Ed Ames name wasn’t completely unfamiliar to me (ANDROCLES AND THE LION), but I never dreamt he had such a strong beautiful voice, so this album took me by surprise. More even so because this has an interesting selection that mixes less known songs with famous standards.
Ed began his career as a member of The Ames Brothers, a 50s vocal quartet, and later went on a solo career that took him to the stage, television and recording studios. For this release we have two of his 60s albums, OPENING NIGHT and MORE I CANNOT WISH YOU.
Every one who includes two of my all time favorite song, Jerry Herman’s “It’s Today” from MAME and Vincent Youman’s “Without a Song”, on his album have my complete attention and Ed gives entertaining renditions of both. He is at his best with “If Ever I Would Leave You”, “The Impossible Dream”, “I Believe in You”, “What Kind of Fool Am I?” and with sex changed lyrics (why? This was on the wild 60s) versions of “If He Walked into My Life”, “The Trolley Song” and “As Long as He Needs Me”.
On the stage he starred in THE FANTASTICKS and CARNIVAL, so it’s normal that he sings “Try to Remember” from the first, plus “They Were You”, and “Her Face” from the second. Among other songs, there are rarely recorded songs from Arthur Schwartz & Howard Dietz’s JENNIE, Rick Besoyan’s THE STUDENT GYPSY and Fran Landesman & Tommy Wof’s THE NERVOUS SET. Plus what I think were popular songs of those times, “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” and “Deserted Carousel”.
It’s a pity he didn’t become a big Broadway star. He had the voice, but on those times people weren’t colorblind (or should I say race blind?). He could have been great! But at least we have this CD and, as far as easy listening albums go, this is a good one with dated but entertaining orchestrations.
Rate: 7 (from 1 to 10)