Saturday, September 21, 2013
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Ink Spots
Song:If I Didn't Care
The Ink Spots are probably the very first black vocal group and were very influential on black music especially doo wop. If I Didn't Care was their first big hit and probably their most memorable song. The Ink Spots were from Indianapolis. Jerry Daniels and Charlie Fuqua performed as Kyle and Charlie. Orville "Hoppy" Jones and Ivory "Deek" Watson were members of the group The Four Riff Brothers. When that group split up, these four guys called themselves King, Jack and Jester. They changed the name to The 4 Ink Spots when they played the Apollo in New York in 1934 with Tiny Bradshaw. They recorded for Victor Records in 1935 and toured but were not successful. Jerry Daniels left in 1936 and was replaced by Savoy Ballroom talent contest winner Bill Kenny. And his soaring tenor was the most memorable thing about The Ink Spots. He got the group to sing ballads instead of up tempo songs. The Ink Spots signed with Decca Records in 1939 and If I Didn't Care was their first record. The song was written by veteran lyricist Jack Lawrence who wrote All Or Nothing At All among other songs. He wrote both lyrics and music for If I Didn't Care. Everyone he played it for hated it until arranger Archie Bleyer gave it to The Ink Spots. It reached #2 on the pop charts and is The Ink Spots signature song. It has Kenny's trademark vocal and the spoken word part by Hoppy Jones who plays the cello like a bass. You may have heard If I Didn't Care in the 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption. The Ink Spots had success in the early 40s and appeared in a couple of films. Fuqua was drafted into the service in 1943 and replaced by Bernie Mackey. Hoppy Jones collapsed on stage and died in 1944. This was the beginning of the end as Kenny and Watson weren't getting along and Watson left. He was replaced by Billy Bowen and Bill Kenny's twin brother Herb Kenny replaced Jones. The Ink Spots continued until 1954. But Fuqua left and started his own Ink Spots in 1952. They recorded for King Records. Over the years many groups called themselves The Ink Spots but had no connection to the real group. This CD has their original hits from the 40s. The Ink spots were inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1999. Here's The Ink Spots performing If I Didn't Care from the 1941 film The Great American Broadcast.