More Than Words Can Say: The Ink Spots and Their Music

More Than Words Can Say: The Ink Spots and Their Music


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The story of the Ink Spots is a rags-to-riches story beloved in American mythology. The success of the Ink Spots inspired many others to attempt (some merely mimicking) their popular and musical success. They were, without question, the most influential black vocal group of the 1940s, and one of the earliest to sing "sweet ballads," which they elevated to an art form (although an increasingly formulaic one). Goldberg gets behind the streamers and glitter of the Ink Spots and the publicity machines of record labels, and provides the story of the group's creation, its music, and its monumental impact on the course of American music. More Than Words Can Say uncovers the mythos and origins of the Ink Spots, from the dramatic stories of finding the band name, to the dozens of individuals who still claim to be original members of the group. Goldberg interviews some of the singers, musicians, and arrangers associated with the original Ink Spots who provide invaluable first-hand accounts of the group. The book discusses the musical environment of the Ink Spots, including the ASCAP/BMI War, gas rationing, War of the Record Speeds, vinyl shortages, and all the lawsuits. Additionally, Goldberg has searched tirelessly through Billboard magazine and theater reviews to get a sense of the Ink Spots' contemporary reception. Also included is a bibliography of sources and a complete alphabetical listing of Ink Spots recordings released on Decca or Victor labels. A fascinating story filled with excellently researched information and exciting anecdotes, Goldberg's text brings out the "authentic" story of the Ink Spots, from their origins in the early 1930s through the tumultuous recording world of 1940s and 1950s America.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780810835689
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 11/05/1998
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.72(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.87(d)

About the Author

Marv Goldberg is a music historian who writes a monthly column in DISCoveries magazine, and has written the liner notes for two dozen record albums. A frequent guest on area oldies radio shows, he also hosts a weekly show of his own.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Foreword Chapter 2 Acknowledgments Chapter 3 Introduction Chapter 4 Prelude: The 1920s to 1931 Chapter 5 1932 Chapter 6 1933 Chapter 7 1934 Chapter 8 1935 Chapter 9 1936 Chapter 10 Intermezzo I: Jerry Daniels Chapter 11 1937 Chapter 12 1938 Chapter 13 1939 Chapter 14 1940 Chapter 15 Prelude to War: ASCAP vs BMI Chapter 16 1941 Chapter 17 1942 Chapter 18 Shellac: More Than You Ever Wanted to Know! Chapter 19 1943 Chapter 20 1944 We Were Winning the War, but Losing the Ink Spots Chapter 21 Intermezzo II: Hoppy Jones Chapter 22 1945 Chapter 23 Intermezzo III: The Brown Dots Chapter 24 1946 Chapter 25 1947 Chapter 26 1948 Chapter 27 1949 Chapter 28 1950 Chapter 29 1951 Chapter 30 Intermezzo IV: Herb Kenny Chapter 31 1952 Chapter 32 Intermezzo V: Billy Bowen Chapter 33 Intermezzo VI: Charlie Fuqua's Ink Spots Chapter 34 Intermezzo VII: Deek Watson Chapter 35 1953 Chapter 36 Intermezzo VIII: Bill Kenny Chapter 37 Da Capo: Buck Ram and the Platters Chapter 38 Coda Chapter 39 The Recordings: In Alphabetical Order Chapter 40 The Recordings: Decca Albums (through 1959 only) Chapter 41 The Recordings: Decca Extended Play Records (EPs) (issued in the 1950s) Chapter 42 Notes Chapter 43 Bibliography Chapter 44 Index Chapter 45 About the Author

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