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Elkie Brooks

Background information
Birth name Elaine Bookbinder
Born 25 February 1945 (1945-02-25) (age 64)
Origin Broughton, Greater Manchester, England, UK
Genres Pop/Rock/Jazz/Blues
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1960 - present
Associated acts Vinegar Joe, Robert Palmer, Humphrey Lyttelton
Notable instruments
Piano/Fender Rhodes

Elkie Brooks (born 25 February 1945, Broughton, Salford) is an English singer, formerly a vocalist with Vinegar Joe, and later a solo artist. She is known for her powerful husky voice.


Life and career

Brooks was born in 1945 as Elaine Bookbinder to Jewish parents in Broughton and raised in Prestwich. She attended North Salford Secondary Modern School.

A professional singer since she was fifteen, Brooks' debut, a cover of Etta James's "Something's Got A Hold On Me", was released on Decca in 1964. She spent most of the 1960s on Britain's jazz scene. She helped Small Faces in their early career by introducing them at several venues. In the early 1960s Brooks supported The Beatles in their Christmas show in London. She also toured the U.S with The Animals, among other groups.

After she met Pete Gage, whom she would marry, she joined the short-lived fusioneers Dada before forming Vinegar Joe with Gage and Robert Palmer. Elkie gaind the reputation as the wild woman of "Rock n Roll" due to her wild stage performances. After three albums, they split up in 1974, and Brooks and Palmer both went solo. After a time as backing singer with the American southern boogie band Wet Willie, she returned to England. Her first solo album on A&M records was Rich Man's Woman (1975). Elkie was given a hard time due to the album's cover, which was considered outrageous for the time.

It came before a run of sixteen UK hit albums in twenty-five years, starting with Two Days Away, produced by the legendary duo Leiber & Stoller, who had also worked with Elvis Presley and many others (1977). Brooks wrote some tracks with Leiber and Stoller. The hits "Pearl's a Singer", "Sunshine After the Rain" came from this album. "Lilac Wine", Don't Cry Out Loud, came later. The albums Shooting Star (1978), Live and Learn (1979), Pearls (at the time, the largest selling album by a British female artist) (1981), "Fool (If You Think It's Over)" was a hit for Brooks taken from this album, written by Chris Rea.Pearls II (1982), Minutes (1984) and Screen Gems the first album to be produced on CD in the UK (1984) were all UK chart successes.

In 1986 No More the Fool gave her biggest hit single to date while the parent album reached the top 5. Following chart success ensued with the albums The Very Best of (1986), Bookbinders Kid On Bookbinders Kid, she covered "What's The Matter Baby" previously recorded by Timi Yuro (1988), Inspiration (1981), Round Midnight (1993), Nothin' But the Blues (1994), Amazing (1996) and The Very Best of (1997). In 1980 Brooks performed at the Knebworth Festival with The Beach Boys, Santana and Mike Oldfield.[1]

Brooks' success landed her in the Guinness Book of Records as the most charted British female album artist of the last 30 years.

In March 2003 she participated in the ITV music talent show Reborn in the USA, alongside musicians such as Peter Cox (Go West Singer), Tony Hadley and Leee John.The Electric Lady album (2005) saw a return to her blues and rock roots, featuring self-penned tracks alongside re-workings of numbers by The Doors, Bob Dylan, Paul Rodgers and Tony Joe White. The following year saw the release of her first official DVD, titled Elkie Brooks & Friends: Pearls featuring an array of guest musicians.

Brooks is currently working on her 20th studio album. Brooks has toured almost every year during her solo career. Her 1982 UK concert tour was seen by more than 140,000 people in just three months. She has performed at every major UK theatre including sell out runs at the London Palladium, Dominion Theatre, Hammersmith Apollo, Ronnie Scott's, Royal Albert Hall and Wembley Arena.


In 1978 she married sound engineer Trevor Jordan; they have two sons. Trevor Jordan has been Brooks's sound engineer since 1977.



Studio albums

Year Album UK #[2 ] Label
1975 Rich Man's Woman - A&M
1977 Two Days Away 16 A&M
1978 Shooting Star 20 A&M
1979 Live and Learn 34 A&M
1981 Pearls 2 A&M
1982 Pearls II 5 A&M
1984 Minutes 35 A&M
1984 Screen Gems 35 A&M
1986 No More the Fool 5 Legend
1988 Bookbinder's Kid 57 Legend
1989 Inspiration 58 Telstar
1991 Pearls III (Close to the Edge) - Freestyle
1993 Round Midnight 27 Castle
1994 Nothin' But the Blues 58 Castle
1995 Circles - Permanent
1996 Amazing 49 Carlton Classics
2003 Shangri-La - Classic Pictures
2003 Trouble in Mind (with Humphrey Lyttelton) - Classic Pictures
2005 Electric Lady - Swing Cafe

Live albums

Year Album Label
1997 The Pearls Concert Artful
2000 Live at the Palladium JAM Records
2000 Live 2000 JAM Records
2005 Don't Cry Out Loud Recall
2007 Live With Friends EMP


Year Album UK #[2 ] Label
1986 The Very Best of Elkie Brooks (Telstar) 10 Telstar
1997 The Very Best of Elkie Brooks (Polygram) 23 Polygram


Year Song UK #[2 ] Album Label
1964 "Something's Got a Hold on Me" - - Decca
1964 "Nothing Left to Do but Cry" - - Decca
1965 "The Way You Do the Things You Do" - - Decca
1965 "He's Gotta Love Me" - - HMV
1965 "All of My Life" - - HMV
1966 "Baby Let Me Love You" - - HMV
1969 "Come September" - - NEMS
1974 "Rescue Me" - - Island
1975 "Where Do We Go From Here" - Rich Man's Woman A&M
1975 "He's a Rebel" - Rich Man's Woman A&M
1977 "Pearl's a Singer" 8 Two Days Away A&M
1977 "Saved" - Two Days Away A&M
1977 "Sunshine After the Rain" 10 Two Days Away A&M
1977 "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" - Two Days Away A&M
1978 "Lilac Wine" 16 Pearls A&M
1978 "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" 43 Shooting Star A&M
1978 "Since You Went Away" - Shooting Star A&M
1978 "Stay with Me" (Netherlands only) - Shooting Star A&M
1979 "Don't Cry Out Loud" 12 Pearls A&M
1979 "The Runaway" 50 - A&M
1979 "He Could Have Been an Army" - Live and Learn A&M
1979 "Falling Star" - Live and Learn A&M
1980 "Why Don't You Say It" - - A&M
1980 "Paint Your Pretty Picture" - Pearls A&M
1980 "Dance Away" - Pearls A&M
1981 "Warm and Tender Love" - Pearls A&M
1981 "Fool (If You Think It's Over)"
(Chris Rea cover)
17 Pearls A&M
1982 "Our Love" 43 Pearls II A&M
1982 "Nights in White Satin" 33 Pearls II A&M
1982 "Will You Write Me a Song" - Pearls II A&M
1983 "Gasoline Alley" 52 Pearls II A&M
1983 "I Just Can't Go On" - Pearls II A&M
1984 "Minutes" - Minutes A&M
1984 "Driftin'" - Minutes A&M
1984 "Once in a While" - Screen Gems A&M/EMI
1986 "No More the Fool" 5 No More the Fool Legend
1987 "Break the Chain" 55 No More the Fool Legend
1987 "We've Got Tonight" 69 No More the Fool Legend
1988 "Sail On" - Bookbinders Kid Legend
1989 "Shame" - Inspiration Telstar
1989 "You're the Inspiration" (Belgium only) - Inspiration Telstar/Disky
1990 "I'll Never Love This Way Again" - Inspiration Telstar
1990 "For the World" (withdrawn before release) - - European Artists
1991 "The Last Teardrop" - Pearls III (Close to the Edge) Freestyle
1991 "One of a Kind (Belgium only)" - Pearls III (Close to the Edge) Freestyle/Dureco
1999 "Too Much Too Lose" 127 Unfinished Business (Unreleased) BMG
2005 "Out of the Rain" - Electric Lady Swing Cafe


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 79. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.  

External links


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