The Ink Spots

Picture of The Ink Spots

The Ink Spots were a Vocal group who gained world wide fame in the 1930s and 1940s. They had a unique musical style and landed over 30 hits on the US Pop Charts with 18 of them on the top 10 during the 1940's. 

The Ink Spots formed in 1934 in Indianapolis. The original line-up included Charlie Fuqua, Deek Watson, Jerry Daniels and Orville Jones.  They achieved so initial success when touring the United Kingdom with Jack Hylton's Orchestra.  Their early record releases were not commercially successful but they were steadily gaining a following.

In 1936, Daniels was replaced by Bill Kenny. When Kenny added his unusual high tenor ballad singing style with the rest of The Ink Spots, the result was almost magical. This was when things really started to happen for the vocal group and this lineup is considered by most to be their "classic" lineup.  

In January of 1939, the band recorded "If I Didn't Care."  This ballad became one of their biggest hits and has sold over 19 million copies through the years. It was also their first of many, many recordings to reach the US Pop Charts.

Listen to: "The Gypsy" by The Ink Spots from my 78rpm Collection.

In 1943, singer and guitarist Fuqua was drafted into the US Army and Jones died in October of 1944, after collapsing on stage in New York City.  This started a merry-go-round of line-up changes within the band that lasted until their break up in 1954. 

An interesting note: Since the Ink Spots broke up in 1954, there have been over 100 vocal groups calling themselves "The Ink Spots" without any rights to the name, and without any original members of the group. These groups often have claimed to be "2nd generation" or "3rd generation" Ink Spots.

You can hear many of The Ink Spots ballads right here on Swing City Radio.

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