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Ames Brothers, The

The Ames Brothers were a singing quartet from Massachusetts (USA) who became famous in the 1950s for their traditional pop music hits.

The Ames Brothers consisted of Joe (1921 – 2007), Gene (1923 – 1997), Vic (1925 – 1978) and Ed (1927 – ).

Born into a musically talented family, the boys were brought up on classical and operatic music. Their parents were Russian Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine who read Shakespeare and semi-classics to their nine children from the time they were old enough to listen.


The brothers had been touring US Army and Navy bases as the Amory Brothers, entertaining the troops when they took their act to New York and got a job with bandleader Art Mooney.

One day while at Leeds Publishing Company in search of a song called Should I? (that their mother had asked them to sing) Milt Gabler of Decca Records heard them singing and had them cut some tracks for Decca.

In 1949, The Ames Brothers were the first artists to record for Coral Records and were swept into national top billing with their first hit record, Rag Mop, in January 1950.

The brothers became regulars on shows such as The Arthur Godfrey Hour, and they were one of the first acts to appear on the original Ed Sullivan Show when it was known as Toast of the Town.

The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane (November 1954) epitomised the clean-cut nature of the group. What sounded like a celebration of a town harlot turned out to be about a baby . . .

Soon, they were the top paid group in nightclubs nationwide, and in 1956 they starred in their own show, The Ames Brothers Show, which was seen on Friday nights. It was the first syndicated television show to be shown in foreign countries.

In 1958, they released an album called Destination Moon, which contained songs exclusively related to stars and space. On the cover, they were shown standing – in tuxedos – on the surface of the Moon.

Over their fifteen year career, their work notched up 50 American chart entries.

The group disbanded in the 1960s but Ed Ames went on with a successful singing and acting career, including playing Daniel Boone’s sidekick, Mingo, on the popular Daniel Boone television series.

They were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998.

Joe Ames
Gene Ames

Vic Ames

Ed Ames