Saturday, November 28, 2009

Al Alberts of The Four Aces Had Died At Age 87

Al Alberts, lead singer of the Four Aces, died Friday (November 26) of complications from kidney failure at his Arcadia, Florida retirement home. He was 87. Al also hosted the Saturday morning "Al Alberts Showcase" program for 32 years on WPVI-TV in Philadelphia. Born Al Albertini in south Philadelphia in 1922, he got his start like many Philadelphia teens on local TV's "Horn & Hardart Children's Hour" there. He went on to attend Temple University before joining the Navy, where he met Dave Mahoney. After their service was up, they recruited Sod Vaccaro and Lou Silvestri and in 1951 first recorded on their own label-- Victoria-- out of Chester, Pennsylvania. The success of their first release, "Sin," (#4) led to a contract with Decca Records, where they charted 43 more times, with 18 more top 20 hits, including "Three Coins In The Fountain" (#1-1954), "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing" (#1-1955), "Tell Me Why" (#2-1952), "Melody Of Love" (#3-1955) and "Stranger In Paradise" (#3-1954). Despite top billing on their recordings, Al left for a solo career in 1958. He never charted again and the group, with Fred Diodati on lead, only managed two minor chart hits without him. In 1962 he began his television program which, like the show he began on, featured area child singers and dancers. From 1975 to 1987, Al toured with "The Original Four Aces, Featuring Al Alberts," a name they won the rights to in a court battle with a later incarnation of the group. He retired from television in 1994 and moved to Florida in 2000. Al and the Four Aces were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001.

My thanks to Ron Smith at Oldies Music for this sad news.