He began his career on radio, including working at WNEW in New York City. He moved up to minor screen roles during World World War II as a contract player with Warner Brothers and later as a freelance performer, mostly in Westerns. Subsequently he appeared in supporting roles in both feature films and television
He was well known for his 1957 hit single, "Cinco Robles (Five Oaks)", which entered the charts on January 12, 1957 and stayed there for 15 weeks, peaking at Number.
22. In 1957, he released the album Where Can A Wanderer Go, on the Era label. From 1952 to 1957, he was best known as a vocalist on Your Hit Parade, an National Broadcasting Company television series that reviewed the popular songs of the day and on which a regular cast of vocalists would perform the top seven songs of the week.
Arms and Eileen Wilson (who starred on the show from 1950 to 1952) were the only surviving lead performers from the show until Arms" death in 2012. He authored an autobiography in 2005, My Hit Parade.. and a Few Misses.
Arms made three guest appearances on Perry Mason, including the roles of Attorney Everett Dorrell in the 1960 episode The Case of the Credulous Quarry, and Roger Correll in the 1963 episode The Case of the Greek Goddess.
Arms played the role of Chester Finley in the 1953 film By the Light of the Silvery Moon, as the piano instructor and hopeful suitor to Doris Day. In 1976, Arms appeared in an episode of the National Broadcasting Company dramatic series Gibbsville. A 1958 newspaper story about Arms noted, "Although Arms started in show business as an actor, he became a singer "by accident," and now he can"t get anyone to believe he can acting
"I"m now in the process of proving them wrong," he said." He was a graduate of the Signal Corps OCS program out of Fort
Monmouth, New Jersey (1941-1946) and again at Fort Monmouth (1951-1953).