From the late 1930's to the early 1950's the original Ink Spots were one of the most popular and influential singing groups of the time. The original group, comprising Ivory "Deek" Watson, Jerry Daniels, Charles Fuqua & Orville "Hoppy" Jones, started out singing fast "jump" tunes beginning in 1934 and their early recordings (RCA Victor - 1935) and (Decca 1936-1938) reflected this style. The group became famous after the arrival of Bill Kenny in early 1936, and the group's addition of a ballad style featuring Bill Kenny's high tenor and Hoppy's "talking" chorus. While several sources suggest this style originated with their most famous recording, "If I Didn't Care" in January of 1939, a partial NBC radio broadcast of February 15, 1938 proves that all of the elements that made this group so successful were included in performances at least one year earlier. These pages focus on everything that we know about the original Watson/Daniels/Fuqua/Jones group and all groups that include Bill Kenny - the voice that made them famous.
This site does NOT cover the dozens of Ink Spot groups that have performed (and continue to perform) after Bill Kenny stopped performing as an Ink Spot during the summer of 1954 - see the link below for a site that does. Our family tree page highlights each of the 19 Ink Spots groups (each singing member and pianist/arranger change creates a new group) that we study on this site. We plan to gradually add separate pages on each member and each group but only a few exist at this time. They can be reached from the links on the Original Ink Spots Family Tree page listed below.
This site features information gathered by Jack Hanna with the considerable assistance of Bill Proctor and Marv Goldberg and many others (see Acknowledgements page) who have helped us to research this unique group. This Ink Spots Home Page has been established with three objectives in mind:
1. WHAT'S NEW?
2. ACTIVITIES - PRE INK SPOTS GROUPS - LATE 1920S TO SUMMER 1934
3. ACTIVITIES - SUMMER/34 TO DEC. 31/40
4. ACTIVITIES - JAN. 1/41 TO DEC. 31/43
5. ACTIVITIES - JAN. 1/44 TO DEC. 31/47
6. ACTIVITIES - JAN. 1/48 TO JUL/54
8. ALPHABETICAL LIST OF ALL KNOWN SONGS SUNG BY THE ORIGINAL INK SPOTS
9. RADIO, TV & MOVIE APPEARANCES
10. THE INK SPOTS ON COMPACT DISC
11. THE INK SPOTS IN THE PRESS - to December 31, 1942
12. THE INK SPOTS IN THE PRESS - January 1, 1943 on
13. THE INK SPOTS - BOOKS & ARTICLES
14. CLICK HERE FOR AUDIO & VIDEO OF THE INK SPOTS
(we would like to thank Tony Fournier for making these clips available.)
15. PLACES WHERE THE INK SPOTS PERFORMED
16. ORIGINAL INK SPOTS FAMILY TREE
17. 78 RPM RECORD LABELS
19. THE IMPOSTERS
21. VISIT ANOTHER RECOMMENDED INK SPOTS WEB SITE
22. INTERESTED IN "NON-ORIGINAL" INK SPOTS GROUPS? TRY THIS SITE
This site is non-commercial. All information is provided to further the general
public's knowledge of the original Ink Spots.