Formed in early 1947, they were five young men from Baltimore, Ernest Warren; Meredith Brothers, Jack Adelotte, Donald Johnson, and Leon Hardy, calling themselves the Mellotones, and singing in the style of the Ink Spots, as were many of the vocal harmonizing groups at the time. In 1951 they were signed to Atlantic, and later that year their first release, Shouldn't I Know was released, it was a big success for the first timers, who had changed their name to The Cardinals. Their name had nothing to do with rank in the church hierarchy, or, that on which something hinges; a fundamental, but was in keeping with the fashion at the time for 'bird' names. The Cardinal is a Bright red bird with a pointed head crest and black bib, native to Texas, who prefers thick underbrush for nesting. The Cardinals records were never issued in Britain in the 1950s, but Shouldn't I Know did surface in 1968 on volume 1, Roots, of the first Atlantic History of Rhythm and Blues series, as did their version of Wheel of Fortune on Volume 2.
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