The Ink Spots
|Origin||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
The Ink Spots were an American vocal pop group who gained international fame in the 1930s and 1940s. Their unique musical style predated the rhythm and blues and rock and roll musical genres, and the subgenre doo-wop. The Ink Spots were widely accepted in both the white and black communities, largely due to the ballad style introduced to the group by lead singer Bill Kenny.
In 1989, the Ink Spots (Bill Kenny, Charlie Fuqua, Deek Watson, Jerry Daniels and Orville Jones) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 1999 they were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. Since the Ink Spots disbanded in 1954, there have been well over a hundred vocal groups calling themselves "The Ink Spots", with and without any original members of the group. It has often been the case that these groups claimed to be "second generation" or "third generation" Ink Spots.
Early background of founding members
Daniels and Fuqua formed a vocal duo called "Jerry and Charlie", and performed in the Indianapolis area around 1931. About the same time, Jones and Watson were part of a quartet, "The Four Riff Brothers", who appeared regularly on radio station WLW in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1933, that group disbanded, and Watson, Daniels and Fuqua got together to form a new vocal, instrumental and comedy group, initially called "King, Jack, and Jester". They continued to appear regularly on radio in Ohio, and became a quartet when Jones joined the following year.
In July 1934, they accepted a booking at the Apollo Theater, New York, supporting jazz bandleader Tiny Bradshaw. At this point they had changed their name to "The 4 Ink Spots". Later that year, the Ink Spots achieved international success touring the UK with Jack Hylton's Orchestra, one review in the Melody Maker stating:
The sensation of the programme is the coloured quartette, the Four Ink Spots. They sing in a style something between the Mills Brothers and the Three Keys, and accompany themselves on three tenor guitars and a cello — which is not bowed, but picked and slapped like a double bass. Their natural instinct for hot rhythm is exemplified in their terrific single-string solo work and their beautifully balanced and exquisitely phrased vocalisms. They exploit all kinds of rhythmic vocalisms — straight solos, concerted, scat, and instrumental imitations. They even throw in a bit of dancing to conclude their act, and the leading guitarist simultaneously plays and juggles with his instrument.
They first recorded for Victor Records in 1935. Their early recordings included such songs as "Swingin' On The Strings", "Your Feet's Too Big", "Don't 'Low No Swingin' In Here" and "Swing, Gate, Swing". Despite their rising popularity as performers, their early records were not commercially successful.
Bill Kenny joins
In 1936, Daniels was replaced by a 21-year-old singer from Baltimore, Bill Kenny, who signed on with the Ink Spots after winning first place in an amateur contest at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom. Three years later, Kenny was credited for bringing the group to global success with his unusual high tenor ballad singing.
In 1938, after being in the group for two years, Kenny started to introduce the group to a new format that he called "Top & Bottom". This format was used primarily for ballads rather than the uptempo "jive" songs the group was used to performing. This format called for the tenor (Kenny or Watson) to sing the lead for one chorus followed by a chorus performed by bass singer Jones reciting the lyrics rather than singing them. After a chorus of the "talking bass" the lead tenor sang the rest of the song until the end. The earliest example of their "Top & Bottom" format is from a radio broadcast from 1938. The song, titled "Tune In on My Heart", features Kenny taking the lead and Jones performing the talking bass.
Also in 1938, Kenny took his first feature solo in Decca studios. His feature was on a song titled "I Wish You the Best of Everything". Although it was not in the "Top & Bottom" format it was a ballad and used the signature Ink Spots guitar intro. Even though it got a good response, it was not very successful in terms of record sales and did not reach the pop chart.
"If I Didn't Care" and the late 1930s
On January 12, 1939, the Ink Spots entered Decca studios to record a ballad written by a young songwriter named Jack Lawrence. This ballad, "If I Didn't Care", was to be one of their biggest hits, selling over 19 million copies and becoming the 8th-best-selling single of all time. This is the first studio recorded example of the Ink Spots "Top & Bottom" format with Kenny singing lead and Jones performing the "talking bass". For this recording, each member was paid $37.50; however, after the record sold 200,000 Decca destroyed the original contract and the group was paid an additional $3,750. This was the recording that brought the group to global fame and established the "Top & Bottom" format as the Ink Spots "trademark". From 1939 until the group's disbanding in 1954, many of their songs employed this format. The year 1939 also saw the Ink Spots enjoy commercial success with five other recordings that featured Kenny in the "Top & Bottom" format. Their most successful hit of 1939 was the Lombardo, Marks & Hill ballad "Address Unknown". Other successful hits from 1939 and early 1940 included "My Prayer", "Bless You", "Memories of You", and "I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You".
Between the years 1940 and 1949 the Ink Spots landed well over 30 hits on the US Pop Charts with 18 of them on the top 10. The group’s first Billboard #1 hit came in 1944, when they teamed up with Ella Fitzgerald to record "I'm Making Believe". This recording featured Bill Kenny. In 1946, the Ink Spots earned another #1 spot on the US Pop Charts with "To Each His Own". The Billy Reid composition "The Gypsy" was the Ink Spots' biggest chart success, staying at the #1 position on the Billboard Best Sellers chart for 10 straight weeks in 1946.
Other hits for the Ink Spots in the 1940s included "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano", "Maybe", "We Three", "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire", "Don't Get Around Much Anymore", "A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening", "Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall", and "I'm Beginning to See the Light".
In 1941, the Ink Spots were featured in The Great American Broadcast starring John Payne and Alice Faye. In the film, the Ink Spots play Pullman porters who sing during their breaks and ultimately "make it big time" and sing live on the radio during a national broadcast. The group sings a short segment of "If I Didn't Care", "Alabamy Bound", and "I've Got a Bone to Pick with You". They also provide background vocals to Faye and Payne on a ballad entitled "Where You Are".
The following year, the Ink Spots were featured in an Abbott and Costello film, Pardon My Sarong. In this film, the Ink Spots play singing waiters in a nightclub. They sing the ballad "Do I Worry?" and the swing song "Shout Brother Shout".
In 1943, Ink Spots baritone singer and guitarist Fuqua was drafted into the US Army. He chose his friend Bernie Mackey to be his temporary replacement until he returned to the group. After being with the group for two years, Mackey was replaced by Huey Long in March 1945. Long completed the role as a "fill in" until Fuqua finally returned in October 1945.
Jones died in October 1944, after collapsing on stage at the Cafe Zanzibar in New York City, near the height of the Ink Spots' popularity. He had been having cerebral hemorrhages for a year, and had fallen ill from the condition in June 1944. Jones was temporarily replaced by Cliff Givens, who filled in from October 1944 to March 1945, before a permanent replacement was found in Bill Kenny's brother (and fraternal twin) Herb Kenny. Herb Kenny sang with the group from 1945 to 1951, when he began a career as a solo artist. The last bass singer in the Ink Spots was Adriel McDonald, who was with the group from 1951 to 1954. McDonald was previously the Ink Spots' personal valet, a job given to him by Herb Kenny, with whom he had sung in a group called "The Cabineers" in the early 1940s.
Due to personality clashes between Bill Kenny and Watson after Jones' death, Kenny decided he would rather carry on as the leader of the group and bought Watson's share of the group for $10,000, which gave him the power to kick Watson out of the group. Watson went on to form a group similar in style to the Ink Spots called the Brown Dots (which later became the Four Tunes), and his place was filled by Billy "Butterball" Bowen, who sang with the Ink Spots from 1944 to 1952.
In 1952, Fuqua left the group to form his own vocal group using the name "Ink Spots". At this time, Kenny and Fuqua each owned 50% of the Ink Spots, and it was decided by court ruling that Kenny's group was to continue on as the original "Ink Spots", while Fuqua's group was to use the name "Charlie Fuqua's New Ink Spots". Defying the court ruling, Fuqua instead called his group the "Original" Ink Spots.
Fuqua was replaced in the Ink Spots by popular jazz and R&B guitarist Everett Barksdale, so the group now consisted of Bill Kenny (lead tenor), Teddy Williams (second tenor), who had replaced Bowen, Everett Barksdale (baritone and guitar), and McDonald (bass). After being with the group for only a few months, Williams was replaced by Ernie Brown. Barksdale stayed with the group for about a year before being replaced by baritone vocalist and guitar player named Jimmy Cannady. This line-up of Kenny (lead tenor), Brown (second tenor), Cannady (baritone and guitar), and McDonald (bass) lasted until 1954, when the final change of lineup was made.
In April 1954, Brown was replaced by Henry Braswell, who sang with the Ink Spots for their final three months. Kenny officially disbanded the Ink Spots in July 1954, after an appearance at the Bolero Bar in Wildwood, New Jersey.
inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- Hoppy Jones (born as Orville Jones, February 17, 1905, Chicago, Illinois – d. October 18, 1944, New York City) sang bass. He played cello in the manner of a stand up bass.
- Deek Watson (born as Ivory Jones, July 18, 1909 (some sources say 1913), Mounds, Illinois – d. November 4, 1969, Washington, D.C.) sang tenor and played tenor guitar.
- Jerry Daniels (b. December 14, 1915 – d. November 7, 1995, Indianapolis, Indiana) sang tenor and played guitar and ukulele.
- Charlie Fuqua (b. October 20, 1910 – d. c. 1970, New Haven, Connecticut) had a baritone voice and played guitar and tenor guitar.
- Billy Kenny (b. June 12, 1914, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. – d. March 23, 1978, New Westminster, Canada) sang lead tenor.
|Name||"Jerry and Charlie"/"The Four Riff Brothers"||"King, Jack, and Jester"||"King, Jack, and Jester" (1934), then "The 4 Ink Spots" (1934), "The Ink Spots" (1934-onward)||"The Ink Spots" (instrumentation unknown from here onward)||"The Ink Spots" (Considered the end of the true "The Ink Spots" by a judge in 1955)||"The Ink Spots"||"The Ink Spots"||"The Ink Spots"||"The Ink Spots"||"The Ink Spots"||"The Ink Spots"||"The Ink Spots"||"The Ink Spots"||"The Ink Spots"||"The Ink Spots" or something very similar|
|1931–1933||1933–1934||1934–1936||1936–1943||1943 – Oct 1944||Oct-late 1944||late 1944 – Mar 1945||Mar–Oct 1945||Oct 1945–1951||1951–1952||1952-1952 or 1953||1952 or 1953-1953 or 1954||1953 or 1954 – April 1954||April 1954 – July 1954||1952–present|
|Jerry Daniels||Part of "Jerry and Charlie"||Part of "King, Jack, and Jester"||sang tenor, played guitar and ukulele|
|Bill Kenny||sang lead tenor||sang lead tenor||sang lead tenor||sang lead tenor||sang lead tenor||sang lead tenor||sang lead tenor||sang lead tenor||sang lead tenor||sang lead tenor||sang lead tenor|
|Charlie Fuqua||Part of "Jerry and Charlie"||Part of "King, Jack, and Jester"||sang baritone, played guitar and tenor guitar||sang baritone||sang baritone||sang baritone||Part of groups called "Charlie Fuqua's Ink Spots" or "The Ink Spots" from 1952 to 1971|
|Bernie Mackey||sang baritone||sang baritone||sang baritone|
|Huey Long||sang baritone|
|Everett Barksdale||sang baritone, played guitar||sang baritone, played guitar|
|Jimmy Cannady||sang baritone, played guitar||sang baritone, played guitar|
|Hoppy Jones||Part of "The Four Riff Brothers"||sang bass, played cello||sang bass||sang bass||deceased||deceased||deceased||deceased||deceased||deceased||deceased||deceased||deceased||deceased|
|Cliff Givens||sang bass||sang bass|
|Herb Kenny||sang bass||sang bass|
|Adriel McDonald||sang bass||sang bass||sang bass||sang bass||sang bass||Part of an Ink Spots group|
|Deek Watson||Part of "The Four Riff Brothers"||Part of "King, Jack, and Jester"||sang second tenor, played tenor guitar||sang second tenor||sang second tenor||sang second tenor||Part of "Charlie Fuqua's Ink Spots" from 1952 to 1953, Part of his own "The Ink Spots" from 1954 to 1969|
|Billy "Butterball" Bowen||sang second tenor||sang second tenor||sang second tenor||sang second tenor||Part of an Ink Spots group|
|Teddy Williams||sang second tenor|
|Ernie Brown||sang second tenor||sang second tenor|
|Henry Braswell||sang second tenor|
Non-original Ink Spots groups
Disputes over the rights to use the Ink Spots name began in the late 1940s, resulting in many court cases. Starting in 1954, groups calling themselves "The Ink Spots" sprang up all around the United States. Some groups contained original members Fuqua, McDonald, Bowen, or Watson, but most had no ties to the original group whatsoever. Many groups claimed to have the rights to the name, but no one did. Still, lawsuits were filed between various groups and there was great confusion as to who owned the naming rights. Some groups avoided lawsuits by naming themselves "The Fabulous Ink Spots", "The Famous Ink Spots", "The Amazing Ink Spots", "The Sensational Ink Spots", "The Dynamic Ink Spots", and more.
According to writer Marv Goldberg: "The original group was a partnership, not a corporation, and that influenced [Judge Isidore Wasservogel] to say, in 1955, that when Hoppy Jones died in 1944, it effectively served to terminate the partnership and that no one could truthfully use the name after that." From 1954 to the present, more than 100 groups have used the name "The Ink Spots". In 1967 US federal judge Emmet C. Choate ruled that since so many groups had been using the name "Ink Spots" it had become "public domain" and was free for anyone to use.
Charlie Fuqua's Ink Spots
In 1952, Fuqua left the original Ink Spots led by Kenny to form his own Ink Spots group. Fuqua recorded dozens of singles with his group for King Records as well as releasing two LP (long play) albums for Verve Records. In 1963 Fuqua's group also recorded one 45 RPM record for Ford Records. Fuqua led and was a member of various vocal groups calling themselves "The Ink Spots" until his death in 1971.
Deek Watson's Ink Spots
Watson, who had been forced out of the original Ink Spots in 1944 and briefly sang with Charlie Fuqua's Ink Spots in 1952–1953, started his own vocal group using the name "The Ink Spots" in 1954. Watson made numerous recordings with his "Ink Spots" groups in the 1950s and 1960s. Many of the recordings Watson made with his groups were released and re-released on various low budget labels. Watson led various groups until his death in 1969.
Legitimate members of the Ink Spots
Legitimate members of the Ink Spots included Bill Kenny, Jerry Daniels, Deek Watson, Charlie Fuqua, Hoppy Jones, Bernie Mackey, Huey Long, Cliff Givens, Billy Bowen, Herb Kenny, Adriel McDonald, Jimmy Cannady, Ernie Brown, Henry Braswell, Teddy Williams and Everett Barksdale. Pianists and arrangers included Bob Benson, Asa "Ace" Harris, Ken Bryan, Mort Howard (arranger), Bill Doggett, Ray Tunia, Harold Francis and Fletcher Smith. Some singers have tenuous ties to Deek Watson's or Charlie Fuqua's offshoot groups; many, with no credentials whatsoever, claim to be original members.
Legacy and honors
- 1946 Cashbox award for making "The Gypsy" the biggest money making song of the year.
- 1948 awarded a plaque from the Negro Actors Guild for their efforts in "breaking down the walls of racial prejudice".
- 1989, the Ink Spots were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as "early influences" by Bobby McFerrin; the members were listed as Bill Kenny, Charlie Fuqua, Deek Watson, Jerry Daniels, and Orville Jones.
- 1989, the Ink Spots' 1939 recording of "If I Didn't Care" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame
- 1999, the Ink Spots were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
The Ink Spots in popular culture
This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2017)
In 1936, the Ink Spots were the first African Americans to appear on television. They continued to be television pioneers when, in 1948, they were the first black performers to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show. The Ink Spots made guest appearances on Milton Berle's Texaco Star Theater on three separate occasions in 1949, on The Ed Sullivan Show three times (1948, 1950, and 1952), on Steve Allen's Songs For Sale twice in 1952, and on Star of the Family once in 1952.
Music videos and live footage
In 1946, a short documentary about nightlife in New York City called "March of Time" featured a clip of the Ink Spots singing "I'd Climb The Highest Mountain" live at the Cafe Zanzibar; the clip and outtakes can be found for viewing on various websites. In 1947, cameras captured segments of the Ink Spots in live performance at the Daily Express Film Ball in London England; this footage can be obtained by British Pathe.
In 1951, Snader Telescriptions produced five "soundies" (also known as music videos) of the Ink Spots. These clips feature the group lip-syncing to the songs "If I Didn't Care", "You May Be the Sweetheart of Somebody Else", "The Gypsy", "I'm Heading Back to Paradise", and "It Is No Secret". Bill Kenny's wife Audrey portrays "the gypsy" in the video for "The Gypsy" and can also be seen serving food to the Ink Spots in "You May Be the Sweetheart of Somebody Else". Billy Bowen's wife Ruth Bowen is seen walking through the set carrying a dog (Bill Kenny's actual pet) and serving drinks in "You May Be the Sweetheart of Somebody Else".
Ink Spots music used in television and film
The Ink Spots' music has been used in the films Get Low, Radio Days, Raging Bull, Revolutionary Road, The Shawshank Redemption, The Aviator, Iris, Sphere, Tree's Lounge, Malcolm X, Maria's Lovers, How to Make an American Quilt, Men Don't Leave, Three D, Joe Versus the Volcano, Spontaneous Combustion, Carmen Miranda: Bananas is My Business, Australia, Mr. Nobody, Hyde Park on Hudson, The Rover, Twenty Bucks, Manchester by the Sea, Logorama, and Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives.
The Ink Spots' music has been used in such TV shows as The Walking Dead, The Simpsons, The Visitor, The Tourist, The Singing Detective, Sanford, The Blacklist, Defiance, Arrested Development, Better Call Saul, White Collar, Watchmen, Once Upon a Time, and Heroes.
The Ink Spots in video games
Recordings by the Ink Spots have been featured in the popular Fallout video game franchise. Their recording of "Maybe" was used as the opening theme of Fallout (1997), as well as in the epilogue. It was also played on the in-game radio station Galaxy News Radio in Fallout 3 (2008), alongside their recordings of "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" and "Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall". "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" also features in both the game's trailer and its opening cinematic. The song "It's a Sin to Tell a Lie" (Bill Kenny's solo, not original recording from 1941) is played on the in-game radio station Radio New Vegas in the 2010 video game Fallout: New Vegas. In 2015, the group was once again featured in the Fallout franchise, when their recording of the Russ Morgan and Seger Ellis ballad "It's All Over but the Crying" was used in the trailer for Fallout 4; that song is also played on the in-game radio station Diamond City Radio, alongside "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire", "Maybe", and "Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall". The former two songs appear once more in Fallout 76, alongside "We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)".
BioShock and BioShock 2 have also made use of the group's recordings: "If I Didn't Care" and "The Best Things in Life Are Free" in the former, and "We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)", "I'm Making Believe", and "Memories of You" in the latter. Still others were included in Mafia II and on the in-game radio stations in L.A. Noire.
- The song "Jukebox Saturday Night", made famous by the Glenn Miller Orchestra, references the Ink Spots, imitating the iconic Ink Spots guitar intro and the group's style of singing during much of the second half of the recording.
- The Ink Spots appeared as a guest quartet on the April 4, 1948, episode of The Jack Benny Program, singing a version of "If I Didn't Care" as the advertisement for Lucky Strike cigarettes.
- In Tex Avery's 1952 cartoon Magical Maestro, Poochini gets sprayed in the face with black ink and then sings a couple of bars of "Everything I Have Is Yours", imitating Kenny and then Jones.
- In 1960, The Quarry Men (composed of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Stuart Sutcliffe, later to form The Beatles) recorded "You'll Be Mine", an Ink Spots parody.
- Ian Fleming mentioned the group twice in his 1962 James Bond novel The Spy Who Loved Me, when the leading female, Vivienne Michel, recalls a love affair from her past. She recalls hearing "Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat", and mistakenly credits the group with singing "Only a Paper Doll to Call My Own" (an apparent reference to The Mills Brothers' song "Paper Doll"). Bond himself overhears the group singing "Java Jive" aboard the US Manta submarine in Thunderball.
- The Ink Spots were mentioned in several episodes of the 1970s NBC sitcom Sanford and Son, as one of Fred Sanford's favorite groups, with series star Redd Foxx crooning their song, "If I Didn't Care". Reportedly, Foxx had royalties for singing their music taken out of his salary out of love for the group and because NBC would not pay for the rights.
- In the 1980s, a commercial for Chanel No. 5 included a version of "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" sung solo by Bill Kenny, the former lead tenor of the group, with an unknown studio vocal group for a 1977 CBS Records LP entitled The Ink Spots – If I Didn't Care. The recording was used in the ad without permission from Kenny's executrix and widow Audrey Kenny. In 1982, Mrs. Kenny took legal action and, according to Bill Kenny's former pianist Bev Gore-Langton, was successful. The commercial depicted the Transamerica Pyramid building in San Francisco with the shadow of a plane flying overhead.
- In the 1980s, "Java Jive" was used in commercials for Sanka coffee, prominently featuring the likes of Lena Horne and Gregory Hines.
- "Someone's Rocking my Dreamboat" was sung by Bugs Bunny in the Looney Tunes short The Big Snooze.
- The original 1982 theatrical trailer for the movie Blade Runner prominently featured a short clip of "If I Didn't Care", and the song is used in the early "workprint" version of the film, but it was replaced in the theatrical and all subsequent releases with "One More Kiss, Dear", an original composition in a similar vocal and melodic style.
- Heavy metal group Megadeth used "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire" on their 1988 album So Far, So Good... So What! as an introduction to the song "Set the World Afire".
- The Ink Spots were the subject of a 1998 book by Marv Goldberg, More Than Words Can Say: The Ink Spots and Their Music.
- Several of the Ink Spots' original recordings are used in the off-Broadway production Sleep No More, which first opened in 2011.
- The recording "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" has been featured in multiple television shows and short films, being played at the end of the 2009 short film Logorama, as well as at the end of a special seasonal episode, "Treehouse of Horror XVII", on The Simpsons.
- The Ink Spots' version of "I'm Beginning to See the Light" with Ella Fitzgerald is featured in the 2016 film Manchester by the Sea.
- The Ink Spots' song "Address Unknown" plays during the opening of the first episode of Better Call Saul. Additionally, the group's rendition of "We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)" plays over the opening scene of the episode "Smoke".
|1939||"If I Didn't Care"||2||—|
|"You Bring Me Down"||14||—|
|1940||"Memories of You"||29||—|
|"I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You"||26||—|
|"When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano"||4||—|
|"Whispering Grass (Don't Tell the Trees)"||10||—|
|"You're Breaking My Heart All Over Again"||17||—|
|"We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)"||1||—|
|"My Greatest Mistake"||12||—|
|1941||"Please Take a Letter, Miss Brown"||25||—|
|"Do I Worry?"||8||—|
|"I'm Still Without a Sweetheart ('Cause I'm Still in Love with You)"||19||—|
|"Until the Real Thing Comes Along"||24||—|
|"I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire"||4||—|
|"Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat"||17||—|
|1942||"Ev'ry Night About This Time"||17||6|
|"This Is Worth Fighting For"||—||9|
|"Just as Though You Were Here"||—||10|
|1943||"Don't Get Around Much Anymore"||2||1|
|"If I Cared a Little Bit Less"||20||10|
|"I'll Never Make the Same Mistake Again"||19||—|
|"I Can't Stand Losing You"||—||1|
|1944||"Don't Believe Everything You Dream"||14||6|
|"Cow Cow Boogie (Cuma-Ti-Yi-Yi-Ay)" (with Ella Fitzgerald)||10||1|
|"A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening"||2||—|
|"I'll Get By (As Long as I Have You)"||7||4|
|"Someday I'll Meet You Again"||14||—|
|"I'm Making Believe" (with Ella Fitzgerald)||1||2|
|"Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall" (with Ella Fitzgerald)||1||1|
|1945||"I'm Beginning to See the Light" (with Ella Fitzgerald)||5||—|
|"Prisoner of Love"||9||5|
|"To Each His Own"||1||3|
|1947||"You Can't See the Sun When You're Crying"||19||—|
|"Ask Anyone Who Knows"||17||5|
|1948||"The Best Things in Life Are Free"||—||10|
|"Say Something Sweet to Your Sweetheart"||22||—|
|"You Were Only Fooling (While I Was Falling in Love)"||8||15|
|1949||"You're Breaking My Heart"||9||—|
|"Who Do You Know in Heaven (That Made You the Angel You Are?)"||21||—|
|"It Is No Secret" (Bill Kenny solo)||18||—|
|1952||"(That's Just My Way of) Forgetting You" (Bill Kenny solo)||23||—|
- "The Ink Spots – Rock & Roll Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2019-11-22.
- Goldberg, Marv (1998). More Than Words Can Say: The Ink Spots And Their Music. Scarecrow Press
- Howard Perspectives, Dwight Burrill, Herb Kenny, Howard University, 1992
- "Original Ink Spots Activities By Date – Vol". Inkspots.ca. 1936-11-06. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
- "The Ink Spots | Rhino". Rhino.com. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
- Chicago Defender, July 12, 1952
- Indianapolis Recorder, Indianapolis, Marion County, 7 July 1945, page 13.
- Gilliland 1994, tape 2, side B.
- Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40s: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40s (audiobook). ISBN 978-1-55935-147-8. OCLC 31611854. Tape 1, side B.
- Tyler, Don (2007). Hit Songs, 1900–1955: American Popular Music of the Pre-Rock Era. McFarland. p. 251. ISBN 978-0-7864-2946-2.
- "The Ink Spots". Rockabilly.nl. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
- "Orville "Hoppy" Jones of the Ink Spots". Retrieved 2009-06-02.
- "Ivory (Deek) Watson, 60, Dead; Tenor Sang With the Ink Spots". The New York Times. 1969-11-10. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
- "Jerry Franklin Daniels, Ink Spots Member, 79". The New York Times. 1995-11-11. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
- Warner, Jay (2006). American Singing Groups: A History from 1940s to Today. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 978-0-634-09978-6.
- "William Bowen Is Dead at 70; Sang With Original Ink Spots". The New York Times. 1982-09-30. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
- "George Bledsoe, Bass Player And Singer for Ink Spots, 62". The New York Times. 1982-05-14. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
- Paul J. Macarthur. "The Imposters". Houston Press. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
- "Family Tree Page". Inkspotsevolution.com. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
- The Oregonian, September 1, 1967, p. 29
- "The Ink Spots". IMDb. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
- The Vancouver Sun – December 2, 1982 P.A3.
- Sammon, Paul (July–August 1982). "The Making of Blade Runner". Cinefantastique.
- "Behind a White Mask". Tumblr.com.
- Whitburn, Joel (1986). Pop Memories 1890–1954: The History of American Popular Music. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, Inc. pp. 223–224. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
- "Joel Whitburn criticism: chart fabrication, misrepresentation of sources, cherry picking", Songbook1.wordpress.com