Sam Ash

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Curly-haired singer and entertainer Sam Ash was fairly busy in Broadway musicals of the 1910s and 1920s. His most famous numbers include the nonsensical duo with Grace Nash entitled "Rackety-Koo'" from…
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Curly-haired singer and entertainer Sam Ash was fairly busy in Broadway musicals of the 1910s and 1920s. His most famous numbers include the nonsensical duo with Grace Nash entitled "Rackety-Koo'" from the 1915 Katrinka and the enthusiastic solo "Oh, What a Girl!" from the show of the same name; he also appeared in Some Party and The Passing Show, both from 1922. Sam Ash was a prolific singer on early records, beginning with Columbia in 1915 and continuing to make them into the early '20s; he made more sides for Columbia's Little Wonder subsidiary than did his contemporary Henry Burr, and also recorded for Gennett, Grey Gull, and numerous other small independent labels of the era.

Save a sole Broadway credit in 1931 in the operetta The Singing Rabbi -- which lasted all of three performances -- from 1929 forward Sam Ash was based in Hollywood. Ash had hundreds of bit parts, playing just about every type of individual who could find his way onto the pages of a screenplay; when the crowd rushes the bank trying to get their money back en masse in It's a Wonderful Life, Ash is the nervous teller trying to calm everyone down. Fans of the wonderful actor Peter Lorre may never forgive Ash for being one of the detectives who tracks the pint-sized fiend down in Mad Love. Onscreen Ash dropped just about everywhere, but he was not given a chance to sing; this part of his performing activity he tried to keep up separately from the acting jobs. In the 1940s, Ash was busy as a contract player on serials such as The Masked Marvel, Captain America, and Dick Tracy.