Monday, June 22, 2009

Huey Long - The Ink Spot - Dies at 105

I kinda miss the whole Music Monday thing! It's been a while since I've played. I'm not really playing today but here's a teaser - Just Because!

Huey died last Wednesday in Houston. "He was the last surviving Ink Spot from the days when the group still had some of its original members. He lived a long life until the golden age of 105. I was too young to really get into the Ink Spots during their heyday. The truth is, I wasn't even born. I think my first real exposure to their music was listening to Fred Sanford sing a few lines of "If I didn't Care" on an episode of Sanford and Son. Sometime after that and somewhere along the way, I learned to appreciate the Ink Spots and recognize their contribution to American Music history. The Ink Spots can be regarded as forerunners of the doo-wop and rhythm & blues movements that followed their popularity.

Born in Sealy, Texas, a farm town about 20 miles west of Houston, Huey started out playing the ukulele. After he finished his adventure with the Louisiana Jazz Band, a visiting aunt took him back to Chicago, intent on getting him some music lessons and starting him out in nightclubs. That's when he switched to guitar to perform with Texas Guinan’s Cuban Orchestra at the World’s Fair in Chicago.

In early 1944, Ink Spots leader Bill Kenny offered Long a position with the group. He stayed with them until 1985, and eventually moved to New York City, where he taught and wrote music.

Here's a YouTube video of the group.

In 1996 Mr. Long returned to Houston, where in 2007 his daughter started the Ink Spots Museum across the street from his apartment. Follow that link to learn more about Huey Long and the Ink Spots and see a wonderful short documentary put together by his daughter. (Look for the video link on the left side when you get there and then view the "My Dad" video)

1 comment:

Chris said...

You always have the most interesting posts!