Cookie and the Cupcakes

     Cookie and the Cupcakes are an American swamp pop band from Lake Charles, Louisiana, best known for their 1959 hit "Mathilda".  The band started as the Boogie Ramblers, led by Shelton Dunaway.  Huey "Cookie" Thierry (1936–1997) joined in 1952, and shared lead vocals and tenor sax with Dunaway.  Other original members were Sidney "Hot Rod" Reynaud (tenor sax), Marshall Laday, or LeDee (guitar), Ernest Jacobs (piano), Joe "Blue" Landry (bass) and Ivory Jackson (drums).

 

     They started playing in 1953 as the house band at the Moulin Rouge Club in Lake Charles.  They became a popular regional live act, and toured with big names like Jerry Lee Lewis and Fats Domino. In 1956, Cookie began being the front man and the name of the band was changed to "Cookie and the Boogie Ramblers".   Soon after, the band switched to its final name after hearing it shouted in jest from an audience.   In 1957, they recorded their signature song 'Mathilda'.  The record rose to #47 on the Billboard pop chart in early 1959, and is regarded as the unofficial anthem of the swamp pop genre. They followed up with a number of singles including "Belinda", "Betty and Dupree", and "Got You on My Mind"; the latter reached the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1963. 

 

     In August 1965, Cookie moved to California and was replaced as lead singer by "Little Alfred" (or "Lil' Alfred") Babino.  The group continued for several years but dispersed in the early 1970s.

 

     Cookie reunited with the rest of the band in the 1990s and played festivals with them until his death in 1997. Lil' Alfred continued to lead the band, performing at clubs in Louisiana and southeast Texas until he died in 2006.

Cookie and the Cupcakes perform the Swamp Pop classic "Mathilda"
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Museum Address: 700 Procter, Port Arthur, TX 77640

The Museum of the Gulf Coast is administered by the Port Arthur Historical Society in partnership with the City of Port Arthur.  

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