Bill Godwin's Ink Spots @ Dr. John Grieco Auditorium , Hackensack, NJ (10/14/2007)
Back In Our Day, We Used To Run Home From School, Turn On The Radio & Watch It....)
Sorry for the delay in posting this review.
It's actually been a several weeks since I saw the show, but it's good that I have had a little bit of time to reflect upon it, because this concert was truly an enjoyable one, and I have wanted to savor it.
Attending this show was a welcome break from the intensity of working on the Soul-Patrol Digital/Virtual Album 1.0. I thought that I was going to simply check out a show, what happened was actually quite a bit more.
As a few of you might recall, Bill Godwin's Ink Spots won a Soul-Patrol.com "Best of Award" in 2006 for their album "Bill Godwin's Ink Spots on Stage" and appeared at the 2007 Soul-Patrol convention.
In my review of that award winning album (www.soul-patrol.com/jazz) I said; "This is a CD of classic/timeless music performed with precision. What more could you possibly want in a CD?"
And that's why wanted to attend this show. I wanted to witness that level of "precision" LIVE!!!
You can read up on the history of Bill Godwin's Ink Spots at the following link: http://www.longislandtraditions.org/artistprofiles/ethnic/inkspots.html
You can read even more about the complicated and twisted legacy of the Ink Spots at this link: http://www.freewebs.com/inkspots/offshoots.htm
(I guarantee that you will have a headache after reading that web
I walked into the Dr. John Grieco Auditorium , Hackensack, NJ and it felt like I was transported into a different century. I was easily the youngest person there. Most of the audience had to be over 70, some had canes, walker, wheelchairs, etc. I sat down next to an old dude who was at least 75 and pulled out the notebook I am looking at as I am typing. This type of a musical environment was probably as far away from the world of digital music, mp3's, file downloads, iPod's, e-commerce, etc. as I could possibly get.
The gentleman wanted to know why I was writing. After I told him why I was taking notes, he said; "That sounds nice, but don't let it get in the way of you enjoying the music..." It turned out to be good advice.
A few moments later the curtain opened up, and behind it there was a classic 1930's style BIG BAND and they started playing the song "Put On a Happy Face." (and how could you not while that song was playing?)
Soon the Ink Spots themselves appeared on stage, led by Bill Godwin. The Ink Spots kicked things off with the familiar "Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall." And then they proceeded to treat everyone inside to a "precision concert" of the following songs of truly "ancient black
I Don't Want To Set The World on Fire
Lady Be Good To Me
Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat
It's a Sin to Tell a Lie
Shanty in Old Shantytown
If I Didn't Care
When the Saint's Come Marching In
I'll Never Smile Again
I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire
I was really glad that I got the chance to see this show.
I wish that all of you could have seen it as well.
After all there may come a point in time in the not to distant future when being able to see a show like this will be impossible. And it's not just a matter of the songs, the singing or the band. It really is in this case about the performers. You see in between each song, Bill Godwin gave us all little history lessons. He would say things like:
"The Mills Brothers, the Andrews Sisters and the Ink Spots were all on the same record label..."
"The Ink Spots were the Jackie Robinson of the Balladeers"
And of course he reminded the audience several times, that he had sung with 2 of the original Ink Spots.
After the show I went backstage to shoot the breeze with the Ink Spots. Bill Godwin told me that it really meant quite a bit to him to have gotten that award from Soul-Patrol.com. He said that it made him proud to know that we were not only in a position to present them with an award, but that we also understood that the connection was that it was all about Black music.
As I walked back to my car, I had just a little extra "dip in my hip & glide in my stride." I knew that in seeing the Ink Spots perform that I had witnessed something that I might never see again. It was living and breathing Black History, onstage and backstage right in front of my eyes and ears. It was light years away from my concerns of just a few hours earlier (digital music, mp3's, file downloads, iPod's, e-commerce, etc.)
Light years away for sure, but still connected, because as I left the dressing room Bill said to me; "That Virtual Album idea of yours sounds like a good one, if you do it again, maybe the Ink Spots will give you a song...."
Album Review: Bill Godwin's Ink Spots on Stage
The Ink Spots are an quartet that became famous for hit songs like "If I Didn't Care," "The Java Jive," and "I Don't Want To Set the World on Fire." The original group was formed in 1932 and sang four-part harmony arrangements of various popular songs. Like other acapella and harmony singing ensembles in the 1950s, the Ink Spots sang a varied repertoire for both listening and dancing. Through the 1930s and 1940s the group had many successful songs, even breaking records with their sales. Here in 2005, none of the original members of the Ink Spots is still alive, however there are a number of artists who are carrying on the musical tradition of the Ink Spots. One of those is led by Soul-Patroller Bill Godwin. Now I am not going to try and kid yall, my first exposure to the music of the Ink Spots was as a result of listening to Redd Foxx singing Ink Spots songs on the old Sanford and Son TV show, so I am hardly an expert. But I can tell you that as a result of Sanford and Son (and other sources) all of the songs on this CD are very familiar to me, as I am sure they are to many of you as well. All of the songs on this CD are excellent and will make you smile when you hear them, however my personal favorites from this CD are: "If I Didn't Care", "Java Jive", and "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire". So where does an album of Ink Spots songs fit into here on Soul-Patrol or elsewhere in 2005?
Well the music of the Ink Spots falls into the same category as any of the other music we have been discussing here on Soul-Patrol for the past 9 years. It's "Great Black Music from the Ancient to the Future" and it fits in perfectly with Soul-Patrol. For those of you who don't quite understand that concept, just think of it as either Doo Wop or Vocal Jazz. This is a CD of classic/timeless music performed with precision. What more could you possibly want in a CD???
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