THE INK SPOTS - BOOKS & ARTICLES

DATE TITLE COMMENTS
Jun/54 Break-Up, Our World, pp. 43-45. Discusses origins and the problems leading to IS break up. Some statements are not accurate (as is the case for so much IS material in print) and, therefore, the validity of other statements may be open to question. Includes pictures of Moe Gale, groups after split, Ruth Bowen & Audrey Kenny in '52 and Bill Kenny.
1967 The Story of the Ink Spots by Deek Watson with Lee Stephenson, Vantage Press, New York. Although interesting, this book is factually inaccurate. Many events recounted could not have happened and important events are not mentioned. The inaccuracies and omissions may be due, at least in part, to publication being only two years prior to Watson's death.
1977 THE INK SPOTS, by Pete Grendysa, George Moonoogian, Rick Whitesell and Marv Goldberg, Yesterday's Memories, Vol. 3, No. 1, Issue 9. An extremely valuable article that includes information relating to the origins of the group, pictures of the Peanut Boys (1928) the Riff Brothers (ca. 1929 and ca. 1931) and The Ink Spots (1933 with Daniels, Watson, Jones and Fuqua; Kenny, Watson, Jones and Fuqua with Count Basie, ca 1940; Bowen, Givens, Mackey and Kenny, 1945; Long, Bowen, Herb Kenny and Bill Kenny, 1945; Bill Kenny, Ray Tunia at piano, Bowen, Fuqua and Herb Kenny, 1946; Bowen, Bill Kenny, Herb Kenny and Fuqua, ca. 1947; Kenny, McDonald, Bowen and Fuqua, 1951), group members by approximate dates and a discography. 
Nov/83 An Autobiography of Black Jazz, Dempsey J. Travis, Urban Research Institute, Chicago. Floyd Campbell chapter, pg 245 - said his band contracted for a 10-city tour with the IS in Dec/41. Says IS were earning $7,000/wk at time which was more than double what entire Duke Ellington Orch earned! Did final week at Regal theatre in Chicago on 13 Feb/42. Six other acts included the "Three Loose Nuts" lead by Eddie Cole, Nat's big brother. 

David A. Young chapter, pg 494 - said Bill Kenny was jealous of short, chocolate brown Deek Watson and often when IS were waiting offstage for applause, Kenny would hit Watson in the mouth after which they would run back on stage as if nothing happened! Stated that Jones, who owned and organized group for WLW (Cincinnati) reminded Kenny, who was born in West Indies, that he had nothing when they picked him up & they could leave him the same way. Travis said that would be easy given Kenny's gambling - he lost as much as $4,000 a night at the DuSable Hotel and that one of Hotel's owners, Charlie Cole, said that, "...Bill Kenny worked to gamble." 

Jan/87 Remembering the Big Time by Claire Keefner, Golden Valley Alaska Ruralite, pp4-5. About 80-year-old Miff Campbell who started out with Orville Jones in the early 1920's in Indianapolis where they went to school together. States that Orville Jones came from New Orleans and they formed a dance team, Jones and Campbell which traveled doing an act in vaudeville carnivals and small clubs. Later they developed into a trio and then a quartet with the addition of Leonard Reed, Deke Watson and, later, Slim Green. A big break came when the Mills Brothers left WLW in Cincinnati and the Riff Brothers were hired. A "disagreement" resulted in a split within the group and Hoppy and Deke went to New York and Slim and Miff stayed behind. 
Feb9/89 Ink Spots, Rolling Stone A brief article about the Spots with a picture of a 1945 group (Kenny, Bowen, Givens and Mackey).
1998 Marv Goldberg - More Than Words Can Say: The Ink Spots and Their Music The best coverage in print. To order a copy contact:

Scarecrow Press, Inc.

4720 Boston Way

Lanham, Maryland 20706

(800) 462-6420


 

Last revised - 19APR/00 -JH