The Danderliers decided to name themselves after an offshoot of the dandelion flower, hoping to differentiate themselves from all the car and bird groups on the scene.

The original members - James Campbell, Dallas Taylor, Bernard Dixon, Walter Stephenson and Richard Thomas came together in early 1955, near Cottage Grove between 60th and 68th Streets on Chicago's South Side. They had all attended classes at either the Chicago Vocational High or Englewood High School and upon graduating began to practice in nearby Washington Park. They were originally inspired by bluesier R&B acts like the Dells, the Du Droppers, and the Dominos, and later by labelmates, the Moroccos.