In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
The Ink Spots' story begins in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1932, when four young men - Deek Watson, Charles Fuqua, Orville "Hoppy" Jones and Jerry Daniels - formed the first version of the group. The quartet performed as the Riff Brothers and the Percolating Puppies before settling on the Ink Spots name. In search of a recording contract, the group headed to New York City, where they met up with singer Bill Kenny, who replaced Daniels as the group's lead tenor in 1936. Three years later, The Ink Spots had their first million-selling record, "If I Didn't Care'. The song, which would be their biggest hit, ultimately sold 19 million copies.
Kenny left the group for a solo career in 1945. The replacement was Jim Nabbie and the hits continued over the next decade; I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire, To Each His Own, My Prayer, I'll Never Smile Again, A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening, Java Jive, Maybe, Into Each Life Some Rain May Fall, We Three, It's A Sin To Tell A Lie, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, Prisoner of Love ... and on and on. s the remaining original members left the group, it was up to Nabbie to keep things going. Frustrated by acts billing themselves as The Ink Spots, Nabbie acquired the rights to the Ink Spots' name and registered it as a trademark. While the frequency of hits slowed in the mid '50's, The Ink Spots' influence was heard in the many doo-wop vocal groups formed during this period, as well as many groups, like the Temptations, which would come along later. The Ink Spots' musical impact was recognized formally in 1987 when inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. They have been inducted into the Apollo Hall of Fame and, in 1997, into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
Over the years, their unique style, sound and elegant stage presence have delighted audiences worldwide. The Ink Spots continue to delight audiences with the wonderful harmonies and arrangements that have made the group a musical legend around the world.
With over 80 hit records and numerous million sellers, audiences .return again and again. Such presenters as the London Palladium, Harlem's Apollo Theater, the Houston and Atlanta Symphonies, colleges and leading venues around the world have brought the high energy and all-around professionalism of the famous Ink Spots to their stage.
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Review: Along with the Mills Bros, the Ink Spots were the most popular black vocal group of the 1930's and 40's, though their careers spanned such duration, that groups are still performing under the Ink Spots name. Their trademark style, with a buttery tenor vibrato over spoken interludes by the bass vocalist, and elegant yet understated accompaniment, generated a spate of hits, including their first big chart appearance with "If I Didn't Care" in 1939. Having found their niche, a series of similarly-produced songs, including "The Gypsy," "Java Jive," "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire" and "Prisoner of Love," capitalized on the record-buying public's attention. Though there were many subsequent personnel changes, the group sustained both artistic quality and popular success, and no music collection is complete without the Ink Spots.
Review: Formed in 1934, the original three Ink Spots were soon heard regularly on the air and had a few recording sessions, but were on the verge of giving up when in 1939 they finally had a hit record with the song "If I Didn't Care." The magic ingredients, the soaring falsetto voice of Bill Kenny and the sonorous tones of "Hoppy" Jones in a laid-back, talking chorus, together with the distinctive guitar intro, introduced a languid and sentimental style and became the hallmark for many hit records. 24 of those hits (we just love the sheer quantity of music and value of these remastered, re-issued "best-of" collections by classic vocal groups) are featured on "The Best Of." "We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)," Maybe," "When The Swallows Come Back to Capistrano," "I Don't Want To Set The World," "Do I Worry," "Prisoner of Love," "The Gypsy," "Puttin' and Takin'," "Whispering Grass," "Ev'ry Night About This Time," "Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat," "When The Sun Goes Down"... these are all very similar in their style, their light guitar and piano accompaniment, sweet, affected vocals, bluesy sentimentality and total coolness!
Review: Through changing pop styles the popularity of the Ink Spots remained strong. Across the globe, audiences flocked to hear their unique blend and fresh approach to the music. Spotlighted on this CD are some their greats, including "I Love You Truly," "My Wild Irish Rose" and "Shine On Harvest Moon." Not to be forgotten, closing the program is one of their most beloved hits from 1940, "Java Jive." No matter the changes in style, these songs will always be classics.
Slap That Bass
Review: This CD is basically "The Best of The Ink Spots," part 2. The four Ink Spots recorded for the American Decca label from 1936 to 1951, and during that time made it to the Top 30 Hit Parade Charts with no fewer than 46 titles. Of these, 20 reached the Top 10, 6 of them making it to the number 1 slot, a phenomenal record! Here are 24 more of those hits and lesser-known but interesting titles, three of which, "I Wish I Could Say the Same," "Why Didn't You Tell Me" and "Don't Break A Promise," are re-issued here for the first time. The Spots' distinctive guitar intro, soaring falsetto of Bill Kenny, and "Hoppy" Jones' talking chorus are present on some of these songs, absent on others. "I Cover the Waterfront," "Java Jive," "Stop Pretending," "Slap That Bass," "It Isn't A Dream Anymore," "Please Take A Letter, Miss Brown," "I'll Get By," "You Were Only Fooling" these are romantic, sentimental, the-definition-of-cool, rarely-heard tunes by one of the most influential vocal groups of the 30s, 40s and 50s, and lots of them!
Review: Twenty five track compilation brings together greatest hits from the legendary vocal group's early career in the 1930s, and it features their original lineup, incuding the songs "Knock-Kneed Sal," "I'm Beginning To See The Light" & "When The Sun Goes Down"
Review: More classic recordings from these masters of vocal harmony.