ALBUM REVIEW

THE CARDINALS - COME BACK MY LOVE-
(Plaza CD # 501)

The Plaza label, out of Portugal, released this CD in 1995. We note that the liner notes are lifted almost verbatim from Jay Warner's Book Of American Singing Groups.

This CD is the most complete Cardinals package available. It contains everything from their first demo tracks of 1950 through their mid-1957 practice recordings which were released on a Bim Bam Boom label extended play 45 in 1973. The only missing recordings available are For Awhile which was recorded for Atlantic on 13 January 1953, but was unreleased until 1996 when it appeared in Volume 2 of The Great Atlantic Vocal Groups, issued by Collectors Choice; and Have I Been Gone Too Long from the Bim Bam Boom EP, which is found on the CD Golden Doo Wops of Bim Bam Boom Records, Volume 1.

The Cardinals hailed from Baltimore, where, in 1946, Leon "Tree Top" Hardy, Meredith "Prince" Brothers, and Donald "Jack" Johnson began harmonizing. They were soon joined by Ernie Warren and Jack "Sam" Aydelotte, and called themselves the Mellotones.

In 1951 the Mellotones auditioned for Ahmet Etergun and Herb Abramson, founders of the Atlantic label, when they were visiting Baltimore. The audition resulted in a recording contract with Atlantic, and the group went to New York for their first recording session in March of that year.

Since the Columbia label already had released records by another group called the Mellotones, Atlantic changed the group's name to the Cardinals.

In February of 1952, Ernie Warren was drafted, and was repalced by Luther MacArthur. Sam Aydelotte was also replaced by Leander "Lance" "Keys" Tarver. Near the end of the year Luther was replaced by James "Little Caesar" Brown. Ernie returned on leave in time for the group's January 1953 recording session (as a sextet).

Ernie returned full-time in March 1954, Brown and Tarver left, and Aydelotte also returned by January 1955. In 1955, the group toured with several "package" shows, including Alan Freed's Labor Day week show at the Brooklyn Paramount.

The group disbanded in January 1957, just as Atlantic was releasing their last record (One Love / Near You). In September of 1957, Ernie formed a "new" Cardinals group with Sonny Hatchett, Richard Williams and Jim Boone. This group, which cut the three tracks that wound up on the Bim Bam Boom EP, broke up by 1958.

Track listing:

1. Come Back My Love - (Atlantic #1067) Jul 1955
2. She Rocks - (Atlantic #972) Aug 1952
3. Lovie Darling - (Atlantic #995) May 1953
4. Pretty Baby Blues - (Atlantic #952) Nov 1951
5. Shouldn't I Know - (Atlantic #938) May 1951
6. Here Goes My Heart To You - (Atlantic #1079) Dec 1955
7. I'll Always Love You - (Atlantic #952) Nov 1951
8. Please Don't Leave Me - (Atlantic #938) May 1951
9. The Bump - (Atlantic #972) Aug 1952
10. Wheel Of Fortune - (Atlantic #958) Feb 1952
11. Kiss Me Baby - (Atlantic #958) Feb 1952
12. Misirlou - (Atlantic #1054) Feb 1955
13. The Door Is Still Open - (Atlantic #1054) Feb 1955
14. Under A Blanket Of Blue - (Atlantic #1025) Apr 1954
15. Lovely Girl - (Atlantic #1079) Dec 1955
16. Two Things I Love - (Atlantic #1067) Jul 1955
17. Choo Choo - (Atlantic #1090) Mar 1956
18. Near You - (Atlantic #1126) Jan 1957
19. I Won't Make You Cry Anymore - (Atlantic #1103) Aug 1956
20. Off Shore - (Atlantic #1090) Mar 1956
21. The End Of The Story - (Atlantic #1103) Aug 1956
22. Please, Baby - (Atlantic #1025) Apr 1954
23. One Love - (Atlantic #1126) - Jan 1957
24. You Are My Only Love - (Atlantic #995) - May 1953
25. Love Me - (Bim Bam Boom EP #1000) - 1973
26. Train (Choo-Choo) - (Bim Bam Boom EP #1000) - 1973
27. Sure Nuff - (Bim Bam Boom EP #1000) - 1973
28. I'll Always Love You - (unreleased demo) - 1950
29. Would I Love You - (unreleased demo) - 1950

Copyright 2001 - 2002 Doo Wop Gino

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Last updated 17 January 2002.

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