***JERRY DANIELS of the INK SPOTS***

(Born 14Dec/15 - died 7Nov/95, Indianapolis)



THE ORIGINAL (FORGOTTEN?) TENOR OF THE INK SPOTS

According to Marv Goldberg, Jerry Daniels joined Charlie Fuqua and Bernie Mackey to form an unnamed coffee pot band sometime in 1929. Charlie had a shoe shine stand across the road from the Stutz Bearcat automobile factory in Indianapolis. This group would sing, dance and play instruments with Jerry playing guitar and ukulele.

Sometime prior to June of 1931, Charlie and Jerry decided to try the big time. Leaving Bernie Mackey behind, they began to appear in vaudeville (we have never found a note or advertisement mentioning an appearance by this group) as Jerry and Charlie. This group had some success and they made over 100 radio broadcasts on WKBF, Indianapolis beginning on 19Jun/31. In the fall of 1933, Deek Watson joined Jerry and Charlie to form a new group, perhaps called the Gates Bros. at first, the King, Jack and Jester. Jerry was one of the four original Ink Spots whose first known performance was at the Apollo Theater in New York City the week of 3-9 August, 1934. He stayed with the Ink Spots only until early 1936. According to Marv Goldberg, Deek Watson said Jerry was "...to ill to continue..." but when he interviewed Jerry Daniels he states Jerry said that, "...the only thing he was 'sick' of was making so little money [More Than Words Can Say, Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1998, p.29.]


After returning to Indianapolis, Jerry formed at least three groups. Although little information is available, Marv Goldberg indicates the three groups were:
The Deep Swingin' Brothers in 1936
The Three Spades (originally called the King, Jack and Ace) who performed on radio in Indianapolis and later WLW and WSAI, Cincinnati in 1937 before going to WHN in New York where they broke up because they couldn't make a living.
Sometime later, Mr. Words, Mr. Music and Mr. Strings performed in Indianapolis until the end of 1942.

Daniels was drafted into the army in 1943, attended the University of Indiana after the war, taught piano and guitar at the MacArthur Conservatory of Music in Indianapolis and wrote a music column for the Indiana Herald. He was proclaimed a Sagamore of the Wabash in 1988 by the governor of Indiana for distinguished service to the State and was awarded a key to the City of Indianapolis in 1992. [More Than Words Can Say, p. 35-36]


The Three Spades were Jerry Daniels, Bill Jennings (six-string guitar), and his brother Al Jennings (on four-string guitar).
See and hear Jerry on YouTube This is his last known performance in 1988.  

Jerry at the United in Group Harmony Association(UGHA) 2nd Hall of Fame induction in April, 1992 when the Ink Spots were honored. The others are Harold Winley ( some Jim Nabbie Ink Spots groups), far left, Herb Kenny, far right, and Ronnie Italiano who was the founder of the UGHA, top.
Photo from Charles Horner via Bill Proctor.

Recordings:  

The Three Spades, Vocalion masters, unissued (but can be heard on the vocal group harmony web site, www.vocalgroupharmony.com/ROWNEW/YeahMan.htm):
Vo unissued, Reference 21935-1, Yeah Man, 1937
Vo unissued, Pan-Pan, 1937
Vo unissued, Fu Manchu, 1937

 
AMC-8801, Classic Ink Spots, Indianapolis Ballroom, 1988. Jerry Daniels joined Nat Williams Ink Spots for two songs (plus the introduction to Your Feet's Too Big):  
-Ordinary (composed by Daniels)  
-And Then Some  
   

2JUN/10