From My Parent’s Generation…Ed Ames

‘There are so many things that I’m interested in.” he explains, “that I never get bored. Learning is a lifelong process: no one ever completes it no one ever should.”-Ed Ames

Ed Ames had a beautiful song that became a hit in the 60s, “My Cup Runneth Over,” and what a voice!  I must’ve seen him on Ed Sullivan and other variety/talk shows. Ed Ames was born today in 1927, Happy 86th Birthday Mr. Ames! He first started out with his brothers in the 40s and they were known as “The Ames Brothers.”  Mr. Ames had several hits, but what is most interesting is that “My Cup Runneth Over” was written by the same team that wrote the very long running Off Broadway Play,“The Fantasticks: Harvey Schmidt & Tom Jones. My parents took both my brother and I to see The Fantasticks in the early 60s on Sullivan Street in the village (Greenwich Village) and then I returned as an adult to see it again and I also took my daughter to see it, so that’s 3X. It’s still considered the WORLD’s longest running musical…over 52 years in NYC!!!!!   Amazing!!! 

While researching Ed Ames, I learned that The Ames Brothers had no tenor voices, which was unusual for a group at that time and also a hindrance to success where audition after audition they were told that “…No one wanted a sound with ‘low voices.’ After several months they met Jacques Wolfe, a composer of African American music and he helped them find work at the all-African American Apollo Theater at 125th Street in Harlem. They were the only Caucasian group and performed African American spiritual songs they had learned from observing African American singing groups and even provided back-up vocals to the great Mahalia Jackson. ‘Each weekend the Apollo held an amateur night and on one occasion a young, skinny, little black girl singer stole the show with her performance. It was Sarah Vaughan, and later we worked together at the Strand Theater on Broadway,” Ames recalled.”Musician Guide

Ed Ames speaks 6 languages and went onto college (BFA, UCLA), a solo singing career, an acting career and is an avid art collector. “He traveled through the Far East for the State Department, as a guest of local governments to help spur interest in ecology and environment as well as care and protection of wildlife. Ed was invited by the Russian Academy of Sciences to film a documentary on Lake Baikal in Siberia. He was part of a team of American and Russian marine biologists and scientists and participated in many important scientific discoveries…Ames remains active in many charitable causes, particularly ecology and the environment, fairness in politics and the plight of the Native American.” –Patterson and Associates

I just revisited “My Cup Runneth Over” and it continues to be a truly beautiful love song and Ed Ames sounds great!


















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