The Ink Spots  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Ink Spots were a popular African American vocal group that helped define the musical genre that led to rhythm & blues and rock and roll, and the subgenre doo-wop. They and the Mills Brothers, another black vocal group of the 1930s and 1940s, gained much acceptance in the white community. They are known for such songs as "If I Didn't Care"[1] and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore"[2].

In popular culture

  • "My Prayer" appears in Spike Lee's 1992 movie "Malcolm X", and also in the sailing scene of 2008's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" by David Fincher.
  • "If I Didn't Care" appears on the soundtracks of Radio Days and The Shawshank Redemption. Ridley Scott intended for it to be used in Blade Runner to back the scene where Deckard buys alcohol in a street market, but was unable to obtain the necessary clearances. Instead he asked composer Vangelis to write a new song in the same style; the result was "One More Kiss, Dear", which has a near-identical rhythm and structure, including a spoken section mid-way through; finally Frank Klepacki wrote the song "One More Time, Love" in the same style for the 1997 Blade Runner videogame. The song is also sung in the same manner as the original (Scott had previously used The Ink Spots singing "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" in his classic 1979 Chanel No.5 TV ad entitled "Share the Fantasy"). The song is often sung by Fred G. Sanford (Redd Foxx) on the 1970s television series Sanford and Son. It also appears in the video game Fallout 3 for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC.
  • "Do I Worry" and "Shout, Brother Shout" were featured in Abbott & Costello's "Pardon My Sarong".
  • The Ink Spots are impersonated by The Modernaires on the hit record Juke Box Saturday Night by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra; however, in order to prevent a lawsuit from the publishers of "If I Didn't Care", Miller had the Modernaires sing a similar original piece called "If I Didn't Know". "Juke Box Saturday Night", with the Ink Spots impersonation, was the last song performed by the Glenn Miller band on its last radio broadcast before being disbanded and Miller entered the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942.
  • The Ink Spots' "Maybe" (1940) (Later charted at # 3 in 1952 by Perry Como in a duet with Eddie Fisher) was used as the opening and closing music of the game Fallout. The song was chosen after the developers failed to acquire a license for "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" (which was later acquired for use in Fallout 3).
  • In 1941, the Inkspots did a cover of the song "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" originally written by Eddie Seiler, Sol Marcus, Bennie Benjamin and Eddie Durham.
    • It was used in the opening of the Megadeth song "Set the World Afire" on the 1988 album So Far, So Good... So What!
    • It featured in the 1993 movie Wilder Napalm.
    • It appeared in a Chanel No. 5 commercial in 1983.
    • It was also featured in the Ealing comedy Passport to Pimlico: Molly, the fishmonger's assistant played by Jane Hylton, sings the song to herself at the beginning of the film and then later aloud to piano accompaniment in the pub while some of the other characters dance to it.
    • It is played in the opening of Fallout 3, and throughout gameplay on one's of the 2008 title's "radio stations" along with several other Ink Spots songs.
    • It was also used in an post-apocalyptic themed episode of The Simpsons, and was sung by a group of singing firemen on The Muppet Show in episode 3 of season 3..
    • On the Heroes Volume Four premiere episode "A Clear and Present Danger," the song was playing on the record player as Sylar makes a visit to his long-lost adopted father.
  • The song "Java Jive" was intended to contain its own reference to popular culture of the day: an Italian song called "Ciribiribin" (pronounced "cheery beery bean"), occurring in the line "I'm not keen about a bean / Unless it is a Ciribiribin, boy!" Unfortunately, the lyric was misdelivered, and came out as "Ciriciribin" ("cheery cheery bean"), which in turn caused the enormously pervasive mondegreen "chili chili bean," heard in almost every subsequent recording of "Java Jive."
  • "Maybe" referenced in I-Mockery.com's Select your Destiny Book #6, bottom of the page.
  • The Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Terror From The Year 5000 has a host segment where a group of Observers sing "When I Held Your Brain In My Arms" in the style of The Ink Spots.
  • "If I Didn't Care" can also be heard in several areas in the game Bioshock.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Ink Spots" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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