The Ink Spots were a popular vocal group that helped define the musical genre that led to rhythm & blues and rock and roll, and the subgenre doo-wop. They and the Mills Brothers, another black vocal group of the 1930s and 1940s, gained much acceptance in the white community.
Their songs usually began with a guitar riff, followed by the tenor, who sang the whole song through. After the tenor finished singing, the bass would either recite the first half, or the bridge of the song, or would speak the words, almost in a free form, that were not part of the song, commonly using the words "Honey Child", or "Honey Babe", expressing his love for the opposite sex in the song. This was followed by the tenor, who finished up singing the last refrain or the last half of the song.
The Ink Spots formed in the early 1930s in Indianapolis. The original members were :-
Orville "Hoppy" Jones (b. 17 February 1902, Chicago, Illinois - d. 18 October 1944, New York City) (bass) (Played cello in the manner of a stand up bass) Ivory "Deek" Watson (b. 18 July 1909, Mounds, Illinois - d. 4 November 1969, Washington, DC) (tenor) (Played guitar and trumpet) Jerry Daniels (b. 14 December 1915 - 7 November 1995, Indianapolis, Indiana) (tenor) (Played guitar and ukulele) Charlie Fuqua (b. 20 October 1910 - 21 December 1971, New Haven, Connecticut) (baritone) (Played guitar) вЂ� They first recorded for Victor Records in 1935, but although the group was growing rapidly in popularity their early record releases were not commercially successful. The following year Daniels left, and was replaced by Bill Kenny (b. 12 June 1914, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - d. 23 March 1978, Vancouver, British Columbia). Also in 1936, they appeared on the first NBC demonstration television programmes.
For the next two years, their popularity grew through radio programs and tours. After a series of unsuccessful recordings for Victor Records and Decca Records, they had their first smash hit with "If I Didn't Care", a song written by Jack Lawrence, on Decca, in 1939