The Cardinals

The Door Is Still Open

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Baltimore's Cardinals recorded 36 sides for Atlantic Records between 1951 and 1957, 24 of which were released as 12 singles with B-sides, and although the Cardinals were a solidly professional vocal group, Atlantic never issued a long-player of any of the group's material. This woeful situation has continued into the CD era, and Collectables' The Door Is Still Open, which contains ten of the A-sides, is the only compilation currently out there, and at just under 30 minutes in length, it is simply too short to really give this fine vocal group its due. Brief as it is, this set does manage to hit most of the highest points, though, including the wonderful and majestic title ballad, "The Door Is Still Open," from 1955, the spunky "Lovie Darling" (with a marvelous middle-eight sax break complete with handclapping) from 1953, and the upbeat and bouncing "Come Back My Love" from 1955. That the regal and professional Cardinals never recorded again after their stay with Atlantic is both a mystery and a musical tragedy, and that the group's entire 36-track legacy is still not completely available a half century later is unforgivable.

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