Page 8 THE MALDEN ADVOCATE–Friday, May 17, 2024 ~ Celebrating Jewish History Month in Malden ~ Ed Ames, а legendary singer and actor By Inna Babitskaya L ast May 2023, the famous American singer and actor Ed Ames passed away. He was known as a Boston baritone, one of the Ames Brothers quartet, and a courageous Native American from the “Daniel Boone” TV show. His hits and brilliantly performed dramatic roles are still loved by many Americans. Ed’s childhood and youth Ed Ames (Edmund Dantes Urick) was born on July 9, 1927, in Malden, Massachusetts. He was the youngest child of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine and had four brothers and four sisters. His parents, David Urick/Eurich (1886-1958) and Sarah (Zaslavskaya) Urick (1884-1948), immigrated to the USA in 1905 due to the increased wave of pogroms and discrimination against Jewish people in the Russian Empire. David Gerry D’Ambrosio Attorney-at-Law Is Your Estate in Order? Do you have an update Will, Health Care Proxy or Power of Attorney? If Not, Please Call for a Free Consultation. 14 Proctor Avenue, Revere (781) 284-5657 Ed Ames quickly began to learn English, mostly by reading newspapers. Within two years, he worked for The New York Times. When the Uricks moved to Boston, David found a job as an advertiser and printer. At first, they lived together with Sarah’s mother and siblings. Later, during 15 years, the Uricks lived in Malden: on Mt. Vernon Street, Franklin Street, East13 Trayers St., Malden (Ed Ames’ childhood house) ern Avenue and Bryant Street. Ed was born in their house on 13 Trayes Ave. His elder sister Clara was a Malden High alumni and worked at the Converse Rubber Shoe Company, together with siblings Ethel and Max. In 1929, the Uricks moved to Dorchester, but they never forgot their native city. Years later, when the Ames Brothers performed in Boston, they also visited Malden, looking for familiar landmarks that they had remembered since their childhood. As Ed said, “I guess every performer enjoys coming home.” The Urick family was very poor. Ed recalled that when he was 10 “half the time was spent in hospitals being treated for starvation and malnutrition... My mother would buy a loaf of black Russian bread, which was very tasty. She would take garlic and rub the crust, and that would be our dinner. We were constantly being evicted, put out on the streets, and left to find another place to live.” However, poverty didn’t preBoston Latin School Malden Square vent David and Sarah from teaching their children music and literature. They both were gifted amateur musicians and played stringed instruments. Once a week, Sarah organized improvised music lessons for her children. As Ed Ames said, “I remember those wonderful, cozy afternoons, when my mother would... bribe us by making cookies so that we would sit and listen to the Metropolitan Opera and the great singers of the day... Afterwards... my brothers and I would sing, accompanied by my mother, who played the guitar...” These home musicales taught the Urick brothers to love music and singing, so they often went to a malt shop, where they listened to the jukebox while trying to imitate the singing manner of two popular black vocal groups, the Ink Spots or the Mills Brothers. It is obvious that Sarah Urick was a well-educated woman and a talented teacher. As Ed told Contemporary Musicians, “One of my first memories as a fouryear-old was sitting around with the others and my mother making us read Shakespeare and excerpts from Julius Caesar.” Maybe Sarah’s love for reading inspired her to name her youngest son in honor of Edmond Dantes, the famous hero of Dumas’ novel “The Count of Monte Cristo.” Luckily, Ed’s life doesn’t resemble the sad story of his namesake. Despite poverty, the Uricks were a very friendly and happy family. Ed and his three elder brothers, Joe, Gene and Vic, were very close. Even the eight-year gap between the oldest and the youngest didn’t prevent it: Joe was born in 1921, Gene in 1923 and Vic in 1925. They all liked sports, were very athletic and often played baseball together with their cousin Lennie at a nearby Franklin Field. Gene even wanted to be a baseball player and participated in the semipro circuit in New England. Ed professionally played pingpong, participating in interstate tournaments. He also played center on the basketball team, was a halfback and end on the football team, was a second baseman and outfielder on the baseball team and was even a welterweight boxer. Vic and Joe had more artistic aspirations: Vic wanted to become a comedian actor; Joe, with his unique three-octave range voice, planned to become an opera singer. First steps in Boston: from Urick to the Amory Brothers Ed and his brothers first began to sing very early. Their friends and neighbors remembered seeing them sitting on Franklin Field’s wall and singing. Though they were young (Ed was only 10 years old), they already knew how to sing in four-part harmony. No wonder that Joe, after graduating from Boston Latin and taking a few professional singing lessons, went to New York, where he sang the role of Sarastro in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” during road tours with the Metropolitan Opera Company. Later, the three Urick brothers and their cousin Lennie Kaufman formed the Amory Brothers quartet, after Vic’s middle name. To be continued… (Inna Babitskaya is a Malden historian, a Member of the Malden Historical Commission and author of historical books “From Maldon to Malden,” “Time of Converse” and “Fellsmere Park – Emerald of Malden.”)

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