Elkie Brooks, Britain’s Queen of Blues is celebrating her 69th birthday today. During her long and distinguished career as a vocalist she has crossed continents and genres with her trademark ‘alto’ huskiness performing rock, pop, blues and jazz and reaching audiences across the globe. She has been nominated for two Brit Awards for song titles that veil messages of love lost and painted smiles. Elkie Brooks’ crowning glory days of the 70’ and 80’s still serve her well today as she reigns supreme on the UK’s Blues throne.
Elkie Brooks – Animated Rocker
Elkie Brooks is a Manchester lass through and through and went through the usual motions of support and backing act to many a 60’s band from ‘The Beatles’ to the ‘Animals’. Indeed it was the animal in Elkie Brooks that fired her on-stage reputation in Manchester’s Northern night-club circuit as an untamed rocker. The ‘Broughton Born and Bred’ image dissipated in the next decade to bring a more soulful allure and reflective image to the stage as the lingering ballads of the digital piano took over the hard core electric guitar sounds.
Elkie Brooks from then on reinvented herself from the heart and not the head.
‘’Pearl’s A Singer’’
With a new song-writing duo Leiber and Stoller and her own writing hand into the bargain, Elkie Brooks saw a string of successful songs elevate her to the top of the charts by the late 70’s. ‘’Pearl’s A Singer’’ was one such soft rock track that unfolds the story of a young singer who could have made the big time. The introduction consists of the elongated, sliding rendition of ‘’P—–earl’’ as Elkie Brooks establishes her vocal style. This is immediately echoed by a rising electric piano motif D Eb E C’ and embeds itself as a characteristic throughout the song.
The lyrics refer to Pearl’s stance as she ‘’stands up to play’’ the digital piano. Her ’might have been’ references give rise to a sorrowful composition reinforced by a slow, ballad feel and the innovative use of the Hawaiian guitar sound that gives way to an American folk feel.
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‘’Pearl’s a sin-ger. She stands up when she plays the pi-an-o, in a night club’’.
Still Reigning Down
Today the British Queen of the Blues enjoys a family affair as members of the Brooks clan get involved in all aspects of her industry. From touring to song writing Elkie Brooks still reigns down – or is it rains down – or is it reins down!