Little Joe & The Thrillers (2) aka The Royal Demons aka The Madison Brothers aka The Creators (3) aka The Friends (5)
Little Joe & The Thrillers (2) (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
aka The Royal Demons aka The Madison Brothers aka The Creators (3) aka The Friends (5)
Little Joe Cook (Lead)
Farris Hill (Tenor)
Richard Frazier (Tenor)
Donald Burnett (Baritone)
Harry Pachall (Bass)
Little Joe & The Thrillers (2)
1956 - This i know / Let's do the Slop (Okey 7075)
1957 - Peanuts / Lilly Lou (Okey 7088/Epic 2206)
1960 - Stay / Please Don't Go (Okey 7136)
1956 - I'm Comin' Home Dear (Okey) (Unreleased)
1956 - I'm A Fool (Okey) (Unreleased)
The Royal Demons
1959 - What's The Matter Baby / Baby Don't (Rhythm 5004)
1961 - Kiss Kiss / Trembling Hand (Pek 8101)
The Madison Brothers
1959 - Give Me Your Heart / Baby Don't (Sure 1002)
1960 - Trusting In You / What's The Matter Baby (Cedargrove 314/APT 25050)
Farris Hill & The Madison Brothers
1962 - Did We Go Steady Too Soon / The Twirl (V-Tone 231)
The Creators (3)
1963 - Cross Fire / Crazy Love (Epic 9605)
Farris Hill & The Friends (5)
N/A - Sexy Way / Sloppin' Around [instrumental (Cool 501)
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 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 Farris Hill (second lead), Richard Frazier (tenor), Donald Burnett (baritone), and Harry Pachall (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 Theater 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.
Little Joe Cook
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.
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.
This I know Lilly Lou
Please Don't Go Let's do the Slop
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