My Sentimental Heart : The Cashmeres©2007JCMarion

The Cashmeres are another one of the lesser known R & B vocal groups that populated the recording and performing
scene but had little impact on the history of the music and today fifty years after their time are known but to a few diehard afficianados of the music and of course, record collectors wherever they may be.

The Cashmeres began their part in history as The Crooners, a would be quartet from the city of Atlanta, Georgia. When they felt that they had something to offer the public, they began to make the rounds of high school dances and neighborhood talent shows. Soon they decided on a name change for the group and they chosen new identity for themselves was The Cashmeres. The members of the group were Romeo Shuler, Henry Boyd, Ralph Riley, and Dodd Hicks.
The influences on the young group were the usual suspects – Orioles, Clovers, and 5 Royales. The Cashmeres soon had hooked up with the big R & B radio voice in Atlanta, WAOK and its most well known personality Zenas “Daddy” Sears.
While at the radio station they were put in contact with dj Mark Allen who took an interest in the group and soon became their manager. In a short time they had an opportunity to record for Mercury Records based in Chicago, one of the mainstream majors in the recording industry. After hearing a demo record by the group Mercury sent for the quartet and set up a formal recording date for them in New York City. The result was a release in November of 1954 of “My Sentimental Heart” and “Yes Yes Yes” on # 70501. because of their connections at WAOK and Atlanta, the record got a positive spin in that city.

In early January, “Yes Yes Yes” was a pick hit in Atlanta. Unfortunately for the group, outside of Atlanta there was not much action on the record and the group was set to try again in April of 1955 when Mercury released “Don’t Let It Happen Again” and “Boom Mag-Azeno Vip Vay” on # 70617. Once again the record failed to take hold, and despite positive word of mouth around Atlanta for their in person appearances, they were given one more shot by Mercury. “There’s A Rumor” and “Second Hand Heart” was issued in mid September on # 70679. And again, the record was unsuccessful. At about this time Dodd Hicks left the group and his place was taken by Grover Mitchell, as The Cashmeres searched for a new record deal. In March of 1956 the trade press announced that Al Silver president of Herald Records had signed The Cashmeres to record for his label. One month later Herald released “Little Dream Girl” and “Do I Upset You” on Herald # 474. Herald tried to push the record by switching to “Little Dream Girl” as the ‘A’ side, but sales and significant airplay were not forthcoming.

Reports were around that this was the swan song for the Cashmeres, but there was one more record by the remnants of the group (if reports are correct). In August of 1957 Mark Allen produced a record that was released on Ember Records (a subsidiary label of Herald) by a vocal group called The Marktones. The songs were “Talk It Over” and “Hold Me Close” on # 1022.

That is the story of The Cashmeres, remembered today as another group that just did not make the grade.

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