time is split between his ranch and home in Beverly Hills.
In 1998 Ed married Jeanne Arnold. Jeanne used to be one of the opening acts for Ed when he sang as a solo act. Ed still gives occasional performances.
Recently Ed has become more involved in community activities. In 2005 Ed Ames became the president of the Los Angeles office of the Zionist Organization of America.Z.O.A.
On May 18, 2008 Ed Ames was named a Hero of Conscience by the American Freedom Alliance.
The American Freedom Alliance’s American Freedom Alliance mission is to promote the free exchange of ideas, freedom of conscience and freedom of inquiry among the practitioners of the world’s religions.