Best of the Ink Spots [Half Moon]
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 other worldly 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. The Best of the Ink Spots collection works as a decent introduction to this wonderful group. Highlights include a fine version of Duke Ellington's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" and a completely modern take on Leroy Carr's "When the Sun Goes Down," recast here as a pop blues with harmonies that would make the Beach Boys blush.