The Cookies Biography

This US vocal trio was formed in 1954 by Doretta (Dorothy) Jones (South Carolina, USA), her cousin Beulah Robertson, and Darlene McCrae (b. Ethel McCrae, North Carolina, USA). This line-up recorded a solitary single (‘Don’t Let Go’/‘All Night Mambo’) for the Lamp label. Robertson was replaced by Margie Hendricks (b. 13 March 1939, USA, d. July 1973, USA) in 1956. The group was signed by Atlantic Records the same year, where they recorded three singles, of which ‘In Paradise’ reached the R&B Top 10. However, the group was better known for session work during this period, and can be heard on successful releases by Joe Turner (‘Lipstick, Powder And Paint’) and Chuck Willis (‘It’s Too Late’). The Cookies also backed Ray Charles on several occasions and Hendricks, now known as Margie Hendrix, and McCrae left to form Charles’ own singing ensemble, the Raeletts.

Jones continued the Cookies as a contract group with newcomers Margaret Ross and McCrae’s sister Earl-Jean McCrae (b. USA). Work with Neil Sedaka resulted in their meeting songwriter Carole King, who in turn brought the trio to the Dimension label. Here they enjoyed two US pop hits with the effervescent ‘Chains’ (later covered by the Beatles) and the Top 10 single ‘Don’t Say Nothin’ Bad (About My Baby)’, and other minor hits such as ‘Girls Grow Up Faster Than Boys’ and ‘I Never Dreamed’. Their voices also appeared on various releases by Little Eva, herself an auxiliary member of the group. The Cookies later moved to Warner Brothers Records following Dimension’s collapse, with Darlene McCrea returning to join Jones and Ross in the final line-up on two 1967 singles. Jones and Earl-Jean McCrae also recorded in their own right, the latter under the name Earl-Jean.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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