The Lee Konitz Quartet with Ronnie Ball, Peter Ind, and Jeff Morton continued their December 1954 run into the middle of January 1955. After leaving Tiffany Club on January 13th, the quartet was booked into Maynard Sloate’s Jazz City where they continued to draw capacity crowds.
In his youth Lee Konitz studied clarinet with a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which probably helped to form his later “cool” tone on saxophone. After taking up alto saxophone he played briefly with the clarinetist Jerry Wald and, in 1947, with Claude Thornhill’s band, at that time the source of much of the talent that shaped cool jazz in New York. This established his contact with Miles Davis, and he took a leading part in the latter’s famous nonet performances and recordings of 1948-50. By this time Konitz had already begun his association with Lennie Tristano, under whose influence and tutelage his mature style emerged. After breaking with Tristano he toured Scandinavia (1951) and worked in Stan Kenton’s big band (1952-3). Thereafter he mainly led his own small groups, occasionally touring abroad but generally shunning publicity and exposure. In 1954-5 he recorded again with Tristano.
Konitz’s Storyville LP, KONITZ, with the same rhythm section received a begrudged four star rating from Down Beat where Nat Hentoff found “his rhythm section as metronomically unswinging a section as I’ve ever heard with the chief offender bassist Peter Ind whose solos, as heard here, are also pretty sad. Drummer Jeff Morton and pianist Ronnie Ball are somewhat better but neither could come close in pulsate freedom, to let’s say Joe Morello or Horace Silver.”
“Ball’s solos are occasionally better than good, (as on “317 West 32nd”) but he could use a stronger left hand. Konitz’s conception is intelligent and individualized throughout though he still fails to communicate (to me anyway) anywhere near the warmth of Desmond or Geller. Lee may have it, but it doesn’t come through all the time yet. One of the recent examples of a more relaxed Konitz, who, if he had a rhythm section, might get deeper down into the emotional roots of jazz.” (Storyville LP 313).
Bob Scobey’s Frisco Band, featuring famed vocalist-banjoist Clancy Hayes, brilliant musical group who developed “San Francisco style” jazz and is largely responsible for the Great Jazz Revival of the past few years, will make their first local nightery appearance at Jack Tucker’s Tiffany Club. Eighth near Normandy, beginning tomorrow night, January 14th.
Bob Scobey was born in Tucumcari, New Mexico, December 9, 1916. Lived in Stockton, California until he was fourteen. Learned to play cornet in grammar school, but was fascinated by chemistry and thought seriously of becoming a scientist. In 1930 the family moved to Berkeley where Scobey studied with classical instructors. On graduation from high school he chose a career in music over chemistry, and until 1938 played in ballroom orchestras, theater pit bands, radio station staff bands, and various nightclubs in the Bay Area. It wasn’t until he met Lu Watters in 1938 that he concentrated on jazz. Joined the Yerba Buena Jazz Band in 1940. Served 3 1/2 years in Army in World War II. Played with YBJB again from 1946 to 1950 when he left to form his own group. From the start they were extremely successful. A three-year stay at Victor & Roxie’s in Oakland, and their popular series of Good Time Jazz records, established them among the nation’s top jazz outfits. In 1952 and 1953 they were featured at the famous annual Dixieland Jubilee in Los Angeles.
Long associated with the famed Yerba Buena Jazz Band, and star of his own Tuesday television show In San Francisco. for which he’ll “commute” during this engagement, Scobey’s trumpet styling is best displayed in his large repertoire of rags, stomps, blues and the great jazz classics which form the basis of the San Francisco style. Clancy Hayes is one of the top vocalists in the field. The Scohey Septette, with their jazz with a modern beat, emphasizes simplicity and rhythm, performed with great rhythmic looseness and drive, resulting in a singularly relaxed approach. Their Good Time Jazz albums with such all-time great tunes as “Wolverine Blues,” “Some of These Days,” “Peoria,” and “Chicago,” are collector’s items.
During the Tiffany engagement. Scobey and his band will appear nightly except Tuesdays. Bob Scobey’s Frisco Jazz Band ended their Tiffany Club engagement on January 27th.
Wild Bill Davis was the stage name of American jazz pianist, organist, and arranger William Strethen Davis. Davis was born in Glasgow, Missouri. He is best known for his pioneering jazz electronic organ recordings and for his tenure with the Tympany Five, the backing group for Louis Jordan. Prior to the emergence of Jimmy Smith in 1956, Davis (whom Smith had reportedly first seen playing organ in the 1930s) was the pacesetter among organists.
Davis originally played guitar and wrote arrangements for Milt Larkin’s Texas-based big band during 1939–1942, a band which included Arnett Cobb, Illinois Jacquet, and Tom Archia on horns. After leaving the Larkin orchestra, Davis worked in Chicago as a pianist, recording with Buster Bennett in 1945. He played a crucial role as the pianist-arranger in Jordan’s Tympany Five (1945–1947) at the peak of their success. After leaving Jordan, he returned to Chicago for a time, recording again with Buster Bennett and working with Claude McLin. After switching from piano to organ, Davis moved to the East Coast. In 1950, he began leading an influential trio of organ, guitar, and drums, which recorded for OKeh Records.
The Wild Bill Davis Trio appeared at Tiffany Club previously in October of 1953.
The Wild Bill Davis Trio was working Birdland in New York in the mid 1950s on a double bill with the Count Basie Orchestra. Basie was so impressed with the arrangement of “April in Paris” by the trio that he asked Davis to write an arrangement for the orchestra. The Wild Bill Davis Trio closed on February 10, 1955.
Bulee “Slim” Gaillard was born on January 4, 1911, in Pensacola, Florida, according to his WWII draft documents. Gaillard was mostly raised in Detroit. He developed an act in which he played guitar and tap danced simultaneously, and eventually moved to New York to work the vaudeville circuit. In 1937, he teamed up with bassist Slam Stewart as Slim & Slam, whom he met at Jock’s Place in Harlem. A year later they scored a substantial hit with “Flat Foot Floogie,” which was quickly covered by the likes of Benny Goodman and Fats Waller in the wake of the original recording’s success. Gaillard and Stewart kept cutting songs in a similar vein, including “Tutti Frutti” and “Laughin’ in Rhythm,” and eventually took their act to Hollywood, where they appeared in the 1941 film Hellzapoppin’. Their partnership continued on through 1942, when World War II interrupted; both served in the military, Gaillard in the Army Air Force.
Upon exiting the service in 1944, Gaillard settled in Los Angeles and took up residency at Billy Berg’s Hollywood Boulevard club, a hot spot for stars of the era. Gaillard was on the bill for the opening night on February 13, 1945, as the intermission act for the west coast appearance of the Coleman Hawkins band. Slim’s trio continued to be featured at Billy Berg’s as other name bands were booked for the club. Gaillard was also on hand for the west coast premier of the Dizzy Gillespie band on December 10, 1945. Now in tandem with bassist Bam Brown, Gaillard became a top draw and a hip name to drop. His 1945 recording, “Cement Mixer,” caught on with the public and the tune was featured prominently as was Gaillard’s name in advertisements for his May 1945 engagement at the Orpheum Theater where he had equal billing with the Buddy Rich orchestra. He recorded frequently in 1945, often with a quartet featuring Brown, pianist Dodo Marmarosa, and drummer Zutty Singleton.
He also cut a session with bop greats Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie in late 1945, the most notable result of which was “Slim’s Jam.” Gaillard’s trio was featured at the 2nd Annual Cavalcade of Jazz in January of 1946 that was presented at Wrigley Field, 42nd and Avalon Blvd., where Lionel Hampton’s orchestra was the headline act. Gaillard was back at Billy Berg’s in the fall of 1946 where he was on the bill along with Eddie Heywood, Erroll Garner, Vivien Garry, and Frankie Laine. He performed in New York frequently from 1951-53, and also participated in Norman Granz’s Jazz at the Philharmonic in 1953. His engagement at Tiffany Club in 1955 was held over several times as Jack Tucker kept the Gaillard combo on for the Jeri Southern and Dinah Washington engagements in March and April, and the Charlie Ventura appearance in May as well as the Ink Spots in June.
Jeri Southern opened at Tiffany Club on Friday, March 4th.
Nebraska jazz singer Jeri Southern’s star was bright in 1950s
By CARSON VAUGHAN / For the Lincoln Journal Star
Jul 31, 2010 Updated Aug 2, 2010
Legendary jazz promoter Dick LaPalm, 82, answers every question with an anecdote. A memory. Scenes that frequently involve himself, a stiff drink and a nightclub in Chicago, New York or L.A. Names like Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee drop casually from his end of the line, without layman’s reverence, sometimes preceded by “my acquaintance” or “my friend.” He’s savvy, almost debonair.
For nearly half an hour he’s revisited memories of close friend and client Jeri Southern, a Nebraska-born jazz singer whom he discovered at a Chicago nightclub in the early ’50s.
Only once, during the last question, does he falter.
What was it like to attend Jeri’s funeral?
A deep sigh. A gap in the interview.
“One of the saddest days of my life,” he says soberly, pausing again. “More people should have known about her. She should have stayed, remained in show business and gotten the recognition she deserved.”
It’s evident that LaPalm, a former Chess Records exec, always equated Jeri Southern to the best of her peers, to Ella Fitzgerald, to Sarah Vaughan and Rosemary Clooney. So now, more than 50 years past Southern’s prime, it’s difficult to watch the others become household names while Southern’s career remains mysterious at best, even to her fellow Nebraskans.
“There was no question whatsoever that she would have been an enormous star.”
Sinatra tells Jeri she is ‘the best’
New York City, mid-1950s. Frank Sinatra lounges in a dressing room above the Paramount Theatre. He’s talking with Manny Sachs, a close friend, and donning a white terrycloth robe. Just down the hall, Dick LaPalm and Jeri Southern are finishing drinks with singer June Hutton, the other name on the marquee. When LaPalm and Southern stand to say goodbye, Hutton stops them.
“June just freaked out and said, ‘No! You can’t leave yet. If Frank knows that you were here and didn’t meet you, he’d really be upset,'” LaPalm says. “I thought she was kidding, and so did Jeri.”
But she isn’t. Hutton walks to Sinatra’s dressing room, knocks and enters. She has exciting news for The Voice: Jeri Southern’s here, just down the hall, and she’s getting ready to leave.
“I’ve never seen anyone leap up so fast,” LaPalm says. “He leaped up and came running out and grabbed Jeri. He hugged her so hard I think he was actually hurting her.”
Sinatra tells her she is “just the best, the very best,” LaPalm remembers.
“And then he looked at her and said, ‘And no one should record “Dancing On The Ceiling” after what you’ve done with it.'”
Sinatra’s favorite singer descended from German pig farmers. Jeri Southern’s grandfather, Julius Hering, immigrated to America in 1879 and built a flour mill near present-day Royal, Neb. Southern – Genevieve Hering – was born 47 years later, Aug. 5, 1926, just in time to witness her father lose his mill to the Wall Street Crash of ’29. When she was 3, her father moved the family into town, where he operated the Royal Farmers Union elevator until retirement, never forgiving himself for losing the mill.
A product of the Depression and the youngest of six children, there was nothing Hollywood about Jeri Southern.
“I don’t think she had an article of clothing that was new until she moved away to Chicago,” says Kathryn King, Southern’s daughter and only child. “She got the hand-me-downs of the hand-me-downs.”
Southern passed the time in Royal playing piano, always under the youthful assumption that if her family was German, she must descend from Bavarian princes.
“This fantasy was dashed on the rocks of reality one day when an old cache of letters from the Old Country was discovered in an attic, one of which read, ‘Please send money. The pig is sick,'” wrote King in an e-mail. “So our beginnings were humble, that’s for sure.”
Despite her family’s hardships, Southern’s parents sent their youngest daughter to high school at Notre Dame Academy in Omaha, where she took voice lessons in addition to her regular classes.
“She told me she had auditioned to enter Juilliard as a classical vocalist, but then she walked into a club in Omaha, must have been 17 or 18, and heard somebody play jazz,” King says. “She said it changed her life.”
After graduating from Notre Dame, Southern moved to Chicago, where she started playing in nightclubs and soon picked up a gig as intermission performer at the Hi-Note Lounge. Enter Dick LaPalm, at this point on the road with Peggy Lee, who stopped in Chicago to hear Anita O’Day sing at the Hi-Note.
“It’s intermission … and this lady comes out and she sits at the piano and starts to play and suddenly she starts to sing,” LaPalm says. “Peggy was talking to me and she stops. Jeri was playing a song called ‘You’re The Cause of It All.’ I’ll never forget it. Peggy turned to me and said, ‘Who is that? My God, she’s marvelous.'”
One month later, LaPalm was visiting Lee in Los Angeles.
“‘Dick,’ Lee said, ‘whatever you do, I would find that girl we heard at the Hi-Note and try to help her. She’s absolutely incredible.'”
Thus began Southern’s career. In 1951, she signed with Decca Records. By the mid-’50s she was sharing bills with the likes of Sarah Vaughan and Count Basie, Billy Eckstine and Doris Day. In 1955 her recording of “An Occasional Man” made the Billboard pop chart, and in ’57 she had a Top 30 hit with “Fire Down Below.” She appeared in several movies and ultimately moved to Capitol Records, where she released her final album in 1961.
“Ella, Sarah, Carmen McRae, Nat Cole, Sinatra, Miles Davis, Mel Torme,” LaPalm says. “You name the great artists, they adored her.”
Walking away from it all
“The day she decided to stop performing was one of the greatest days in both our lives,” King wrote in an e-mail. “An enormous relief for both of us.”
Despite her critical acclaim – Nat Cole said she was one of the great pianists, and one of few who could accompany themselves as well as he was able to, LaPalm recalls – Southern hated performing. She was exceedingly shy, and according to King she suffered from “a paralyzing case of performance anxiety. Just contemplating performing made her enormously anxious and depressed.”
“For years she battled her fears, however, because people loved her singing, and I think she felt a responsibility to use the musical gift she’d been given,” King wrote. “But eventually the weight of anxiety about it was just too great.”
By 1962, at the early age of 36, Southern retired from her public career.
“Once she allowed herself to quit, it truly liberated her,” King wrote. “At a certain point you have to ask yourself, ‘How long am I going to put myself through this?'”
She began teaching in Hollywood, composing music and playing piano. She wrote a book for singers about accompanying themselves at the piano and raised Kathryn, now a record producer and publicist in Pebble Beach, Calif., to love music as much as she did.
“She absolutely influenced me. When it was time for me to go to college, there was no question I was going to major in music,” King says. “I didn’t even consider anything else.”
Southern died unexpectedly on Aug. 4, 1991, the day before her 65th birthday. Although the immediate cause of death was a heart attack, Southern was also diabetic and had been diagnosed with double pneumonia.
“There’s no question that, had she been able to conquer her performance anxiety and enjoy her own career, she would have had a considerably greater impact on her own time and on future generations,” King wrote. “But I can tell you that today serious singers of any age love my mother’s singing and still speak of her in glowing terms.”
Today, Jeri Southern’s home in Royal still stands, just off U.S. 20, waiting for a new foundation. The home’s owners, the Jensens, say it’s on the way. It’s not much to look at, but one day they hope to restore it, add a basement and make it the home of the Jeri Southern Home and Museum Society, which they began in 1999. Justin Jensen, 45, once ran the now-defunct jerisouthern.com, which offered memberships to the society for a small fee. The society had 156 members worldwide, he says.
“It just throws me that somebody can start in a little town like Royal and then touch all points of this world,” says Jensen, who was raised and currently lives and works in Royal.
But those who knew her best say she never fully left Nebraska.
“There was a no-nonsense, unadorned quality to how she related to people,” King says. “She was no diva. She had an ego like every performing artist, but to the day she died she was in many ways the same person I remember sitting around the kitchen table at my grandparents’ house in Royal, everybody smoking and drinking beers and just talking after supper every night. That’s a quality she really kept her whole life.”
Jeri Southern performed at Chicago’s Blue Note Club in the spring of 1956. Bob Sunenblick acquired a recording of her appearance that he released on his Uptown label in 2016. Her working trio included Al Bruno on bass and Dominic “Mickey” Simonetta on drums.
Jeri Southern’s Tiffany Club engagement drew capacity crowds during the week and SRO audiences on the weekends. Jack Tucker extended her appearance into the first two weeks of April.
Dinah Washington opened at Tiffany Club on April 15th. She had previously appeared at the club in February of 1953.
This was the third hold-over for Slim Gaillard’s crew that had continued to be featured at the club along with Jeri Southern. Slappy White had also appeared at Tiffany Club previously in July of 1953 along with the initial booking of The Ink Spots.
Born in Alabama, Ruth Lee Jones grew up in a staunch Baptist family in Chicago, singing and playing the piano in the choir at her local church and quickly becoming adept at gospel’s characteristic off-beat, syncopated rhythms and bent or sliding notes. At the age of fifteen, she performed “I Can’t Face The Music” in a local amateur competition hosted at Chicago’s Regal Theatre, won and was soon performing in Chicago’s nightclubs, such as Dave’s Rhumboogie and the Downbeat Room of the Sherman Hotel.
‘She had a voice that was like the pipes of life. She could take the melody in her hand, hold it like an egg, crack it open, fry it, let it sizzle, reconstruct it, put the egg back in the box and back in the refrigerator and you would’ve still understood every single syllable of every single word she sang.’ – Quincy Jones
Her breakthrough came in 1942 when she was spotted by Joe Glaser, Louis Armstrong’s manager, while she was singing in the Garrick Bar to supplement her washroom attendant’s income. On Glaser’s recommendation, she joined Lionel Hampton’s band in 1943, taking the name Dinah Washington, given to her either by Glaser or Joe Sherman, owner of the Garrick Bar, no one is quite sure.
Washington quickly began attracting huge acclaim during her time with Hampton who would recall, ‘Dinah alone could stop the show… I had to put her down next to closing because nobody could follow her. She had a background in gospel, and she put something new into the popular songs I had her sing.’
In 1943, Washington recorded a blues session with a small ensemble drawn from Hampton’s band. Directed by Leonard Feather, they recorded his song “Evil Gal Blues” and made it a hit. After her three years with the Hampton band, Washington’s popularity grew and she began headlining R&B sets.
Washington recorded the album Slick Chick (On The Mellow Side) (1946) for Mercury Records at sessions in 1946; the bluesy feel of this record was a template for much of her career. As a solo artist in the years that followed, she achieved notable success, notching up an impressive number of hits in the R&B charts, including “Ain’t Misbehavin’” in 1948 and “Am I Asking Too Much”, which topped the R&B chart later that year.
Over the next four years, she was almost never off the R&B charts, with “Baby Get Lost” becoming her second No. 1 record in 1949. Washington went on to gain wider popularity through mainstream success in the Billboard pop chart with her 1950 recording “I Wanna Be Loved”, which reached No. 22. Among the many album highlights of her career was Dinah Jams (1954), recorded with the Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet.
Dinah Washington’s engagement closed on May 12th. The following day the Charlie Ventura group opened and Slim Gaillard was held-over once again to alternate sets with Ventura. Ventura’s group during the mid fifties included Dave McKenna on piano, Bob Carter on bass, and Sonny Igoe on drums.
Artist Biography by Chris Kelsey
A fine swing-oriented tenor saxophonist, Ventura is best-remembered for his attempt at popularizing bebop during the tail end of the music’s mid- to late-’40s heyday. Born Charles Venturo, he came from a large, musically inclined family. His first instrument was C-melody sax. He switched to alto before eventually settling on tenor. Ventura left his day job at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1942 to join Gene Krupa’s band. He became a featured soloist with Krupa, playing with the drummer from 1942-1943 and 1944-1946 (working in the interim with guitarist/bandleader Teddy Powell). Ventura achieved considerable popularity while with Krupa, winning a Down Beat magazine award as best tenor saxophonist in 1945.
He started his own big band in 1946 with middling results. He had more success fronting a small band, one version of which included trumpeter Conte Candoli, trombonist Bennie Green, alto saxophonist Boots Mussulli, drummer Ed Shaughnessy, and vocalists Jackie Cain and Roy Kral. Ventura recorded for small labels before getting signed to RCA Victor, which at the time wanted to capitalize on the emergence of bebop. An RCA executive purportedly told him that they wanted the word “bop” in the band’s name. Ventura came up with the phrase “Bop for the People,” which implied an accessible form of the music. Ventura formed a big band in 1948, but soon cut it down to eight members, retaining Cain and Kral, who were crucial components of the band’s sound. The Bop for the People band worked through 1949 (during which time Ventura employed modern jazz’s greatest saxophonist, Charlie Parker, on a record date), but in the end Ventura’s stab at making a commercial success of bop failed. Indeed, as fine a player as he was, Ventura himself was never really a bopper. During the early ’50s Ventura led another big band; formed a highly acclaimed group called the Big Four with bassist Chubby Jackson, drummer Buddy Rich, and pianist Marty Napoleon; briefly ran his own night club in Philadelphia; and also worked again with Cain and Kral. Ventura’s health was not the best, yet he continued to work with Krupa into the ’60s.
The Ink Spots had appeared at Tiffany Club in July of 1953 along with Slappy White. Their return on May 27th was widely covered in the local press. The Slim Gaillard crew has held-over once again, a testament to the continuing popularity of Slim and His gang.
This edition of The Ink Spots featured Charlie Fuqua, Jimmy Holmes, Essex Scott, and Harold Jackson with pianist and arranger Herman Flintall. They were featured in a Universal-International musical short that was filmed while they were in Los Angeles at Tiffany Club.
The brief history below is reproduced again from: https://www.rhino.com/article/the-ink-spots
In the words of soul singer Jerry Butler, a solo artist and founding member of the Impressions, “The Ink Spots were the heavyweight champions of quartet singing.” Clyde McPhatter, one-time singer with both the Dominoes and the Drifters, once admitted, “We patterned ourselves after the Ink Spots.” One of the first popular black groups, the Ink Spots can be regarded as forerunners of the doo-wop and rhythm & blues movements that followed. In the wake of their innovative harmonies came a slew of black vocal groups, including the Ravens, the Orioles, the Dominoes and the Drifters.The Ink Spots formed in Indianapolis in the late 1920s.
The original members were Orville “Hoppy” Jones, who was born on February 17, 1905; Ivory “Deek” Watson, who was born on July 18, 1909; Jerry Daniels, who was born on December 14, 1915, and Charlie Fuqua, who was born on October 20, 1910. They had gained early experience performing with such amateur groups as the Peanut Boys, the Percolating Puppies, the Four Riff Brothers and the Swingin’ Gate Brothers. The music of these early groups was influenced by jazz and vaudeville acts.The group’s original name was King, Jack and the Jesters. The members would improvise vocal harmonies, often simulating wind instruments with their voices. After achieving some Midwestern success as a result of live appearances on radio shows in Indianapolis, Cleveland and Cincinnati, the group relocated to New York in the early Thirties. After a legal conflict with bandleader Paul Whiteman, who had a vocal group called the King’s Jesters, King, Jack and the Jesters changed their name to the Ink Spots.The Ink Spots made appearances at the Apollo Theater, the Savoy Ballroom and the Roxy, and they got a regular radio gig on New York’s WJZ. In 1935, they signed with RCA Records. Though none of the six recordings they made for RCA sold well, they did earn the group its first tour of England and Europe. The following year, in 1936, they signed a new record deal with Decca Records, and Jerry Daniels was replaced by Bill Kenny. With Watson singing lead, the group’s sound was still very much the same as when the group started out. As Kenny once said, “This style wasn’t getting the group anywhere.”The Ink Spots were on the verge of breaking up when, in 1939, songwriter Jack Lawrence brought them a ballad called “If I Didn’t Care.” With Kenny singing lead, the record became a million-seller and inaugurated a string of hit ballads, including “My Prayer,” “Maybe,” “We Three,” “Whispering Grass,” “The Gypsy,” “To Each His Own” and “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire.”
The Ink Spots toured the world and made appearances with such artists as Lucky Millinder and Glenn Miller. They also landed roles in such movies as The Great American Broadcast. The group remained popular with both black and white audiences through the postwar years and into the Fifties.During the Forties, the Ink Spots pioneered the breaking down of racial barriers by appearing in previously all-white Southern venues. In 1948, when the group headlined over several white acts at Miami’s Monte Carlo club, Billboard magazine reported: “Format is a racial departure for this territory, for even if Jim Crow laws are largely unwritten and there is no law prohibiting Negro entertainers from working in white places or with white acts, no operator in the Deep South has ever had the nerve to try it.”By the late 1940s, however, the Ink Spots’ fortunes were beginning to change. Their musical style no longer seemed very fresh, and the group was undergoing numerous changes, beginning with Hoppy Jones’ sudden death in October 1944. There seemed to be so many internal conflicts that Bill Kenny seemed to be the only regular member of the group. By 1953, the original Ink Spots were no more. Even so, the Ink Spots’ music played an important role in the development of the music that would become rock and roll. The Ink Spots were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, and they were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999.
The Ink Spots engagement continued in June and through the first part of July.
A special thanks to Nick Rossi for putting me in touch with Tom Samuels who is working on a forthcoming biography of Slim Gaillard.