Vocal group The Four Aces came together in 1951 when Al Albertini hooked up with Dave Mahoney – who he had met during their time in the US Navy – who happened to live near Al’s hometown of Darby, Pennsylvania.
With Al changing his name to “Alberts” – and with the addition of Sod Vaccaro and Lou Silvestri – The Four Aces were born.
They were approached by young songwriters George Haven and Chester S Hull with a song called (It’s No) Sin. When the Aces recorded it but couldn’t get a recording company to release it, they formed their own company – The Victoria Publishing Company – and Sin became one of the most popular recordings in the country, catapulting The Four Aces to fame and earning them a record contract with Decca.
They were presented with a gold record for their first Decca single, Tell Me Why (which they had written themselves) and followed this up with hit after hit, including Love is a Many Splendoured Thing, There’s Only Tonight, Three Coins in a Fountain, Stranger in Paradise and many others.
Alberts left the group in 1958 to try (unsuccessfully) for a solo career. He was replaced as lead singer by Fred Diodati. Mahoney and Vaccaro also left the group shortly after, leaving Silvestri as the only original member, now joined by Tony Alesi and Joe Giglio.
In 1975, Diodati, Alesi, Giglio, and Harry Heisler were awarded the right to the group name in a lawsuit in which the original members tried to recover the name and rights. The court allowed the founding members to tour as “The Original Four Aces Featuring Al Alberts”, which they did until finally retiring the act in 1987.
Diodati has led touring versions of The Four Aces ever since.
Founder and original lead singer Al Alberts died of natural causes on 27 November 2009, aged 87. Dave Mahoney died on 12 July 2012 of complications from Alzheimer’s disease, at the age of 86. Lou Silvestri died on 27 January 2013, aged 86, and Sod Vaccaro died on 5 April 2013, aged 90.
Al Alberts (Albertini)
Vocals, piano. organ