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- Posted on Nov 28th 2009 12:30PM by Liz Colville
Alberts was born Al Albertini in Chester, Pa. in 1922 and attended high school in Philadelphia. As a teenager, Alberts appeared on the children's radio show 'Horn and Hardart Children's Hour.'
After high school, Alberts attended Temple University and enlisted in the Navy, where he met future Four Aces member Dave Mahoney.
The pair formed the Four Aces in 1949. Adding members Lou Silvestri and Sol Vaccaro, the group started gaining notice in Philadelphia, releasing their first single '(It's No) Sin' in 1951.
After unsuccessfully shopping around for a label for the track, Alberts formed his own label, Victoria. The song became a hit in late 1951, selling one million copies.
The group then signed to Decca, releasing the single 'Tell Me Why,' which nearly topped the charts and also sold a million copies. The next few singles didn't have as much success, but still charted in the top ten.
Their next big success came with the theme song for 1954's 'Three Coins In The Fountain,' to date one of their most memorable songs, a number-one hit, and an Oscar-winner for Best Original Song. It was also a successful single for Frank Sinatra that same year.
The group also performed the Oscar-winning theme for the 1955 film 'Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing' starring William Holden and Jennifer Jones. The single stayed at number one for a month.
That year, the group billed itself as the Four Aces Featuring Al Alberts, which was a sign of things to come: the following year, Alberts left the group to pursue solo work. Meanwhile, rock and roll was on the rise. While the Four Aces continued to have a few chart-worthy singles over the next few years, success was slow to come after 1959.
In total, the Four Aces sold more than 50 million records and had 30 hits in the Top 40.
Alberts' solo career led to some notable hits including 'On The Way To Cape May.' Alberts and his wife, Stella, lived in Cape May, N.J. for many years. Alberts spent some time touring, including a number of dates in Asia.
Alberts' second career began in the 1960s with the 'Al Alberts Showcase,' a Sunday afternoon talent show for kids broadcast on Philadelphia's Channel 6. Alberts and his wife developed the concept of the show. Running for 35 years, it helped promote the careers of stars including Sister Sledge, according to the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia biography of Alberts.
Alberts and his wife also hosted a Sunday evening radio show called 'Harmony,' recorded in their home and mailed to Philadelphia's WPEN.
Alberts and his wife retired to the Gulf Coast of Florida in 2001. He is survived by his wife and two sons.