THE INK SPOTS (By Steve Walker)
Ivory "Deek" Watson (lead tenor) (born Mounds, Illinois, 18 July, 1909, died Washington, DC, 4 November,1969)
Bill Kenny (lead tenor from 1936) (born Philadelphia, 12 June, 1914, died Vancouver, 23 March, 1978)
Jerry Daniels (first tenor until 1936) (born 14 December, 1915, died Indianapolis, 7 November, 1995)
Charlie Fuqua (second tenor/baritone and guitar) (born 20 October, 1910, died New Haven, CT, 21 December, 1971)
Orville "Hoppy" Jones (bass vocal and bass/cello) (born Chicago, 17 February, 1902 (some sources say 1905), died New York City, 18 October, 1944)
Herb Kenny (bass vocal from March 1945) (born Philadelphia, 12 June 1914, died 11 July, 1992)
Described by Charlie Gillett in "The Sound Of The City" as being "the major model for imitation of groups of this period" when discussing the development of the r&b vocal groups of the 1950's, the Ink Spots, along with the Mills Brothers, can rightly be cast in the role of pioneers in this field. As an example relevant to the SAO years, Buck Ram was such a fan that he declared that his ambition, on taking the Platters to Mercury, was to make the group "the new Ink Spots". The quavering high tenor of Bill Kenny foreshadowed hundreds of street-corner leads to come, and the sweet harmonies of Charlie Fuqua, Deek Watson, and bass Hoppy Jones (who died in 1944) backed him flawlessly. However, the ballad style for which they gained fame was not part of their original sound.
The original group members were:
- Ivory "Deek" (Deacon) Watson (lead), formerly of the swing group the Four Riff Brothers (1929-1933), a vocal band influenced by Duke Ellington and McKinney's Cotton Pickers, and before that the Percolating Puppies (1928), who played a small tea pot, a medium coffee pot, a very large coffee pot and guitars,
- Charlie Fuqua (second tenor and baritone), the uncle of the Moonglows' Harvey Fuqua. It was Charlie who also played the simple guitar introduction to most of the Ink Spots' biggest hits and also some excellent guitar solos on the group's earlier recordings,
- Jerry Daniels (first tenor), who sang with Charlie Fuqua in the vaudeville team Charlie and Jerry.
Charlie and Jerry had started out harmonizing and playing guitar and ukulele (Jerry) and four-string banjo and guitar (Charlie). Charlie had a shoeshine stand opposite the Stutz Bearcat automobile factory in Indianapolis, where he and Jerry performed for the factory workers. In 1933, Deek Watson met Charlie and Jerry at the Majestic Hotel in Cleveland and shortly thereafter, they formed a trio called the Swingin' Gate Brothers, later re-named King, Jack and Jester (Deek Watson was the Jester). The newly-formed group launched their career at the Club Madrid in Cleveland and via radio broadcasts on WHK. At the end of 1933, they moved on to Cincinnati, broadcasting regularly on WLW and WSAI until July 1934. At this time, mid 1934, one of the aforementioned Four Riff Brothers, Orville "Hoppy" Jones, joined the group on bass vocals and stand-up slap bass - actually a re-tuned cello. As King, Jack and Jesters (now plural) they came to New York in 1934 and immediately ran into a name conflict with the already famous Paul Whiteman orchestra group, the King's Jesters. The problem was solved by Harlem's Savoy Ballroom owner and new group manager, Moe Gale, who thought up the name the Four Ink Spots.
The first-known Ink Spots stage appearance was at the Apollo Theatre in New York City. An advertisement in the "Amsterdam News" on 4 August, 1934, lists the Four Ink Spots as a support group for Tiny Bradshaw and His Orchestra (3-9 August). The group received some further early exposure from an appearance in "Oh, What A Business", a film short (now sadly lost), starring the comedy team of Smith & Dale. The Four Ink Spots sang "Tiger Rag" and "Don't 'Low No Swingin' In Here". On 29 September 1934, the group left New York on the "Ile De France" to tour the UK with Jack Hylton's Band, appearing in Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham and at the London Palladium. Hylton had originally wanted The Spirits Of Rhythm (a similar "jive" group featuring scat singer Leo Watson) but they were unavailable. From the "Melody Maker" of 20 October, 1934: "The sensation of the programme, however, is the coloured quartette, the Four Ink Spots. They sing in a style something between the Mills Brothers and the Three Keys, and accompany themselves on three tenor guitars and a cello, which is not bowed, but picked and slapped like a double bass. Their natural instinct for hot rhythm is exemplified in their terrific single-string solo work and their beautifully balanced and exquisitely phrased vocalisms. They exploit all kinds of rhythmic vocalisms - straight solos, concerted, scat, and instrumental imitations. They even throw in a bit of dancing to conclude their act, and the leading guitarist simultaneously plays and juggles with his instrument." Also included on the same bill was Tessie O'Shea. The group eventually arrived back in New York on 26 December, 1934 via the "Queen Mary".
The Ink Spots' first studio recording took place on January 4, 1935, at RCA Studios, and in the same month RCA issued their first release, "Swingin' On The Strings" c/w "Your Feet's Too Big" (RCA-Victor 24851). Both are light-hearted "scat" performances containing plenty of allusions to Louis Armstrong ("Oh you dog, you") with Deek Watson on lead vocals. This release was followed a couple of months later with "Don't 'Low No Swingin' In Here" c/w "Swing, Gate Swing" (RCA-Victor 24876). On 25 February 1935, the Ink Spots made their radio broadcasting debut on New York's WJZ radio, which was relayed coast-to-coast on NBC's Blue Network. In many of these early broadcasts, the Ink Spots were not credited by name in newspaper listings, but rather as a Novelty Negro Quartet. These broadcasts (11:30 pm Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays), and also those on Station WEAF, continued on a regular basis from 1935 onwards. The first-known instance of what was to become Hoppy Jones' trademark "patter" was on one of these radio shows during a performance of "Did You Ever See A Dream Walking?" (9 August, 1935). On the broadcast of the 8 November, 1935 they headlined with the Chick Webb Orchestra featuring Ella Fitzgerald, who was later to collaborate with the group on several fine recordings.
In early 1936, the Ink Spots were joined by tenor Bill Kenny, who manager Moe Gale had discovered when Bill won an amateur contest at the Savoy Ballroom. Bill Kenny's vocal approach was influenced by one of his idols, the Irish tenor Morton Downey. With the addition of this new member, Jerry Daniels left the group and returned to Indianapolis, later singing with local acts like the Deep Swingin' Brothers and the Three Shades. When the Ink Spots appeared for a week's residency at the Apollo, NYC from 1-7 May, 1936, they were given top billing and a week later, having signed a new recording contract with Decca, they were in the studio (12 May) to wax "T'ain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do" and a re-recording of "Your Feet's Too Big," on which Bill Kenny's high tenor can be heard for the first time as the boys pass the lead vocal around amongst themselves. The recordings were issued as the first two sides for their new label (Decca 817, June 1936) and the group began doing package shows with other Moe Gale acts like Ella Fitzgerald and Moms Mabley.
On 6 November, 1936, the group hit another landmark when they performed on the first NBC/RCA live television demonstration, thus becoming the first black performers to appear on television in the USA. The 40-minute programme was broadcast from the transmitter on top of the Empire State Building and was received on the 62nd floor of the RCA building in the first live demonstration conducted for the Press. Over the next two years the group, with Deek Watson usually on lead, tried everything from Gershwin ("Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" featuring Bill Kenny's high tenor) to vocal versions of big-band tunes like "Stompin' at the Savoy" (with bass Hoppy Jones taking the lead, predating Jimmy Ricks' Ravens by a decade). By the end of 1938, after ten singles, nothing had really grabbed the public's interest, although in hindsight, there were some interesting group harmony moments in amongst these recordings. "Keep Away>From My Doorstep" (Decca 1036, December 1936) swings along in a similar way to many of their records of this time, but the harmonies in the background are superb. Additionally, many of these early recordings featured some fine guitar solos by Charlie Fuqua, notably in "Yes Suh!" (Decca 1731, February 1937) and "With Plenty Of Money And You" (Decca 1154, March 1937).
The 1938 recording "When The Sun Goes Down" (Decca 1870, May 1938) has an instrumental bass solo from Hoppy Jones in place of the usual Charlie Fuqua guitar solo. It also has a distinctly "doo-wop" backing chorus behind Deek Watson's bluesy lead ("diddley-ooh-dah") and then, for good measure, gives an early instance of "fade-out" at the end of a record. There's more good vocal harmony backing on the other side of the disc, "I Wish You The Best Of Everything", recorded at the same session. The group was on the verge of calling it quits as bookings were down and record sales had never been up. Then, on January 12, 1939, the history of popular music took an important turn thanks to a young aspiring songwriter named Jack Lawrence. He brought a composition he'd written to an Ink Spots session that was supposed to be for the recording of a jive song, "Knock-Kneed Sal." The group worked up Lawrence's ballad, "If I Didn't Care" with Bill Kenny doing his now-famous quivering tenor lead and Hoppy Jones improvising his talking bass bridge.
Issued in February of 1939, by 15 April the song had charted in Billboard and reached number two within weeks, selling a million copies to a broad spectrum of listeners. The group were paid $37.50 for the recording. When sales took off, Decca had to destroy the original contract, when sales reached 200,000, and the boys were paid an additional $3,750. The unusual combination of Bill Kenny's lead tenor and Hoppy Jones' recitation was not, as legend has it, stumbled upon by lucky chance at this recording session. Several 1938 radio broadcasts have survived where Bill wavers and quavers and Hoppy Jones speaks a chorus in classic Ink Spots style, the earliest being a WEAF broadcast of 15 February, 1938 singing "Tune In On My Heart". What is not in doubt, is that from "If I Didn't Care" onwards, with a few exceptions, this formula would become the acknowledged style of the Ink Spots and that Bill Kenny's soaring tenor lead would pave the way for Sonny Til of the Orioles, Maithe Marshall of the Ravens, Rudy West of the Five Keys, Nate Nelson of the Flamingos, Curtis Mayfield of the Impressions and countless others. Unfortunately, this new format also meant that future Charlie Fuqua guitar solos were the exception rather than the rule, although he could always be heard strumming the simple introduction which is so familiar on all of the Ink Spots hits (and which are so similar to each other that you're never quite sure which song is about to follow).
But it's not just in the obviously startling sound of the lead singer that "If I Didn't Care" is so influential. It's worth listening to the intricate harmonies woven by the rest of the group as Bill warbles away, wonderfully underpinned by Hoppy Jones' bass voice, and then further to the harmonizing behind Hoppy's spoken part, where Bill Kenny's high-pitched wordless style is a very direct influence on what was to follow in the next 15-20 years. Hit after hit in the style of "If I Didn't Care" followed from the Ink Spots, including these in 1939: "Address Unknown" (their first #1, Decca 2707), "My Prayer" (#3, Decca 2790) and "Bless You (For Being An Angel)" (#15, Decca 2841). A fine double-sider which didn't make the charts in 1939 was "It's Funny To Everyone But Me" (another Jack Lawrence song) c/w "Just For A Thrill" (Decca 2507), the latter with lead vocal by Deek Watson.
During 1940, the Ink Spots could do no wrong. Their hit parade appearances included the under-rated "Memories Of You" (#29, Decca 2966), and such all-time classics as "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" (#26, Decca 3077 - with a nice Deek Watson-led "Coquette" on the "B"-side), "When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano" (#4, Decca 3195), "Maybe" (#2) c/w "Whispering Grass (Don't Tell The Trees) (#10, Decca 3258), "We Three (My Echo, My Shadow And Me)" (#1, Decca 3379) and the excellent "Java Jive" (Deek Watson lead) (#15, Decca 3432) which was coupled with "Do I Worry" (#8). An enjoyable, bluesy Deek Watson-led record which didn't make it at this time was "Puttin' And Takin'" (Decca 3468). Another fine side from 1940 which didn't touch the charts was "I'll Never Smile Again (Until I Smile At You)" (Decca 3346), later revived by the Platters. The group broke attendance records wherever they appeared, performing with Glenn Miller's Orchestra, Lucky Millinder's Band, and countless others. They made films like "The Great American Broadcast" in 1941 and Abbott and Costello's romp, "Pardon My Sarong" where they sang "Do I Worry", "Java Jive", "Shout, Brother, Shout" and "Dreamboat" (clips from both movies can be seen at: http://www.group-harmony.com/video.htm#inks )
In 1941 the hits continued: "Do I Worry" (#8, Decca 3432), "Until The Real Thing Comes Along" (#24, Decca 3958), "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire" (#4, Decca 3987) and "Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat" (#17, Decca 4045). Not all the Ink Spots' goodies made the charts in 1941: "Ring Telephone Ring" (Decca 3626) (co-written by Buck Ram), "That's When Your Heartaches Begin" (Decca 3720) and "It's A Sin To Tell A Lie" (Decca 4201) were records that inexplicably failed to capture enough of the public's coin to place them in the sales lists of the time.>From August 1942 to September 1943 the musician's union strike put a halt to any new recordings, but the Ink Spots still placed four singles on the charts (out of only five releases), including "Ev'ry Night About This Time" (#17 Pop and #6 in the newly-published R&B charts, Decca 18461), "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" (Deek Watson lead) (#2 Pop and #1 R&B, Decca 18503), "If I Cared a Little Bit Less" (#20 Pop and #10 R&B, Decca 18528), and "I'll Never Make the Same Mistake Again" (#19 Pop, Decca 18542). The group's arranger during most of the war years was Bill Doggett, who went on to work with Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Jordan, and his own combo in 1952. List-members will know him best for his 1956 hits "Honky Tonk" and "Slow Walk". In mid-1943 Charlie Fuqua was drafted into the Army and hand-picked his replacement, his childhood buddy Bernie Mackey who had played guitar with Bunny Berigan's band. Bernie's style was similar to Charlie's, and his contributions caused little disruption to the group's routine.
The Ink Spots' first visit to the studio after the Petrillo strike ended was on 3 November, 1943 to record the first of several collaborations with Ella Fitzgerald. The result was a great take on Freddie Slack's "Cow Cow Boogie" (Decca 18587), which reached #10 Pop and #1 R&B when it was released in early 1944. As the year progressed, the hits kept on coming: "A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening" (#16, Decca 18583), "I'll Get By (As Long As I Have You)" (#7 Pop and #4 R&B) c/w "Someday I'll Meet You Again" (#14, Decca 18579) and two more with Ella Fitzgerald - the double-sider "Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall" c/w "I'm Making Believe" (#1 in both Pop and R&B charts, Decca 23356) and "I'm Beginning To See The Light" (#5, Decca 23399) from early 1945. These recordings with Ella Fitzgerald would have had some influence on the late 1940's/early 1950's recordings of female singers backed by male vocal groups, such as Savannah Churchill (with the Striders and the Four Tunes), Bette McLaurin (with the Striders), Dinah Washington (with Jimmy Ricks of the Ravens), Maggie Hathaway (with the Robins), Dorothy Logan (with the Gems), Little Esther (with the Robins), Celestine Stewart (with the Charmers), Ruth Brown (with the Delta Rhythm Boys), Varetta Dillard (with The Four Students) and Bunny Paul (with the Harptones). A 1944 radio poll voted the Ink Spots the number two favourite singing unit behind Fred Waring's Glee Club and ahead of greats like the Andrews Sisters. It wasn't all plain-sailing however. Despite their record-breaking popularity with live performances, there was also criticism from some sections of the press regarding their presentation.
Here is part of the review of their week's residency at the Orpheum, Los Angeles, taken from Metronome, June 1944: "Then the spots before my eyes. It's the same old act for the Spots, and its quality is the nadir of everything. Billy Kenny's phoney falsetto and grotesque use of hands, the Jim Crow "roll yo eyes, bo" of two of the Spots, and the smug, overconfident sureness of all four totalled up to a nauseating sum. Yes, the crowd enjoyed their songs. But the crowd enjoyed [Cootie] Williams' band and Miss [Ella] Fitzgerald's songs, too. The Spots, all four, had better work fast and grab all the moo they can. It's a natural fact that they can't go on fooling the public forever!" Another reviewer wrote that the Ink Spots used an Uncle Tom routine which Negroes regarded as degrading and this charge followed Deek Watson for the remainder of his career.
In June 1944, during an engagement in Chicago, Hoppy Jones became ill and the group had to finish a tour without him (with Deek Watson filling in on the mandatory talking parts). This had unsuspected ramifications. Hoppy was the conciliatory father figure (nicknamed "the grand old man") of the Ink Spots. Now that he was missing, in-fighting between Bill Kenny and Deek Watson, which had formerly just smouldered, flared up unchecked. Deek had been the leader of the group until "If I Didn't Care" took the world by storm. Since then, Bill had firmly established himself in the forefront of the Ink Spots, pushing Deek further and further into the background. One of the main bones of contention was that Deek Watson wanted to keep his vaudeville part of the Ink Spots act. Bill Kenny, a balladeer, sought to be rid of the clowning, mugging and ad-lib remarks in favour of a more sophisticated approach.
If you would like to see an extreme illustration of Deek Watson's style, albeit from a few years later with the Brown Dots (Pat Best, Deek Watson, Jimmie Nabbie and Jimmy Gordon), you can see a clip from the movie "Boy! What A Girl" at http://www.group-harmony.com/rumors.htm (scroll down to the bottom of the page - download or stream). Hoppy returned in August, but by then, the damage had been done. After an engagement at the State Theatre in Hartford (probably in September), Deek Watson quit the Ink Spots and was replaced by Bill (Butterball) Bowen at the beginning of October. Almost immediately Deek Watson began putting together his own competing Ink Spots group. Unfortunately, the worst was yet to come. On October 18, 1944, Hoppy Jones collapsed on stage and died after being taken home. It turned out that he had been having cerebral haemorrhages for over a year. Hoppy was replaced for a short spell by former Golden Gate Quartet member Cliff Givens, before Cliff himself was replaced by Herb Kenny (Bill's twin brother) in April 1945. At the end of October, Deek Watson tried to return to the Ink Spots; Bill Kenny refused to allow him back on stage. This triggered a complex array of legal machinations, which unfolded throughout late 1944 (and paved the way for lawsuits throughout the 1950s and 1960s). Suits and counter-suits followed, and courtrooms became the place for memorable, albeit non-musical, performances.
In an out-of-court settlement on 8 January, 1945, it was agreed that no group could use the Ink spots name unless Bill Kenny was a member. As a result, Deek Watson renamed his new group the Brown Dots and they made their debut on 1 February, 1945 at the Plantation Club, St. Louis. The Brown Dots were best known as the originators of Nat King Cole's hit "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons". In November 1945 Charlie Fuqua returned from the forces to replace Bernie Mackey (Huey Long, who never recorded with the group, had sat in for a six month spell). The revised aggregation of Ink Spots (Bill Kenny, Bill Bowen, Charlie Fuqua, Herb Kenny) returned to the charts in 1946 with the group's career best-selling record, "The Gypsy" (Decca 18817) which remained at #1 on the Pop and R&B charts for 13 weeks. The follow-up is my personal favourite Ink Spots double-sider, a couple of 1930's revivals - "Prisoner Of Love" (worked over by James Brown in the early '60's) c/w "I Cover The Waterfront" (updated only two years later by Sonny Til & The Orioles). "Prisoner Of Love" (Decca 18864) reached #9 in the Pop charts, #5 R&B. Next up was another song destined to be covered by the Platters - "To Each His Own" (Decca 23615) which was to be the Ink Spots last Pop chart-topper (#3 R&B).
In the Autumn of 1947, the Ink Spots returned to England for a tour which centred on London venues such as the London Casino (also appearing were Charlie Rivel (Chaplin on the Trapeze), The Lai Founs (Chinese Wonders), The Western Brothers (The Radio "Cads" Kenneth & George), Scott Sanders (The Old Philosopher), Garyll & Mundy (World's Greatest Lovers), Rolly Rolls (The Merry Parisien) and Bert and Harry Nicol (Fooling For You). The Times carried a report of biggest post-war traffic jam around theatre for the opening night. The group also appeared at the Trocadero, Elephant and Castle; the Gaumont, Hammersmith; the Hippodrome, Lewisham; the Empire, Chiswick; the Lyceum, Strand; the State Cinema, Kilburn and the Royal Albert Hall.
A similar trip to the UK in 1949 played to sell-out audiences in Tooting, Walthamstow, Sutton, Manchester, Glasgow (where they appeared for two weeks at the Empire), Bolton, Edinburgh, Brighton and Birmingham (where Harry Worth also appeared on the bill). They played at the London Palladium through most of September - also on the bill were Joy Nichols and Michael Bentine.
In May 1951 Adriel McDonald, the group's valet (and former non-recording member of the Cabineers) subbed for bass Herb Kenny when he missed a radio show in Buffalo, NY. Herb and Bill subsequently fought over this and Herb left the group to take a brief feature spot with Buddy Hawkins and the Key Notes. Herb Kenny went on to record for Federal ("Only You") in 1952 as lead of Herb Kenny and the Comets. The Comets were actually a white group called the Rockets that used to back up Perry Como. Herb recorded with them on MGM for five singles in 1952 and 1953. Adriel McDonald never talked on an Ink Spots recording. The few songs done after this change where a talking bass occurs are all done by Bill Kenny, according to Marv Goldberg. Apparently, Bill paid the other Ink Spots for the recordings but didn't let them participate - Bill Kenny is the only Ink Spots voice on all subsequent recordings for Decca. As friction grew in 1952, both Bill Bowen and Charlie Fuqua independently left the group. Bill Bowen formed Billy Bowen and the Butterball Four (MGM); Charlie Fuqua formed his own Ink Spots (for a short while, it included Deek Watson), but was taken to court by Bill Kenny. Fuqua won, so his new group, with Harold Jackson, Jimmy Holmes, and Leon Antoine, joined King Records for nine quality singles between late 1953 and 1955. Essix Scott replaced Leon Antoine during the latter sessions. Bill Kenny, meanwhile, was doing a lot of solo work during the early 1950's, while forming yet another Ink Spots, this one including Adriel McDonald, Jimmy Kennedy, and Ernie Brown. The group's demise came in 1953 when they were asked to appear on an Ed Sullivan-sponsored show for returning Korean War veterans. Bill Kenny agreed the deal but told the group he was appearing solo and couldn't afford to pay them. The group had had enough and split. Sullivan was so furious that he listed Kenny at the bottom of the bill. The last known performance of Bill Kenny's Ink Spots was in Ottawa at the beginning of November, 1953. After this, Charlie Fuqua's group became the official "Ink Spots". They appeared at army bases in Korea as part of an early 1954 tour of the Far East and in a 15-minute movie short titled "The Ink Spots" singing "If I Didn't Care" and "Shanty In Old Shanty Town". By mid-1956, Charlie had left King records and, with another new second tenor, Charlie Owens, they began to record for Verve. A few singles and LPs were recorded by two Verve groups. Some of the well-known names who sang as Ink Spots with Charlie's group were Eugene Mumford, David McNeil and Joe Van Loan. Though the originals sang together no more, Ink Spots groups sprang up all over the place. Bill Kenny was once vacationing in Las Vegas during the mid-'70s and found three groups posing as the Ink Spots at the same time. At the beginning of the 1990s, over 40 groups claimed to be the Ink Spots. Fill-in Johnny Smith supposedly had exclusive authority from Bill Kenny's window to represent the group. A new site gives some interesting information about Ink spots "offshoots": http://www.freewebs.com/inkspots/index.htm
Many of their recordings were copied and reworked for new generations in later years. The Platters covered several Ink Spots songs: "I'll Never Smile Again", "My Prayer", "To Each His Own", "I'll Get By"; Bobby Day and the Satellites did "When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano"; the Sharps did "We Three"; the Hearts "Until The Real Thing Comes Along"; the Isley Brothers and the Belmonts covered "Don't Get Around Much Anymore"; the Roommates did "A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening"; Billy Ward and the Dominoes cut "The Gypsy"; the Orioles revived "I Cover The Waterfront"; and James Brown and His Famous Flames covered "Prisoner Of Love." There were many more, including, of course, Mr. E.A. Presley's re-working of "That's When Your Heartaches Begin", complete with a Hoppy Jones-style monologue (with a Memphis flavour).
To summarise, here's Jay Warner's introduction to the Ink Spots' entry in his book "American Singing Groups": "One of the two granddaddies of vocal groups, the Ink Spots introduced a number of firsts that had a direct impact on the development of rhythm and blues in the '40s and rock and roll in the '50s. Although the Mills Brothers were successful years before the Ink Spots and turned out many more hits (71 to the Ink Spots' 46), each had a tremendous influence on music, the public, and future vocalists, and chances are that a group or singer influenced by one was also influenced by the other".
Recommended CD's: - a very comprehensive list can be found here: http://inkspots.ca/Is-on-cd.htm
Charlie Fuqua's Ink Spots: "The Ink Spots" King KCD-5001, 1995
Brown Spots: "For Sentimental Reasons" Flyright FLY CD 65, 2000
Further reading: "American Singing Groups", Jay Warner (Billboard Books)
The ultimate read is Marv Goldberg's 1998 book "More Than Words Can Say: The Ink Spots And Their Music" (http://home.att.net/~marvy42/inkspots.html )
Websites: there are many sites dedicated to the Ink Spots on the web, but two will be sufficient for most needs - http://inkspots.ca/ for more detailed information than you can shake a sick at and http://www.group-harmony.com/ink_main.htm for photographs, audio and video clips aplenty.
|These pages were originally published as "This Is My Story" in the
Yahoo Group "Shakin' All Over". For comments or information
please contact Dik de Heer at email@example.com