Monday, April 6, 2020

SINGER SPOTLIGHT: THE FOUR ACES

The 1950s were full of singing groups. There was something about a group of women or men singing together that really appealled to audiences in that decade. One of my favorite singing groups of that era were The Four Aces. Over the last half-century, the group amassed many gold records. Its million-selling signature tunes include "Love is a Many-Splendored Thing", "Three Coins in the Fountain","Stranger in Paradise", "Tell Me Why", and "(It's No) Sin". Other big sellers included "Shangri-La", "Perfidia", and "Sincerely". The original members, responsible for every song made popular by the group, included Al Alberts, Dave Mahoney, Lou Silvestri, and Rosario "Sod" Vaccaro.

Alberts went to South Philadelphia High School and Temple University, and served in the United States Navy, where he met Mahoney. Originally, Alberts sang with Mahoney playing behind him, and later they added Vaccaro on trumpet and Silvestri on drums. They played locally in the Philadelphia area, and Alberts started his own record label, Victoria Records, when they could not find a distributor to release their first record, "(It's No) Sin". It sold a million copies, and Decca Records soon signed the group, billing them as The Four Aces featuring Al Alberts.


Alberts left the group in 1958 to try to make it as a soloist, but never made the charts. He was replaced as lead singer by Fred Diodati, who had attended South Philadelphia High School a few years after Alberts. After Alberts had left the group, Mahoney and Vaccaro also left. Silvestri never left the group, but led three new members: Diodati, Tony Alesi, and Joe Giglio. The Original Aces later asked Silvestri to rejoin the original group, and he did.

It was then that Diodati led a new line-up, which consisted of Diodati, Alesi, Giglio, and Harry Heisler. After almost 19 years with the group, Alesi developed a medical condition that forced him to leave the group. As of 2013the Four Aces members are Diodati, Giglio, Heisler, and Danny Colingo. These members sing all the songs the original Four Aces had made popular at one time.


In 1975, Diodati, Alesi, Giglio, and Heisler were awarded the right to the name in a court suit in which the original members tried to re-establish their right. The court allowed the founding members to tour as "The Original Four Aces, Featuring Al Alberts", which they did, finally retiring the act in 1987. Diodati, Giglio, Heisler, and Colingo continue to legally use the name of the Four Aces and perform the songs made popular by the Original Four Aces.

The founding lead singer, Alberts, died of natural causes on November 27, 2009 at age 87. Mahoney died on July 12, 2012 of complications from Alzheimer's Disease at age 86. Silvestri died on January 27, 2013 at age 86. Vaccaro (born in 1922) died on April 5, 2013 at age 90...


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