The Four AcesView in iTunes
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One of the most successful pre-rock vocal groups, the Four Aces did well during the early '50s with a narrow range of pop material but burned out before decade's end. Founded by Navy shipmates Al Alberts and Dave Mahoney, the act added Lou Silvestri and Sol Vaccaro before making a name for themselves around their native Philadelphia. After failing to find a distributor for their debut single "(It's No) Sin," Alberts founded his own Victoria label to release the single. It became a big hit in late 1951 and sold a million copies. Signed to Decca before the end of the year, their debut single for the label, "Tell Me Why," just barely missed the top of the charts and sold a million copies as well. A few Top Ten hits followed during the early '50s before the theme to Three Coins in the Fountain hit number one in 1954. Another movie theme, "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing," spent over a month at the top during 1955. For several singles during 1955, the group had been billed as the Four Aces Featuring Al Alberts; one year later, he departed for a solo career (but never even reached the charts). Along with the rise of rock & roll, the Four Aces appeared to be doomed. They scraped the charts with a novelty song ("Bahama Mama") and a rock take-off ("Rock and Roll Rhapsody"), but failed to come through with any hits after 1959. Al Alberts continued to perform into the '90s, leading a newer edition of the act. ~ John Bush