The Intruders, an R&B ensemble, was established in 1960 as a doo-wop group influenced by gospel music. Its first members were Sam “Little Sonny” Brown, born June 21, 1941; Phillip “Phil” Terry, born November 1, 1943; Robert “Big Sonny” Edwards, born on February 22, 1942, all in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Other founding members were Eugene Daughtry, born on October 29, 1939, in Kinston, North Carolina, and Bobby Starr was born Robert Ferguson on January 19, 1937, in Baltimore, Maryland. All of the group’s members were reared in Philadelphia.
In 1961, the Intruders signed with Gowen Records and released two singles, “I’m Sold (On You) /Come Home Soon” and “This Is My Song/My Baby.” They later signed with the Lost-Nite Label, re-released “I’m Sold on You” in 1963.
Their top recording was “Cowboys to Girls” released in 1968. It hit the Billboard Hot 100 R&B chart, peaking at #1 and #6 on the Pop chart. “Cowboys to Girls” sold more than one million copies. It was the only chart-topping single throughout their 30 year music career.
In 1970 the group released “When We Get Married,” which peaked at #8 on the R&B chart and reached #45 on the Pop chart. In 1973 they came out with “I Wanna Know Your Name,” which reached #9 on R&B and #60 on Pop. Their 1974 hit, “I’ll Always Love My Mama” peaked at #6 on R&B and #36 on Pop and remained on the charts for seven weeks. It became their second best single in sales although it did not reach 500,000 units.
The group disbanded in 1975 but reformed in 1984. Later that year they released Who Do You Love? in 1984. “It reached #65 on Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on the charts for eight weeks. Their 1985 single, “Warm and Tender Love” peaked at #99 and lasted on the charts for only one week.
The ensemble permanently disbanded in 1994 with the death of Eugene Daughtry who succumbed to cancer on December 25 of that year at age 55. On April 21, 1995, Sam Brown, 54, committed suicide. Robert “Big Sonny” Edwards died on October 15, 2016, from a heart attack. He was age 74.
Overall, the Intruders released five albums with Gamble Records, excluding Who Do You Love? with Streetwave Records in 1985. They scored a string of R&B hits during their musical tenure in the 1960s and 1970s but never reached the fame of other Philadephia groups of that era.