The Cookies started out as a backup vocal trio in 1954, Brooklyn, New-York with Doretta (Dorothy) Jones, Ethel Darlene McCrea, and Beulah Robertson. In 1956 Beulah was replaced by Margie Hendrix. Their alter egos on recordings were The Palisades (Chairman), The Stepping Stones (Philips), The Cinderellas (Dimension) and The Honey Bees (Fontana 1939 only). When Darlene and Margie left to join Ray Charles' backing group the Raelets in 1958, Darlene's younger sister Earl-Jean joined along with Margaret Ross.
They Recorded for Lamp Records in 1954. Together they became the Cookies making their debut at The Apollo Theatre on Amateur Night, winning the contest. There they were spotted by an Jesse Stone of Atlantic Records, who brought them to the label for vocal sessions in 1955. They recorded three sessions under the Cookie name and had a Top Ten R&B hit with "In Paradise" in 1956. There, they did back-ups for many singers on the Atlantic roster, including LaVern Baker, Ruth Brown and Ray Charles. They also backed Joe Turner and Chuck Willis on their hit recordings in 1956. It was during their time at Atlantic that Neil Sedaka found them, used them on some of his early RCA hits, and later recommended them to Carole King for backup work on Tony Orlando's recordings. While working on one of Orlando's sessions, Don Kirshner heard them improvising around the piano and asked them to record for Aldon.
When Darlene and Margie left to join Ray Charles' backing group the Raelettes in 1958, Darlene's younger sister Earl-Jean joined along with Margaret Ross. It was this trio that found itself in New York working with Carole King during the early 1960s. The Cookies are Dorothy Jones, Margaret Ross and Earl-Jean McCrea. Almost six years later, this new trio emerged as the Cookies on Dimension. They became staples on most Aldon sponsored sessions, doing backup vocals for Neil Sedaka, little Eva, and Carol King, while having two Top Ten R&B, and one Top Twenty pop hit in 1962 ("Chains") and 1963. "Don't Say Nothing Bad (About My Baby)' was their biggest, reaching number three R&B (number seven pop) in 1963. "Girls Grow Up Faster Than Boys" was their last chart hit reaching a respectable number thirty-three in November 1963 as the British Invasion brought their success to an end. The Cookies also released several recordings under pseudonyms, mostly with Margaret Ross on lead.
In late 1966 the Cookies signed with Warner Brothers. In April 1967 they released their last record. And as they say that's how the Cookies crumbled.
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.