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PASSINGS: Bernard Birnbaum, Al Alberts

Bernard Birnbaum, former CBS news producer who won seven Emmys, dies at 89; Al Alberts , TV talent show host and founding member of Four Aces singing group, dies at 87

November 29, 2009
  • Associated Press
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Bernard Birnbaum

CBS producer won 7 Emmys

Bernard Birnbaum, 89, a CBS News producer who helped shape the public's view of issues ranging from poverty to the Watergate scandal while working alongside Walter Cronkite and Charles Kuralt, died on Thanksgiving at a hospital in Stony Brook, N.Y., after a heart attack, CBS News said in a statement.

Birnbaum's CBS career earned him seven Emmy Awards and took him to places ranging from Vietnam to the small-town America seen in "On the Road With Charles Kuralt."

As a producer for "The CBS Evening News With Walter Cronkite" and other programs, Birnbaum covered the assassination of President Kennedy, the Vietnam War and Watergate in depth.

Born in Brooklyn on Oct. 18, 1920, he served as a U.S. Army Air Corps combat cameraman during World War II and earned a film degree from New York University.

Birnbaum joined CBS as a lighting director in 1951 and worked into this decade, producing short documentaries for "Sunday Morning."

Al Alberts

TV host, one of Four Aces

Al Alberts, 87, a founding member of the singing group the Four Aces, which recorded such pop hits as "Three Coins in the Fountain" and "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing," died Friday at his home in Arcadia, Fla.

The apparent cause of death was complications from kidney failure, said his son, Chris.

A longtime TV talent show host in Philadelphia, Alberts featured child singers and dancers on his "Al Alberts Showcase" for more than three decades.


FOR THE RECORD:
Al Alberts obituary: The obituary of vocalist Al Alberts in Section A on Nov. 30 said he formed the Four Aces singing group with Dave Mahoney, Lou Silvestri and Sol Vaccaro. Vaccaro's first name was Rosario, and he was known as Sod, not Sol. —

Born Al Albertini in Philadelphia on Aug. 10, 1922, he formed the Four Aces in the late 1940s with his Navy buddy Dave Mahoney, along with Lou Silvestri and Sol Vaccaro.

Their first hit featuring their vocal harmonies came in 1951 with "(It's No) Sin," followed by "Tell Me Why."

The group reached the top of the charts with “Three Coins in the Fountain,” a song written by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn for the 1954 film of the same name.

The Four Aces had another movie-related hit the next year with “Love Is a Many Splendored Thing,” by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster.

The group also sang "A Garden in the Rain," "Mr. Sandman" and "Stranger in Paradise."

Alberts left the Four Aces in the late 1950s to attempt a solo career, but it didn't take off and he turned to television in the late 1960s.

-- times staff and wire reports news.obits@latimes.com

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