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.
| If I Didn't Care
When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano
Whispering Grass ( Don't Tell The Trees)
I'll Never Smile Again
We Three ( My Echo, My Shadow, and Me)
I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire
Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat
Street Of Dreams
I'll Get By ( As Long As I Have You)
To Each His Own
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 "I'll Never Smile
Again," "Java Jive," "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire" and "I'll Get By,"
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.
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