PRE-INK SPOTS GROUPS - THE KING, JACK AND JESTER

and the (Swingin') Gates Brothers 
 
 

MEMBERS:

Jerry Daniels

Ivory "Deek" Watson

Charlie Fuqua

Based on an interview with Jerry Daniels in 1975, Marv Goldberg states that this group originated in Cleveland. Deek Watson was performing a solo act and "Jerry and Charlie" were on vacation in July of 1932 following the conclusion of a tour with the Whitman Sisters show when they met in Cleveland. Jerry indicated that they first called themselves the Swingin' Gate Brothers but changed their name to the King, Jack and Jester about the time they landed a job singing on WHK (Cleveland).

We know memories are often a bit fuzzy (at least!) but this does not quite fit with what we have found. Deek Watson was performing regularly as a member of the Riff Brothers over WLW until early September of 1933 (see Riff Brothers page) and this group must have been formed after this. We have searched radio listings for Jul/33-Jan/34 but no listings for the King, Jack and Jester were found. We did find two listings for the "Gates Brothers" on 28Oct/33 and 4 Nov/33 and we wonder if this is the group to which Jerry Daniels was referring.

The picture shows Jerry, Deek and Charlie performing behind a WHK microphone. This picture is autographed to someone on 27Aug/79 and we wonder if the names Jester, King and Jack were added to the photo then. Was this picture actually of the Gates Brothers before they changed their name? We do know that when they arrived in Cincinnati they used the name the King, Jack and Jester. They are also reported to have added Orville Jones to the group and changed their name to the King, Jack and the Jesters. We have no radio listings to support this change. An unsolved mystery is the question of when and how Orville "Hoppy" Jones joined either the King, Jack and Jester or the Ink Spots.


Jerry Daniels (Jester), Deek Watson (King) and
Charlie Fuqua (Jack)

From 27Dec/33 to 1Jul/34, the King, Jack and Jester are listed for 198 radio shows on WLW and WSAI in Cincinnati. They frequently broadcast twice a day and must have been very popular. Their style, according to Jerry Daniels, was "swing" based on big-name jazz bands, vaudeville acts and the coffee-pot street-corner bands of Indianapolis.[Goldberg, More Than Words Can Say, 1998, p. 8] We have no information about any vaudeville appearances for this group. Any corrections or new information would be greatly appreciated.

Revised 22May/02