The entwined commercial and racial agendas of the recording and radio industries, and the responses of adult whites to the sudden mass popularity of black and black-derived musics, profoundly affected the development of Rhythm and Blues in the mid-to-late 1950s. Yet irresistible forces at work within and upon the black community were also crucial in shaping those developments. Certainly, the evolution of black male vocal group style during the 1950s indicated that important social and demographic changes had already coalesced to produce widespread black approval for a “sweeter” strain of r&b, long before the industry began to pursue a similar strategy in its quest for a broader white audience. Indeed, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, these “sweet” musical and lyrical stylings had occasionally allowed a handful of romantic black harmonizers-including the Orioles (“It’s too soon to know”), Five Keys (“Glory of love”), Vocaleers (“Be true”), and Harptones (“Sunday kind of love”)—to infiltrate the white pop charts.1