Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
FOUR ACES, The
A British vocal quartet of this name recorded for Decca '34--6; but the more famous quartet (on US Decca) were Americans. Al Alberts and Dave Mahoney met in the US Navy and performed as a duo '46; met Sol Vacarro (also trumpet) and Lou Silvestri (also drums); all from Pennsylvania. Paid for their own first record '(It's No) Sin' on a Victoria label; it peaked at no. 4 '51 but eventually sold a million. Signed to Decca; 'Tell Me Why' (co-written by Alberts and group's arr. Marty Gold) no. 2 (also a hit for Eddie Fisher). Became prototype '50s white male vocal group, sold 20 million records with accent on the upper register; had 20 top 40 hits '51--6, though the shuffle beat on the ballads became monotonous. Hits incl. 'I'm Yours', 'Perfidia', 'Stranger In Paradise' (from Kismet, tune by Alexander Borodin). Some hits were typical street-corner-group fodder: 'The Gang That Sang ''Heart Of My Heart''', 'Wedding Bells Are Breaking Up That Old Gang Of Mine' (25-year-old song by Sammy Fain); others were film themes, incl. their only no. 1 (for six weeks), Fain's film song 'Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing' '55. Minor hits '56--9 with advent of rock'n' roll; Alberts left to go solo mid-'50s.