"I've had so many career highlights, they are too numerous to mention," said Ed Rambeau, and in his case, that may actually be an understatement for the accomplished 70-year-old performer and artist.
Indeed, Rambeau -- who says, "I've always been interested in some form of the arts" -- has been involved in the fields of singing, painting, photography, Broadway acting, songwriting, radio disc jockey and book writing, among other things.
He was born Edward Cletus Fluri in Hazelton, Pa., on June 30, 1943, developed an early interest in music, and while performing in a high-school musical that he had written, he met songwriter-musician Bud Rehak, who saw Ed's potential and signed him to a contract and became his first manager. With such things as sock hops and record hops being in vogue at the time, Rehak booked Ed into numerous such events in the area, and the youngster began to hone his talents performing before audiences, and he began to draw attention from several area disc jockeys.
One of those DJs, Jim Ward, set up an audition for Fluri with Swan Records in 1961, and the young singer was signed by the label immediately. But the powers that be at Swan weren't convinced that Ed Fluri was a marketable name, and he was re-christened Eddie Rambeau.
On his high-school graduation day in June 1961, Swan released Rambeau's first single ("Skin Divin'"), and at the age of 18, he relocated to Philadelphia, where Swan Records was based.
The following year, Rambeau recorded two more Swan singles -- "My Four Leaf Clover Love" and "Summertime Guy" -- but none of them met with more than some regional success. However, in late 1962, along with Frank Slay Jr. and Rehak, Rambeau wrote a song ("The Push And Kick") that became a No. 27 national Billboard Magazine pop chart hit for Mark Valentino.
Rambeau had several other successes in the recording industry, including his 1965 rendition of "Concrete and Clay", which made it to No. 35 on Billboard. It's the same song that was originally recorded by a British group called Unit Four Plus Two, but Rambeau covered the song on DynoVoice Records, and his version came out shortly before the British recording was released by another label in America. Both "Concrete and Clay" singles jockeyed neck and neck on Billboard, until Unit Four Plus Two prevailed with a No. 28 peak listing.
As a composer, his biggest success was a single recorded by Diane Renay titled "Navy Blue", which ascended to No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1964. The previous year, Rambeau relocated to New York City and began writing songs with Bob Crewe, who was also affiliated with Swan Records, and "Navy Blue" was co-written by Rambeau, Crewe and Rehak. A few months later, Rambeau and Rehak composed Renay's follow-up single ("Kiss Me Sailor"), and that song was a No. 29 springtime charter.
In addition to Valentino and Renay, other artists who recorded songs written by Rambeau include Englebert Humperdinck ("If I Were You"), Shirley Matthews ("Stop the Clock"), The Four Seasons ("Only Yesterday"), and Dee Dee Sharp ("Deep Dark Secret").
By the early '70s, Rambeau began to concentrate more on acting, and he appeared in the Broadway production of "Hair" and was a cast member of "Jesus Christ, Superstar." And during the '80s and '90s, he resumed live performing, primarily as a singer of easy listening and Broadway shoe tunes on cruise ships.
"Actually, I'm rather inactive as a performer at the moment," Rambeau said. "I used to do cruise ships quite a bit, but since my agent passed away, I haven't done them in a while."
In recent years, Rambeau has added painting and photography to his primary activities. "Until I recently turned to photography, when digital came into the picture, I was always interested in some form of the arts," he said. Although I'm still recording, my interest in photography is looming forward."
In the meantime, he has continued to record and market his own albums on cassette and CD, and he keeps in touch with his fan base via interviews, personal appearances and the Internet. He also has a bimonthly radio show, which airs on Friday nights on www.oldiesyourway.com
"Things are going very well for me right now," Rambeau said. "I'm now concentrating on writing, and I've already had my first book published. My outlook for the future would be to continue being successful at what I'm doing, especially with regard to my new writing career."
His first book is a murder mystery titled "Forbidden Steps", which is receiving many good reviews on Amazon.com. The book can be purchased via a Web site link by clicking here.
To read more about Ed Rambeau, who now lives in the upper west side of Manhattan, you may visit his Web site by clicking here.
Some songs recorded by Eddie Rambeau (to hear, click on title)
- "SKIN DIVIN'" (1961) ... his first release on the Swan label, with backing by Frank Slay's orchestra
- "MY FOUR LEAF CLOVER LOVE" (1962) ... his second release on Swan, again with the Frank Slay Orchestra
- "SUMMERTIME GUY" (1962) ... written by Chuck Barris, who later used an instrumental version as the theme for "The Newlywed Game"
- "THOSE GOLDEN OLDIES" (Marci Jo & Eddie Rambeau, 1963) ... a duet on Swan, with Frank Slay's orechestra, arranged by Walt Gates
- "COME CLOSER" (1964) ... his only release on the 20th Century Fox label, with backup vocals by The Four-Evers
- "CONCRETE AND CLAY" (1965) ... a cover of the Unit Four Plus Two song and a No. 35 Billboard charter for Rambeau
- "YESTERDAY'S NEWSPAPERS" (1966) ... from the "Concerete And Clay" album, and also a single on DynoVoice
- "WHO WILL BUY/WHERE IS LOVE" (1968) ... a sunshine pop song arranged and conducted by Lee Holdridge on the Bell label
Songs written or co-written by Eddie Rambeau
- "THE PUSH AND KICK" (Mark Valentino, 1962, Swan)
- "NAVY BLUE" (Diane Renay, 1964, 20th Century Fox)
- "KISS ME SAILOR" (Diane Renay, 1964, 20th Century Fox)
- "HANGIN' ON TO MY BABY" (Tracey Dey, 1964, Amy)
- "DEEP DARK SECRET" (Dee Dee Sharp, 1964, Cameo)
- "ONLY YESTERDAY" (The Four Seasons, 1964)
- "STOP THE CLOCK" (Shirley Matthews, 1965)
- "SHADOWS ON A FOGGY DAY" (Frank Sinatra Jr.,1967)
- "IF I WERE YOU" (Engelbert Humperdinck, 1967)