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Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Little Joe Cook born 29 December1922

Joseph Cook (December 29, 1922 – April 15, 2014), known as Little Joe Cook, was an American rhythm and blues singer and songwriter. He is best known as the lead singer of Little Joe & The Thrillers, whose song "Peanuts" reached no. 22 on the Billboard Top 100 in 1957.
Joe Cook was born in Philadelphia in 1922, and by 1934 at age 12, had organized his own gospel group, the Evening Star Quartet. With his falsetto voice, winning personality, and dazzling musical instincts, he was a popular local figure in Philadelphia when he 

Little Joe & The Thrillers
started recording in 1949. He later had his own radio show in Philadelphia and in the early ‘50s he decided to make the jump to rhythm & blues, which was booming at the time.

He organized the Thrillers with Farrie Hill (second lead), Richard Frazier (tenor), Donald Burnett (baritone), and Henry Pascal (bass), and by 1956 they had a contract with OKeh, the rhythm & blues imprint of Columbia Records. Their first single "Do the Slop," released that year, became a regional hit in New York and Philadelphia, and got enough action to justify an appearance at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. The Slop was one of two dances that Little Joe Cook introduced (the other was the Bicycle Bounce), and made him one of the top R&B figures in Philadelphia. It sold well enough to justify further efforts on their behalf by OKeh, which was trying to get in on the rock & roll boom.

The group's second single, "Peanuts," released in 1957, featured Cook's piercing falsetto voice as the lead. It was catchy and distinctive enough to get the group an appearance on American Bandstand. Little Joe & the Thrillers became one of the first R&B groups to score a national hit through television exposure; the single was propelled, with help from Bandstand and host Dick Clark, to number 23 nationally, and it sold in huge numbers.
This was to be the Thrillers' only national hit; they tried to score a second time with "The Echoes Keep Calling Me," a faster-paced number that put Cook's falsetto out in front again, but the record never charted. OKeh kept releasing Little Joe & the Thrillers' records until 1961, with "I Love You for Sentimental Reasons," which ended their contract. The group recorded one single for 20th Century Records before disappearing. (Ironically, the OKeh label that they'd left behind vanished into inactivity around the same time).

While "Peanuts" was climbing the charts, Little Joe Cook and the Thrillers parted company, supposedly over money issues. Joe continued as a solo, billing himself on his next record as "Little Joe, the Thriller". Farris Hill, Harry Paschall, Richard Frazier and Donald Burnett regrouped, changing their name to the Royal Demons and the Madison Brothers.
Joe Cook and the group did remain on friendly terms and Cook used the four on occasion when he needed a group. The original Thrillers were called back in 1960 when Joe needed a group to record "Stay".
During the early '60s, Cook organized a girl group with his daughters, eventually called the Sherrys, who charted with one record before a couple of marriages and a change in management forced them out of the business. Cook moved to Boston in the late 1960s, and continued to perform in clubs. He had a residency at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1980 until he retired in 2007, being voted the region's Best Local R&B Performer in 2002.
Cook died on April 15, 2014, at the age of 91. He is survived by his wife Joanne and six children.
(Info edited from AMG & Wikipedia & doo-wop blogg) 

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For “Little Joe Cook - The Ultimate Collection” go here:

01 - Peanuts (2:28)
02 - Stay (2:31)
03 - Please Don't Go (2:16)
04 - Run Little Girl (2:15)
05 - Lilly Lou (1:53)
06 - What's Happened To Your Halo (2:20
07 - I'm A Fool (2:40)
08 - It's Too Bad We Had To Say Goodbye (2:28)
09 - The Echoes Keep A Calling Me (2:24)
10 - Cherry Part 1 (2:46)
11 - Cherry Part 2 (2:11)
12 - Public Opinion (2:43)
13 - Don't Delay (2:13)
14 - Lonesome (2:44)
15 - Let's Do The Slop (2:27)
16 - This I Know (2:29)
17 - This I Know (Version 2) (2:06)
18 - Don't Leave Me Alone (2:16)
19 - Every Now And Then (2:06)
20 - One More Time (2:04)
21 - Mine (1:54)
22 - These Lonely Tears (3:06)
23 - Goodnight Little Girl (2:07)
24 - For Sentimental Reasons (2:17)
25 - Meet Me Down At Soulville (2:48)
26 - No, No I Can't Stop Loving You (1:55)
27 - Peanuts (Version 2) (2:01)
28 - Please Don't Go (Version 2) (3:13)
29 - Doodle Pickle (2:21)
30 - Stringbean (2:21)
31 - Say A Prayer For The Boys In Korea (3:15)
32 - Make It In (3:17)

A big thank you to FredO @ the Rockin’ Bandit for original link.