The Ink Spots signature tune, from an early Fifties video:
With lead singer Jimmy Holmes.
And here's another one, with Bill Kenny on lead vocal - or, rather, miming to lead vocal.
Take your pick.
There were so many different Ink Spots and Ink Spots offshoots that it's very hard to keep track.
Since the Ink Spots disbanded in 1954, there have been well over 100 vocal groups calling themselves "The Ink Spots" without any right to the name, and without any original members of the group. These groups often have claimed to be "2nd generation" or "3rd generation" Ink Spots.
As far as I can tell, Bill Kenny (the second video) was more of an echt Ink Spot. Jimmy Holmes, you have to admit though, had a lovely tenor voice, even if he wasn't the genuine article.
On January 12, 1939, the Ink Spots entered Decca studios to record a ballad written by a young songwriter named Jack Lawrence. This ballad, "If I Didn't Care", was to be one of their biggest hits, selling over 19 million copies and becoming the 7th-best-selling single of all time. It was also the first recording by the group to reach the US Pop Charts. Despite its popularity, "If I Didn't Care" never reached #1 on the US Pop Charts, staying at #2 for several weeks. This is the first studio recorded example of the Ink Spots "Top & Bottom" format with Bill Kenny singing lead and Hoppy Jones performing the "talking bass". For this recording, each member was paid $37.50; however, after the record sold 200,000 Decca destroyed the original contract and the group was paid an additional $3,750. This was the recording that brought the group to global fame and also the recording that would establish the "Top & Bottom" format as the Ink Spots "trademark". From 1939 until the group's disbanding in 1954, many of their songs would employ this format....
Disputes over the rights to use the Ink Spots name began in the late 1940s, resulting in many court cases. Starting in 1954, groups calling themselves "The Ink Spots" sprang up all around the United States. Some groups contained original members Charlie Fuqua, Adriel McDonald, Billy Bowen or Deek Watson, but most had no ties to the original group whatsoever. Many groups claimed to have the rights to the name, but no one did. Still, lawsuits were filed between various groups and there was great confusion as to who owned the naming rights. Some groups avoided lawsuits by naming themselves "The Fabulous Ink Spots", "The Famous Ink Spots", "The Amazing Ink Spots", "The Sensational Ink Spots", "The Dynamic Ink Spots" and more.
If you want to embark on some Ink Spots study, this is probably the place to start. [White text on a black background is always, I've found, a sure sign of serious scholarship.]