November 07, 2003
Vocal Music, Early R&B, Harmony Vocal Group, Vocal Pop

Album Review

The Ink Spots were the first modern black vocal group, and although chiefly known for their wonderful harmonies, which bridged the gap between 1940s pop styles and the street corner doo wop styles of the 1950s, they were also a self-contained band, and a versatile one. Led by lead singers Deek Watson and Bill Kenny (whose otherworldly high tenor and mannered diction put him in a class by himself), and grounded by Hoppy Jones' innovative (and often improvised) talking-bass vocal lines, the Ink Spots charted nearly 50 Top 40 singles beginning with "If I Didn't Care" in 1939. That track is included here, along with "Java Jive" and an interesting version of "Blueberry Hill," but while this set is fine as far as it goes, it lacks enough key tracks, like the Spots' fine rendition of Duke Ellington's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," for one, to truly be called a "greatest hits."
Steve Leggett, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. If I Didn't Care
  2. Address Unknown
  3. My Prayer
  4. When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano
  5. Whispering Grass
  6. Maybe
  7. We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)
  8. Java Jive
  9. Do I Worry
  10. The Gypsy
  11. To Each His Own
  12. Blueberry Hill
  13. You Always Hurt the One You Love
  14. Stardust
  15. People Will Say We're in Love
  16. It's a Sin to Tell a Lie
  17. I Can't Give You Anything But Love
  18. I'll Be Seeing You