THE ORIGINAL INK SPOTS - NEWSPAPER ARTICLES
To December 31, 1942
(Note - summaries are based on press items and sometimes include inaccurate information that has not been corrected)
* = Copy of newspaper article in our files.
[ ] = our comments on inaccuracies
1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942
|Jan-Jun/33||Cincinnati Post||Radio listings show the King, Jack and Jester broadcast during these months on WLW (Cincinnati)|
|15Apr/33||Baltimore Afro American||Picture of new brother team, The Riff Brothers, with caption indicating weekly Tuesday evening programs on Crosley radio station WLW, Cincinnati at 8:15 EST. This picture and date does not make sense as the Riff Brothers disbanded in 1931!|
|4Aug/34||NY Amsterdam News||Adv't for one week show at Apollo Theatre, NY headlining Tiny Bradshaw & Orch. IS are one of supporting acts listed only as "4 Ink Spots".|
|29Sep/34||NY Amsterdam News||Adv't for Harlem Opera House featuring the Cotton Pickers Band conducted by Billy Bowen, later to be a member of IS.|
|6 Oct/34 p.7||Baltimore Afro American||*Four IS Sail for London -- NY -- Jack Hylton, English bandleader, sailed back to London Saturday, with 2 American acts, the Four IS and the Three Gay Lords. Suggests both acts almost missed sailing time. 2 IS were on time, 2 others arrived five minutes before the 11 a.m. sailing time Saturday morning.|
|20Oct/34||NY Amsterdam News||Jack Hilton Took the Ink Spots Abroad-from an article in the "Melody Maker", London-confuses the Ink Spots and the Spirits of Rhythm but has the names of quartet members correct.|
|27Oct/34||NY Amsterdam News||Melody Maker Apologizes for confusing IS and Spirits of Rhythm. Is are performing with Hilton at Hippodrome in Birmingham and move to Palladium in London next week.|
|23 Feb/35 p.8||Baltimore Afro American||*IS On Air - IS comprising Orville Jones, Ivory Watson, Jerry Daniels and Charles Fuqua will begin three times a week sustaining program Feb. 25 on WJZ with coast to coast hook up Mon., Wed. & Fri. At 11:30PM.|
|16 Mar/35 p.9||Baltimore Afro American||*Singers Well Liked -- NY -- The great reception received by the Four IS from their three times a week WJZ-NBC broadcast which started only two weeks ago, has caused them to be seriously considered for a full week schedule as a sustaining feature, according to Gale, Inc., managers of the IS.|
|13 Apr/35 p.8||Baltimore Afro American||*IS Get More Time On Air -- NY -- The fine work of the "Four IS" on the Sinclair Oil program, WENR (Chicago) last week, earned three additional broadcasts in same spot. The 30 min. program begins each Monday at 9 p.m. The IS got this job in addition to their regular three times a week sustaining program over WJZ each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11:30 p.m.|
|20 Apr/35 p.8||Baltimore Afro American
NY Amsterdam News
|*IS Kept Busy - IS now with Sinclair Oil program, WENR (Chicago), turn down $1000 per week in theatre offers per Gale, Inc. Similar article about turning down $1,000/wk mentions IS are first colored radio act to reach the "big time" so quickly.|
|27 Apr/35 p.9||Baltimore Afro American||*IS Get $1,750 -- NY -- Only 6 months ago they were looking for a job but today they demand $1,750 per week.|
|4 May/35 p.9||Baltimore Afro American||*IS Back in N.Y. -- NY -- The Four IS returned to NY last week after filling spots on an oil program originating over WENR, Chicago. IS went back to Radio City on their regular three times a week sustaining feature and 2 new commercial sponsors seek their services.|
|11 May/35 p.8||Baltimore Afro American||*Harlem Sees "IS" in Movie -- NY -- The Four IS were seen in the movies in Harlem for first time last week in a short, entitled "What a Business".|
|9Nov/35||NY Amsterdam News||Picture of IS and Adv't for one week appearance at Apollo in NY co-featuring IS and Chick Webb & His Orch. with Ella Fitzgerald, Bardou Ali and Charlie Linton. Show also has Sandy Burns, Jelli Smith, Geo. Wiltshire, Apus Brooks, Jackie Mabley, Al Moore, 3 Ragamuffins, Leonard Harper's Beauty Chorus.|
|20 Feb/36 p.7||Cleveland Call and Post||*On New Radio Feature - IS picture and caption re: new "Genius of Color" weekly program with cast of 50 all-colored artists headed by Chick Webb & his Orch. each Wed. Evening at 10:30 EST for ½ hour. IS one of the popular features.|
|2 May/36||NY Amsterdam News||Adv't for one week IS appearance at Apollo, NY. IS headline with Sunshine Sammy & Hardy Bros. Band, Lucky Sisters, Ford, Reading & Royce, McClain & Ross, Norman Astwood, Margaret Simms, Pigmeat. John Mason, Monty Hawley, Bernham, Harris & Scott, 16 Operettes. Film - The Crime of Doctor Crispi.|
|22Sep/37||?||*Four IS - appear at Bennet hotel, Binghampton, NY starting Oct. 2.|
|17Oct/36||NY Amsterdam News||IS picture and adv't, Apollo, NY co-featuring Chick Webb & Orch. with Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Linton and Bardou Ali. Also Chink Collins, Madeline Belt, Jackie Mabley, Sandy Burns, Dusty Fletcher, Geo. Wiltshire, 6 Cotton Club Boys, 12 Careyettes.|
|8Dec/37||?||*Four IS - into Bennett hotel, Binghampton, NY Dec. 10th for four weeks.|
|23 Mar/38||?||*Four IS - open at Levaggi's Grill Room, Boston, April 17 for a stay.|
|29Oct/38||Billboard||*Sans Souci Grill, Hotel Bennett, NY - featuring the Four IS for 3-weeks commencing Oct. 9. IS appeared here a year ago. "Their music consists of low Southern comedy, Harlem lingo, popular music and the hottest swing." Their Costumes are flashy and "boys" are neatly groomed in all respects. Broadcasting every day over WNBF?.|
|3 Dec/38||NY Amsterdam News||*Advert. for one week appearance at Apollo, 125th Street near 8th Ave. Beginning Dec 2nd: Leonard Harper's New Hit Show with Tiny Bradshaw and His Band; 4 Ink Spots, radio's foremost quartette; Jean Starr, a new rising star; Pigmeat, Givens & Karol, 16 dancing girls.|
|16 Dec/38||NY Amsterdam News||Advert. for 2nd Annual Monster Benefit Midnight Show at the Apollo with Cab Calloway and His Band; Nicholas Bros.; Berry Bros.; Fredi Washington; Glady Palmer, from Band Box; Sister Tharpe, Holy Roller Singer of the Cotton Club; Fats Waller; Don Redman; Four Ink Spots; Musa Williams; Chilton and Thomas; Hazel Scott; Mable Scott; W. C. Handy; and many others. Prices: 55 cents, $1 and $1.50.|
|24 Dec/38||Baltimore Afro American (?)||*Advert. for Howard, A Lichtman Theatre [Washington?] on Sunday, Dec 25th for 5 days featuring Erskine Hawkins & His Orch., IS, Holmes the ventriloquist, Derby Wilson, John Mason and Johnny Vigal.|
|30Sep/39||Billboard||*Appearance review including Glenn Millar Orch. with vocalist Marion Hutton and IS. IS do Jeepers Creepers, Your Feet's Too Big, If I Didn't Care and Who. "Millar made a mistake at the last show opening day, playing on top of an enormous hand the house gave the quartet. They really whammed and Miller should have brought them back, regardless of running time." Jeepers reviewed as a weak opener that should be replaced by something more recent.|
|28 Oct/39 p.13||Baltimore Afro American||*A frequently inaccurate article (with pictures of each Spot) by Lillian Johnson about the start of the group including its fame following If I Didn't Care release.|
Baltimore Afro American
|*Springfield, Mass.-Henry Armetta, the Four IS and Milt
Britton & HIs Orch. did great business at the Paramount Theatre, where
they closed a week Thursday. The IS were well received and at many shows
had to do encores.
*IS to Sing Newest Song of Young Baltimorean - IS told Gordon Anderson that they would sing the song that he thinks is the best he has written to date, "Let Me Sing in My Dreams". [Never recorded and no indication it was included in an IS performance.]
|11 Jan/40 p.3||Cleveland Call and Post||*Meet the Famous IS - Picture with caption attesting to fame re: If I Didn't Care as number one men of the black and tan music world featuring Ivory Watson, Billy Kenny, Orville Jones and Chas. Fuqua. "Show is a genuine razzle-dazzle, zip-band, shouting, war whooping, frenzied fiesta that leads you to believe that the whole town has gone "whoopee" and that there's nothing left to have jollification." At present at the Famous Door, NY.|
|7 Feb/40||?||*Apollo, N.Y. - with Al Cooper Orch., Evelyn White, Baby Hines, Foster & Batie, Apus Brooks, George Wiltshire, Vivian Harris, Three Elegants; film - City in Darkness (20th). IS were also at the Paramount for the first five days traversing the distance from Times square to 125thstreet in an ambulance four times daily. [Paramount dates don't support this!] Article indicates the holdover at the Paramount for a third week after the Apollo deal had already been set, caused this situation.|
|24 Feb/40 p.15||Baltimore Afro American||*Picture of IS|
|30 Mar/40 p.13||Baltimore Afro American (?)||*IS to Sue Quartet on Use of Name - another group was using the IS name in New Orleans and Gale Inc. announced it will sue.|
|11 Apr/40 p.7||Cleveland Call and Post||*Advert. re: The 4 Ink Spots with the Sunset Royal Orch. Featuring Little Genevieve and Froshine Stewart on Wed. Apr. 24, 9:30 at East Market Gardens, Akron, Ohio, advance 95 cents, door $1.10.|
|13 Apr/40 p.10||Chicago Defender||*IS at Savoy Sunday - Picture and Caption re: at Savoy Sunday Apr. 21. Voted outstanding instrumental and vocal quartet of 1939. Admission 60 cents if get to ballroom before 8:30.|
|15Apr/40||Downbeat||*Too Many Ink Spots - About Gale obtaining restraining order to stop imposter IS group touring ahead of original IS in South.|
|18 Apr/40 p.7||Cleveland Call and Post||*Play East Market Gardens - Picture with caption re: IS added attraction of dance at East Market Gardens, Akron, Ohio to supplement Sunset Royal Orch with Little Genevieve and Froshine Stewart.|
|20 Apr/40 p.12||Chicago Defender||*Headliners at the Savoy - Picture and caption re: Apr.
21 show at Savoy "which will supply music the like of which has not been
heard in Bronzeville in years".
*IS at Savoy - IS and their 14 piece orch. at Savoy April 21. Internationally famous group made debut several years ago on Cincinnati radio station & toured Europe with Jack Hylton & Orch. Today highest paid quartet in business with interesting numbers of "jumpin' jive" and ballads. Walter Winchell said that the IS are the greatest act that ever hit Broadway.
|4 May/40 p.22||Baltimore Afro American||*Picture and notice that IS will appear at the Roseland Estate Ballroom in Boston, May 7.|
|12 Oct/40||Billboard||*NY: We Three, IS, Ray Herbeck - Discusses Herbeck doing this song in the 'classy' spots while the IS will dominate the colored sections.|
|15 Oct/40||Downbeat||*5 to 4 - Chicago - Marie Dickerson tells the story of the Four IS, currently at the Blackhawk, and how they arrived in Chicago several weeks ago with 5 valets. The extra valet, according to the IS, acted as valet for the other four valets.|
|19 OCT/40 p.19||Chicago Defender||*Four IS Will Start Long Tour Soon - NY- IS are scheduled to appear in Youngstown, Ohio, Oct.26; Columbia, S.C., Oct. 28; Charleston, S.C., Oct. 29; the City Auditorium, Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 30[confirmed]; Birmingham, Ala., Oct. 31[confirmed] and the Church Park Aud., Memphis, Tenn., Nov. 1.|
|9 Nov/40 p.13
|Chicago Defender||*Famous Quartet Is Here for One Week - IS will make first
Chicago stage appearance in over a year [contradicts Oct. 15thDownbeatarticle]
at the Regal Theatre, South Parkway and Forty-seventh Street beginning
Fri., Nov. 8. Show will include Stump and Stumpy, Whitey and Ed Ford, Rubie
Blakey, and Tony Fambro & his Regal Rhytm Boys.
*On Regal Stage - Picture with caption re: Regal Theatre show says the IS come to Southside following a conquest of the loop district.
|1 Dec/40||Downbeat||*IS Bus Catches Fire - Cumberland, Maryland: Coming down a mountain road 4 miles outside Cumberland, while touring area, flames started to come out from under the hood of the bus carrying the IS and their 14-piece band. No Harm to people or instruments.|
|14 Dec/40||Billboard||*Paramount, NY (reviewed Wed. Eve. Dec. 4th) with Red Skelton, Rosemary Lane and Ray Herbeck's band. "Nothing of sock caliber is around until the closing, when the IS show-stop. They sing, mug, dance, all in unorthodox but entertaining fashion." Reviewer indicates one "has a high, freak voice". Tunes include Java Jive, We Three and Maybe.|
|21Dec/40||NY Amsterdam News||Picture of IS singing at premiere of Jack Benny film "Love Thy Neighbor". Caption indicates held at Paramount Theatre and broadcast over a network.|
|Jan/41||Swing||*IS Celebrate 6th Birthday - (article with three pictures): Discusses 6th anniversary this month, popularity wave that got under way with the release of their recording of If I Didn't Care, IS have just finished playing an engagement at the Paramount Theatre--their third this year. "Despite the fact that for five years they were heard regularly via an NBC sustaining period, the Spots are the most conspicuous case of radio failure." Their radio work failed to draw much attention or recognition[?]. Indicates that Dave Kapp of Decca Records saw possibilities in the quartet "that every other recording studio turned down and that had proved only a mediocrity on the air-lanes". Care was released Feb 16th, 1939 and the IS got only $37.50 for their work. After Care was released, Walter Winchell said "the IS recording of If I Didn't Care is our favourite torch. ... Scallions to the way all the recordings (except the IS spoil If I Didn't Care." Indicates after selling about 200,000 copies, IS got another $3,750. Suggests IS were about to quit just before Care and Kenny had car picked up by finance co. Also, Jones was having 3rd pair of twins [??] and now had 9 mouths to feed. Suggests radio exec's thought rhythm songs were their strength and Care was their first ballad [wrong]. Mentions incorrect story of IS being porters at Paramount theater and that they broadcast on WLW with little success. Correctly indicates Kenny joined IS in 1936 and discusses Jones use of Cello as a bass fiddle so he could dance during performances.|
|8Jan/41||Billboard (?)||*Advert. For Java Jive with Walter Winchell quote - "Love and Kisses to your Decca Recording of Java Jive".|
|Jan/41||?||*Summary on year - "...while the juke boxes 'made' only a very few new personalities--The Ink Spots, Dinah Shore, Frankie Masters and Will Bradley."|
|15Jan/41||Billboard||*IS Set for Movie - The IS will spend a month making their first major movie, The Great American Broadcast, in Hollywood next month for 20thCentury-Fox.|
|25Jan/41||?||*Earle, Philly - Review of show including Erskine Hawkins & Orch., with Jimmy Mitchell and Ida James, Tip Tap & Toe, Four IS; film: Trail of the Vigilantes (U). IS close, mixing up its offering neatly with sweet and jump stuff in equal doses. Songs: Java Jivewith We Three, Who, and If I Didn't Care. "The boys had trouble bowing off. Trio is overmugging and thus spoiling the effect of their fine voice-blending."|
|29Jan/41||Variety||*Inside Stuff-Music - Discusses fact that the IS are one group of powerful record sellers which recognizes the value of not making too many records. IS have not released a record since Dec.15 and will not issue any until Feb.15 at least. Holding up output is a deliberate move by manager Moe Gale to enable past records to exhaust their possible sales. In the last six months the group has made only six platters and 5 have been best sellers. These 6 have averaged 175,000 sales apiece since their release.|
|Feb(?)/41||Music and Rhythm||*Band of the Month - The four IS organized in 1926[?],
and except for one member of the group, Slim Green [should be Jerry Daniels
who quit in 1936], who died in 1937, the personnel has remained the same
(Watson, Kenny, Jones and Fuqua are pictured). Indicates IS launched professional
career at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, Indianapolis in 1926 where they earned
$5 per week per man but since three of them were only boys going to school
they didn't mind. They remained at the Roof for two years and then got
their first taste of big-time at radio station WLW, Cincinnati, where they
did sustaining and commercial programs from 1928[?] to 1931.
1932 was spent at radio station WHK, Cleveland [correct for part of year as King, Jack and Jester but moved to WLW later in year] and the following year the boys hit New York. Jack Hylton took them back to England with him toward the end of 1933  and for 14  months they toured England and the Continent with Hylton. When they arrived back in NY, NBC signed them for radio and still has them under contract. Salary has jumped as high as $5,000 a week. States that IS arrangements are worked out during rehearsals, memorized; written down only when they work with a band. Hobbies: Watson-clothes; Fuqua-pipes; Kenny-photography and Jones-match folders.
|Feb/41||?||*IS Ink Picture Contract - IS who have recently finished a 2 week stint at the Paramount Theatre, have signed to perform in 20th Century-Fox film the Great American Broadcast. Picture goes into production in Feb., when IS will arrive on coast "after a cross-country jaunt of one-night dance & theatre dates". After they finish movie, they will return to NY and another Paramount date. Film will have world premiere at Roxy Theatre in NY.|
|1 Mar/41 p.14||Baltimore Afro American||*$25,000 Week for IS - Not yet at the height of their career, the IS with weekly earnings of $25,000, "loom as potentially the highest paid performers the stage has ever produced". Now in Hollywood for role in The Great American Broadcast.|
|15 Mar/41||Billboard||*Advert. for Please Take a Letter Miss Brown with Walter Winchell quote, "You'll never forget,".|
|29 Mar/41||Okla. City(?)||*Advert. re: appearance at Trainon Ballroom, Oklahoma City, Friday Night, April 18th, advance tickets available at the Cut Rate Drug Store for 86 cents or at the Ballroom for $1.|
|12 Apr/41 p.14||Baltimore Afro American||*Picture announcing new recordings of We'll Meet Again and You're Looking for Romance.|
|Apr/41||Met(?)||*IS Sign Movie Contract - with 20thCentury-Fox, setting a new salary high for Negro foursomes, IS will receive $25,000 a week for "The Great American Broadcast". It will premiere in April.|
|10 May/41 p.11
Baltimore Afro American
|*On Regal Stage - Picture from Great American Broadcast,
the new million dollar musical by 20thCent. Fox of IS who will
appear at Regal starting Friday.
*IS At - starting Fri., May 9 from Hollywood with own 14 piece Sunset Royal Orch. directed by Wheeler Morgan and featuring vocals of Francine Stewart. Also with Moke and Poke - singing and dancing comedy sensations, Ross and McCain - sepia wonders of the dance.
Picture of IS from Great American Broadcast
|10 May/41 p.10
|Cleveland Call & Post||*Advert. - 4 IS and their Orch., Trianon Ballroom, Tues.,
May 20, 9:00PM, 75 cents, put on by Super Attractions.
*IS, Calloway Bands Out on Tour - IS fared very well in South. Appeared at the Colored Aud., San Antonio, Texas but bad weather held crowd down to $800, next at Houston with gross $2,200 and then to Galveston (Texas) Aud., and drew $3,000 at $1 a head.
*IS, Nicholas Brothers in Picture - Great American Broadcast
*IS Come On With Another Disk - Picture with caption re: new recording of What Good Would It Do and When [Your] Heartaches Begin.
|17 May/41 p.7A||Cleveland Call & Post||*Advert. re: Trianon appearance May 20th.|
|31May/41||Billboard||*Big Banquet Show [where?]- The type of entertainment afforded the guests at the banquet definitely marked the occasion as a success. Among the features of the show were the IS and the 16-piece band, Sunset Royal Orch. under the direction of Willie Moran. IS sang 6 numbers, If I Didn't Care, Maybe, Do I Worry?, Your Feet's Too Big, Who and Java Jive.|
|5Jul/41||NY Amsterdam News||Adv't, Brooklyn Apollo Theatre, Sun.-Wed. July 6-9 "The Great American Broadcast". IS and Nicholas Bros. (dance act also in movie) are featured in larger print than movie title or lead actors.|
|6Jul/41||?||*Steel Pier, Atlantic City - Dinah Shore, Four IS, Three
Sailors, The Juvelys, Frank & Jean Hubert, Goodrich & Nelson, Gae
Foster Ballet, Ben Yost Singers, Dick Dana, Pinkie Lee, Bobby Morris, Music
Hall Orch. Film: The Flame of New Orleans (U).
Unusually big, 85 min. show. "When caught on Sunday afternoon (6th), the close of the biggest weekend for several years, it was necessary to take off feature film in order to put on more vaude shows to keep waiting lines of crowd in order."
Outstanding are the IS who took over the house with their harmonies. In white tuxedos and white ties, boys sing Do I Worry, Brown Girl, If I Didn't Care and had to beg off despite audience calls for more of their favorite selections.
|Aug/41||Swing||*Songs and Sales - Glenn Miller far & away most popular band during past 12 months but the only "name" that can be considered as having been "made" during 1940 was--The IS. This colored quartet that has kicked around NY for many years hit the jackpot with just one number--If I Didn't Care.|
|8Aug/41||Billboard||*Paramount, NY, reviewed Wed. Aug. 13 - Jerry Colonna, Claude Thornhill's band & IS. Film: Kiss the Boys Goodbye. IS close and are held over from the previous bill. IS "smacked them over solid". Did Keep Cool Fool, You're Breaking My Heart Again, I'm Still Without a Sweetheart and Alabama Bound.|
|23Aug/41||NY Amsterdam News||Apollo Opens With Ink Spots-tickets on sale for premiere on Aug 29th.|
|30 Aug/41||NY Amsterdam News||Adv't, Apollo Theatre, NY, IS headline, also Sunset Royal Orch., Spider Bruce, Sandy Burns, John Vigal, Froshiem Stewart, Eddie, Jack & Betty, Ralph Brown, Whitey's Lindy Hop Champions. Film-Pigmeat in One Big Mistake.|
|15Sep/41||Billboard||*Oh, How They Feel It - Picture of IS mugging & caption re: IS recording I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire.|
|27Sep/41||Billboard||*Advert showing Records of American History by Gale Inc.
"Chapt. 1 Once upon a time at midnight a spirited American patriot, Paul
Revere, mounted his horse, and rode through the streets of Lexington shouting,
"Wake up, wake up and listen to the sensational recording of I Don't
Want to Set the World on Fire by the 4 IS".
Four IS - IS have broken box-office records in many theaters thruout the country and have played the NY Paramount Theater four times in a year and a half--a record. Other engagements include Loew's State, NY; Earle Theater, Phil.; Hippodrome & Royal Theater, Balt.; State-Lake Theater, Chicago; Earle and Howard Theaters, Wash.; Stanley Theater, Pitts. and the Orpheum Theater, LA.
|1Oct/41||Downbeat||*The IS - "Billy Kenny's sickening, phony and pseudo-dramatic tenor soloing (voice, not a sax) continues on Until the Real Thing Comes Along and Keep Cool, Fool, but the Spots are their usual confident selves when Kenny isn't belching in a falsetto."|
|25Oct/41||Billboard||*Hippodrome, Balt., reviewed Thurs. Oct. 16. - Louis Prima and band sharing with the Four IS, Bob Evans. Film: Father Takes a Wife. "The boys display their distinctive wares with some solid sending on both jive and ballad selections." Java Jive, Until the Real Thing Comes Along, I'm Still Without a Sweetheart, Keep Cool, Fool, I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire and If I Didn't Care, four encores with each number bringing more applause than the previous one. "Boys use a surprise close of The Star Spangled Banner, with the customers standing and joining in."|
|1Nov/41||Downbeat||*Letter to editor disputing Oct 1 reference to "Billy Kenny's sickening, phony and pseudo-dramatic tenor soloing..."|
|7 Nov/41||Billboard(?)||*Stanley, Pitt - Erskine Hawkins Orch, IS, Red &
Curley, Moke & Poke, Ida James. Film: Feminine Touch (M-G).
Too long and much sameness with result audience pretty well done in by the time the IS closed. IS did 6 numbers and at least the last couple of them were forced. "Somehow, idea of a quartet that one moment is giving out with the jivin, and the next going into the national anthem, doesn't figure." Java Jive, Do I Worry, Without a Sweetheart, Keep Cool, Fool and I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire, Star Spangled Banner.
|6Dec/41||Billboard(?)||*Michigan, Detroit - Erskine Hawkins Orch., 4 IS, Moke
& Poke, Red & Curley, Ida James, Billy Mitchell, Avery Parrish.
Film: Look Who's Laughing (RKO). Second colored show initiating vaudeville
here that is "ringing the bell". "It's a tossup whether the Erskine Hawkins'
band, blowing them hot and sometimes sweet, or the IS, doing it jive or
syrupy, moves ahead in favor, but it doesn't matter, for there's a nice
merging of talent in the entire colored show." Java Jive, Do I Worry,
Keep Cool Fool, World on Fire, Didn't Care and Tuxedo
Mobile Ala. - Someone's Rocking My Dream Boat. IS. The latest rage in this territory. Operators here report that there is always a title-strip reserved for these artists, and Dream Boat is the current favorite.
|6 Dec/41 p.11B||Cleveland Call & Post||*Youngsters Rate A in Deportment During Fitzgerald Show - Indicates concern re: barring negro youngsters from sepia performer stage shows lessened because a goodly number attended Fitzgerald/IS show without creating disturbance. Sat., Sun. & Mon. sellouts. IS sang If I Didn't Care and Java Jive. Show included Moke & Poke and Peg leg Bates.|
|3Jan/42||Billboard||*Chicago, Chicago reviewed Friday afternoon, Dec. 26
- Erskine Hawkins & Orch, IS, film: Shadow of the Thin Man (Metro).
IS close and "the only way they get off the stage is by staying on it while the curtains are drawn together". Comments on the contrast within the act-- "One member boasts of a good, colorful voice; another furnishes effective relief with a pair of deep pipes, a third is the perennial jitterbug, and the fourth concentrates on doing a good job on the guitar." Java Jive, Until the Real Thing Comes Along, I'm Still Without a Sweetheart, Hey, Doc and I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire.
|1Feb/42||Downbeat||*IS - Is It a Sin? And It's a Sin to Tell a Lie. "The spots are fast becoming the ace schmaltz-dispensers of their race. The latest coupling drips with Billy Kenny falsettos and belchetoes."|
|21Feb/42||Billboard||*Sock 20G's for the Iss" Uni. Pic. - Universal reported to offer IS a reported $20,000 to work in the studio's next Abbott & Costello pic. Money is highest ever quoted to a musical group of this size and IS will only put in nine days on picture. IS on a theater tour thru the Midwest, and are booked nearly solid through March. Moe Gale now trying to reshuffle previous commitments, but has told Universal that he can only spare the IS for nine days in March.|
|3Mar/42||?||*NY, Feb 28. - Moe Gale is planning to send the IS on a three or four-week USO tour of army camps early in May. Tour will take place after boys wind up a Boston theater engagement.|
|4 Apr/42 p.5||Cleveland Call & Post||*Advert. - 4 IS direct from Hollywood where they recently completed "Pardon My Sarong" with Abbot & Costello featured with Sunset Royal Orch, at Coliseum, 9:00PM, Easter Monday Nite, E. 107 and Cedar, Cleveland, only 95 cents.|
|23May/42||Billboard||*Paramount, NY reviewed Wed. eve., May 13 - Woody Herman,
IS, Bobby Lane & Edna Ward. Film: This Gun for Hire.
"Saved for the last, the spectacular Spots came to the rescue in high and showed that they are as hot as ever." Have a Heart Josephine,We'll Meet Again, Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree. Encored with Do I Worry? and The Star-Spangled Banner. "This was as terrific a job of audience slaying as the gaudy Spots have done in this house."
|1Jul/42||Billboard(?)||*Music Hall, A.C. (Steel Pier) June 30 - IS, George Choos Revue, Helene Denison, Four Senoritas, Sterner Sisters, Una Cooper, Catherine Harris, Gaudsmith Brothers, The Ghezzis, Monroe Brothers, Dick Dana, Charles Kemper, Harry Savoy, George Hafferty, Ben Yost Singers, Music Hall Orch.. Film: Henry and Dizzy (Par). A show with plenty of quantity and quality to inaugurate the new policy of Music Hall on Steel Pier. The Hall is now run as a vaudeville hall, admission 85 cents for weekends and 60 cents for weekdays. Josephine, Apple Tree and Do I Worry, Encore, This Is Worth Fighting For, is their best.|
|7Jul/42||Billboard||*Millinder-IS Show - NY, July 4--Lucky Millinder embarks on a 13-week tour of theaters with the IS and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, beginning in September. Show will be booked as a package, with Negro vaude acts as support.|
|23Sep/42||Billboard(?)||*Fox, B'kyn - Lucky Millinder's Orch, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, IS, Peg Leg Bates, Morgan & Rogers. Film: Sweater Girl (Par). Shout, Brother, Shout, Ev'ry Night About This Time, This Is Worth Fighting For, Apple Tree and If I Didn't Care, "winding up proceedings in a blaze." Numbers almost identical with ones used on recent Paramount, NY date and reaction just as strong.|
|3Oct/42||Billboard(?)||*Earle, Phil. reviewed Fri., Sept. 25th - Lucky Millinder's Orch., IS, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Freddie Gordon & Timmie Rogers, Peg Leg Bates. "Top spot goes to the Four IS, heavy favorites here." Shout, Brother, Shout, Ev'ry Night About This Time, Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree. Encore This is Worth FightingFor and If I Didn't Care.|
|24Oct/42||Billboard||*Colonial, Dayton, O. reviewed Friday afternoon, Oct. 16th - Lucky Millander Orch., IS, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Peg-Leg Bates, Gordon & Rogers. "It's a whopper of a show throuout, and when the IS appear it looks tough for them to top what has gone before, but they manage to do it and leave the audience begging for more." Shout, Brother, Shout, Every Night About This Time, This Is Worth Fighting For, If I Didn't Care.|
|6Nov/42||Billboard||*RKO, Boston - Lucky Millinder Orch, IS, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Peg Leg Bates, Gordon & Rogers. Film: Wings and the Woman (RKO). "This colored show is distinguished mainly by its all-out jivery, everybody in it giving with both barrels in every direction." The IS, here for the first time since their Hollywood trip, tie the show up into a neat bundle with five smartly arranged tunes ending with If I Didn't Care.|
|14Nov/42||?||*ISs' Reason, Pittsburgh, Oct. 13 - IS playing Stanley, asked theatre management to drop the numeral 4 from their billing. One of their members expects to go into the army shortly and indicates IS would carry on without a replacement.|
|9Dec/42||Variety||*Gale and N.Y. Par. In Compromise On IS's RKO One-Nighters - Moe Gale, manager of the IS; Bob Weitman and Harry Levine, maaging director and booker, respectively, of the N. Y. Paramount Theatre, adjusted their differences Monday (4) over Gale's booking the quartet into a week of one-nighters in RKO houses around N. Y. Paramount objected to showing the quartet in the RKO houses because the Par had options on their future services which the local showings would injure. Gale and the Par execs worked out an adjustment of the Spots' salary for their next Par appearance. James C. Petrillo, head of the American Federation of Musicians had ordered Gale to pull the quartet and the Tiny Bradshaw band. Gale admitted error and the dates were allowed to proceed when he agreed to adjust the IS's future Par Salary.|
|1942?||?||*IS is 'Typical Father'-One of the Four IS, Orville Happy [Hoppy] Jones, was awarded a solid gold diaper pin last week for being chosen the "typical Harlem father." Jones has seven children. A committee from the Harlem Chamber of Commerce made the presentation and a ball was held in Happy's honor at the Savoy ballroom.|
LAST REVISED - 1999