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Street of Dreams

The Ink Spots

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Album Review

The first modern black vocal group, the Ink Spots featured jazzy, sophisticated harmony arrangements behind the strong leads of singers Deek Watson and Bill Kenny. Although this collection, which features 1930s and '40s sides, probably isn't the ideal place to start for an overview (the Ink Spots had a highly successful six decade run on the pop charts, after all), it does have the Spots' wonderful and 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, along with the mid-'40s hit "Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall," and upbeat jive romps like "Nothin'," "That Cat Is High" and "Oh, Red!"

Biography

Formed: 1938 in Indianapolis, IN

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s

The Ink Spots played a large role in pioneering the black vocal group-harmony genre, helping to pave the way for the doo wop explosion of the '50s. The quavering high tenor of Bill Kenny presaged hundreds of street-corner leads to come, and the sweet harmonies of Charlie...
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