Born Elaine Bookbinder in Salford, Manchester, Elkie Brooks has become one of the most successful and respected singing talents in the UK. Her career has spanned nearly five decades, produced 19 studio albums, and earned her numerous awards and accolades.
As a 15 year old with a passion for the blues, jazz and great artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Elkie left her childhood home to pursue dreams of becoming a singer. Early professional engagements included appearances with the Eric Delaney Band and British Jazz hero Humphrey Lyttelton, a relationship that still thrives today.
On signing to the famous Decca label, Elkie released her first single Something’s Got A Hold On Me in 1964. Several more single releases followed but chart success proved elusive and Elkie spent the next few years appearing on package tours with various artists including The Animals and The Beatles.
In 1970, her career took on a whole new direction after meeting guitarist Pete Gage and together they formed rock fusion band, Dada. The group worked well but changes were brought about with the arrival of another future star by the name of Robert Palmer and Dada transformed into Vinegar Joe. Robert was to prove the perfect foil for Elkie – their raunchy, rocky and outright sexual live performances became legendary and secured them a record deal with the Island label. Despite critical acclaim and huge success on the live circuit the band eventually dissolved in 1974 when their appeal failed to translate into record sales.
Disillusioned, Elkie took off to the States to decide her future. In 1975 she returned to the UK and signed a deal with A&M Records which saw the release of her first solo album, Rich Man’s Woman.
For her second long player, A&M recruited legendary songwriters and producers Leiber and Stoller to create the classic 1977 album Two Days Away. Finally, on her 32nd Birthday, after many years of glowing acclaim but limited chart success, the single Pearl’s A Singer was released, providing Elkie with her first Top 10 hit. The song became an instant anthem, proving so memorable that even today it remains Elkie’s most popular and enduring hit.
Further success followed with the hit singles Sunshine After The Rain, Lilac Wine, the evergreen classic Don’t Cry Out Loud and the hit albums Shooting Star (1978) and Live and Learn (1979). During this period Elkie undertook major tours selling out each venue she visited including the Royal Albert Hall and a week-long engagement at the London Palladium.
In 1981, the release of the Pearls album propelled Elkie into the realms of superstardom. This collection of past hits and new recordings shot to number 2 and stayed in the album charts for an incredible 79 weeks. At the time of release it became the biggest selling album by a British female singer in the history of the UK charts, selling over 1.2 million copies. During her free time she enjoys blogging. For more information about her music career go to www.elkiebrooks.com