Saturday, February 7, 2009

Gene Miller and the Ink Spots

The Ink Spots were probably the most influential pioneer vocal group, as well as the most commercially successful to come out of the World War II era. Of course there were earlier groups who were very successful such as the Mills Brothers and other groups who performed during the early days of the Ink Spots, such as the Delta Rhythm Boys but the high tenor lead accompanied by the "talking" bass was really introduced by the Ink Spots.

Gene Miller and the Ink Spots were just one of the numerous Ink Spots spin off groups. The tenor (and leader) of this group was Gene Miller. Other members of the group were Nat Williams, Floyd McDaniel, and Paul Parks.

They had two albums on the Gateway label, recorded in the Rite Studios in Cincinnati. Both are titled "For Sentimental Reasons". The first was pressed in 1974. the second, a double album, in 1975.


Side One:

Do I Worry
Java Jive
Harbor Lights
We Three
For Sentimental Reasons

Side Two:

Into Each Life A Little Rain Must Fall
Until The Real Thing Comes Along
My Prayer
I'll Get By


Record 1, Side 1: (35843)

If I Didn't Care
Do I Worry
I Cover the Waterfront
Whispering Grass
We Three

Record 1, Side 2: (35844)

To Each His Own
My Prayer
It's Funny to Everyone But Me
In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town
Java Jive

Record 2, Side 1: (35845)

(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons
I'm Making Believe
Somebody Stole My Gal
I'll Get By
With My Eyes Wide Open I'm Dreaming
I'm Confessing That I Love You

Record 2, Side 2: (35846)

Bless You For Being An Angel
It's a Sin to Tell a Lie
Until the Real Thing Comes Along
The Gypsy
I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire
Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall

Greg Centamore has devoted a very impressing website to the numerous other Ink Spots after the demise of the original group in the late forties.

Greg :
I started collecting R & B vocal groups records (doo wops) in 1962 and before long, I had acquired a nice collection consisting of all the good stuff. The Moonglows, Harptones, Dominoes, Nutmegs and Diablos were just a few of my many favorite groups. One day I was looking thru my parent's records which consisted mostly of pop songs when I found an EP on the Waldorf label by the Ink Spots. When I played this record, I noticed some distinct differences from the songs that I enjoyed, but there was enough there to keep me interested. Their version of the song My Prayer sounded quite different that the Platters version but was beautiful just the same. Not aware that there were numerous Ink Spots groups even then, I was very impressed with this rendition of My Prayer. If you have never heard Lorenzo Conyers version of this classic, you are missing something great. He is the lead singer and the bass was very impressive too. The first opportunity I got, I bought an album by the Ink Spots on the Decca label and was surprised that the songs on the EP were in somewhat different style. The music was good but it had a 1940's flavor and quite honestly at that time in my life, I was disappointed. I realized then that there were different Ink Spot groups. Years later I started picking up assorted LPs by various Ink Spot groups. Sometimes liner notes would be informative and sometimes there were no notes at all. Photos on certain LPs were not indicative of who was singing on the albums. Some of the numerous budget LPs were notorious for this.

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