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The Cookies in 1962
|Origin||Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States|
|Genres||R&B, Pop, Soul|
|Labels|| Lamp/Aladdin Records |
|Associated acts|| The Raelettes |
|Past members||Darlene McCrea|
The Cookies were an American R&B girl group active in two distinct lineups, the first from 1954 to 1958 which later became The Raelettes, and the second from 1961 to 1967. Several of the members of both lineups were members of the same family. Both lineups were most prominent as session singers and backing vocalists.
Formed in 1954 in Brooklyn, New York, United States, the Cookies originally consisted of Dorothy Jones, Darlene McCrea and Dorothy's cousin, Beulah Robertson.In 1956, Robertson was replaced by Margie Hendricks (Hendrix). The group was introduced to Ray Charles through their session work for Atlantic Records. In 1958, The Cookies performed with Ray Charles and Ann Fisher for the Cavalcade of Jazz concert produced by Leon Hefflin Sr., held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, on August 3. The other headliners were Little Willie John, Sam Cooke, Ernie Freeman, and Bo Rhambo. Sammy Davis Jr. was there to crown the winner of the Miss Cavalcade of Jazz beauty contest. After backing Charles and other Atlantic Records artists, McCrea and Hendricks helped form the Raelettes in 1958. Pat Lyles was a Raelette, but never a Cookie.
In 1961, a new version of the Cookies emerged in New York, with Dorothy Jones joining newcomers Earl-Jean McCrea (Darlene's younger sister) and another of Dorothy's cousins, Margaret Ross. Jones also recorded one solo recording for Columbia in 1961. This trio had the greatest success as the Cookies: under their own name; as backing vocals for other artists, including Neil Sedaka's hit songs "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do", "The Dreamer" and "Bad Girl"; and recording demos for Aldon Music, under the direction of Carole King and Gerry Goffin.They provided the backup vocals for the Little Eva hit song, "The Loco-Motion", as well as her follow-up hit "Let's Turkey Trot", both from 1962; and for Mel Tormé's hit version of "Comin' Home Baby". They scored their biggest hit in 1963 with the song "Don't Say Nothin' Bad (About My Baby)", which reached number 3 on the Billboard R&B chart and #7 on the Billboard Pop chart.
A 1962 hit, "Chains", was recorded by the Beatles on their debut release Please Please Me .Earl-Jean McCrea left the group in 1965 after two solo singles, which included the first recording of the Goffin/King song, "I'm Into Something Good", made famous by Hermans Hermits.
The Cookies also released several recordings under other names, mostly with Margaret Ross on lead vocals. Their alternative names on recordings were the Palisades (Chairman), the Stepping Stones (Philips), the Cinderellas (Dimension) and the Honey Bees (Fontana 1939 only); record labels are given in brackets.
In April 1967, they released their last record, produced by the Tokens. Darlene McCrea returned to replace her sister for this recording.
Margie Hendrix died on July 14, 1973, at the age of 38.
Dorothy Jones died in Columbus, Ohio, from complications of Alzheimer's disease on December 25, 2010, at the age of 76.
Darlene McCrea died from cancer on February 4, 2013.
Margaret Ross, now Margaret Williams, tours today as the Cookies with new back-up singers. She also performs with Barbara Harris and the Toys occasionally.
Dorothy, Beulah, and Margaret were first cousins; their respective mothers were sisters. Beulah and Margaret were not members of the group during the same period, but both performed with Dorothy. Darlene and Earl-Jean were sisters, but were not members of the group during the same period.
The Raelettes were an American girl group formed in 1958 to provide backing vocals for Ray Charles. They were reformed from the group The Cookies. Between 1966 and 1973, the Raelettes recorded on Tangerine Records as a separate act produced and accompanied by Charles.
Neil Sedaka is an American pop singer, pianist, composer and record producer. Since his music career began in 1957 as a short-lived founding member of the Tokens, he has sold millions of records as a performer and has written or co-written over 500 songs for himself and others, collaborating mostly with lyricists Howard Greenfield and Phil Cody.
Eva Narcissus Boyd, known by the stage name of Little Eva, was an American pop singer. Although some sources claim that her stage name was inspired by a character from the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, she stated in an interview that she was named after her aunt, which prompted her family to call her "Little Eva."
Gerald Goffin was an American lyricist. Collaborating initially with his first wife, Carole King, he co-wrote many international pop hits of the early and mid-1960s, including the US No.1 hits "Will You Love Me Tomorrow", "Take Good Care of My Baby", "The Loco-Motion", and "Go Away Little Girl". It was later said of Goffin that his gift was "to find words that expressed what many young people were feeling but were unable to articulate."
Howard Greenfield was an American lyricist and songwriter, who for several years in the 1960s worked out of the famous Brill Building. He is best known for his successful songwriting collaborations, including one with Neil Sedaka from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s, and near-simultaneous songwriting partnerships with Jack Keller and Helen Miller throughout most of the 1960s.
"Chains" is a rhythm and blues song written by husband-and-wife songwriting team Gerry Goffin and Carole King. It was a hit for the American girl group the Cookies in 1962 and in 1963 the Beatles recorded the song for their debut album.
"Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen" is a pop song released in 1961 by Neil Sedaka. Sedaka wrote the music and performed the song, while the lyrics were written by Howard Greenfield. The song is noted for being similar in musical structure to Take Good Care of My Baby by Bobby Vee, and additionally for its resemblance to the melody of the Chiffons' subsequent 1963 hit "One Fine Day". Both of these songs exhibiting similarity to "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen" were penned by the team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin. The song reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and no 3 on the UK Singles Chart.
DiFosco "Dee" T. Ervin Jr., usually known professionally as Big Dee Irwin, was an American singer and songwriter whose biggest hit was a version of "Swinging On A Star" in 1963, recorded as a duet with Little Eva.
The Blossoms are an American girl-group that originated from California. During their height of success in the 1960s, the group's lineup most famously consisted of Darlene Love, Fanita James, and Jean King.
Earl-Jean Reavis is an American former pop and R&B singer, who was a member of the vocal group, the Cookies. Credited as Earl-Jean, she had a solo hit with the original version of "I'm into Something Good", written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, and later a bigger hit for Herman's Hermits.
Dimension Records was a record label founded in 1962 in New York City by Don Kirshner and Al Nevins, owners of Aldon Music. It concentrated on the girl group sound and showcased songs by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. Their composition "The Loco-Motion", sung by Little Eva, gave it its biggest hit. Background vocals on that record were by the Cookies, who had their own hits on the label, including "Chains", which was later recorded by the Beatles. In the UK, Dimension was licensed to London Records.
The Best of the Girl Groups is a 2-volume compilation series released by Rhino Records in 1990. The collection, compiling 36 of the better known tracks by girl groups of the 1960s, is listed at #421 in Rolling Stone's list of "Greatest Albums of All Time". Music journalist Robert Christgau includes the compilation in his "core collection" for an essential rock library of music preceding 1980. Entertainment Weekly described the first volume as "a veritable catalog of the era's romantic attitudes". The New York Times recommends both volumes, in conjunction with Rhino's Girl Group Greats, for listeners seeking "the biggest girl-group hits".
The History of Rock and Roll is a radio documentary on rock and roll music, originally syndicated in 1969, and again in 1978 and 1981. It is currently distributed as a 2 1/2 minute short feature on internet networks. This list below reflects the contents of the more widely heard 1978 version of The History of Rock & Roll.
"Calendar Girl" is a song by Neil Sedaka. The music was composed by Sedaka and the lyrics by Howard Greenfield. Recorded in 1960 and released in December of that year, it was a Top-5 hit single for Sedaka, peaking at #4 on the US charts, #3 in Australia, and #1 on the Canadian and Japanese charts.
Neil Sedaka Sings His Greatest Hits is a 1963 compilation album of twelve of the most popular hits of Neil Sedaka's tenure with RCA Victor.
The following is a comprehensive discography of Neil Sedaka, the American singer.
The Many Sides Of Neil Sedaka is a 1978 compilation album released by RCA Victor Records containing the works of pop singer Neil Sedaka. The album contains some of Sedaka's lesser-known works in the period from 1958-1965, although three of the songs on the album were charting hits at the time of their original release.
Neil Sedaka: All Time Greatest Hits, Volume 2 is a compilation album containing the works of American pop singer Neil Sedaka. The songs featured are some of Sedaka's lesser-known songs from his days with RCA Victor from 1958–1966, songs that were not included on the 1988 album Neil Sedaka: All Time Greatest Hits. The album was released in 1991 by RCA Records.
The Very Best of Neil Sedaka is a 2001 compilation album issued by RCA Records as part of their commemorative "100th Anniversary" series of albums celebrating their biggest stars. The album features some of Sedaka's best-known hits during his days with RCA, recorded from 1958-1963.
Marjorie "Margie" Hendrix was an American rhythm and blues singer best known for her performances as a founder member and leader of the Raelettes, backing Ray Charles, the father of their child, Charles Wayne Hendrix. The spelling "Hendricks" is sometimes used.