Singer Elkie Brooks talks 50 years in showbiz, her autobiography, aikido and Blackpool.
Half a century in any business might be enough to make someone feel tired of it.
But not Elkie Brooks with singing.
Her career started at age just 15 and has spanned most musical genres and collaborations with some of the finest musicians of their generation.
Elkie, who has produced 20 studio albums over the years, says she is looking forward to coming to Blackpool in just seven days time.
The resort date is part of a tour which sees Elkie performing up and down the country – with at least two dates every month – most months she is doing between four and seven shows.
But the mother-of-two says the days of gigging every day are gone.
“I prefer to sort of do one-on, one-off, it gives me time to rest up and then I can give the audience 100 per cent.”
While touring can be tiring, Elkie still enjoys it and is incredibly passionate about her life-long love, singing.
“I’ve had a lot of hits and some have not necessarily been my cup of tea, but they have been very successful. And I still enjoy it.
“It’s definitely the music that keeps me going and I have a great band I have worked with many years, we are a close-knit unit. It’s very much a team effort and it’s nice.”
It was at the tender age of 15 Elkie entered an early reality-type show in Manchester which promised to put the winner on a national pop package tour.
Then during the 60s Elkie was invited to be a guest vocalist with Humphrey Lyttlejohn and his renowned jazz band. The friendship would last the rest of his life and they went on to perform together on and off for more than 40 years.
Elkie helped Humph on his final journey when she sang at his funeral and was asked to scatter his ashes from a paraglider over the North Devon coast which she has made her home.
During the 70s, Elkie’s career really took off when she went from playing pubs to selling out the Royal Albert Hall.
She said: “It took until I was 32 to get my first record – so I was late really.”
1986 saw her biggest hit single to date, No More the Fool and by 1997, she had 15 hit albums.
Elkie has had so many memorable moments over her career, but she says the biggest highlights of her life were the birth of her two sons, Jermaine and Joseph.
Elkie married sound engineer Trevor Jordan in 1978.
Her eldest son – Jermaine, or ‘Jay’ – helped produce her last two albums.
“They mean so much to me. I thought I’d probably left it too late – I didn’t give birth to Joey until I was 42.
“Along with scattering Humph’s ashes, they are the moments that stand out.”
The 67-year-old said: “It’s been quite a few years since I’ve been to Blackpool. I’m hoping to have a look round while I am there. I loved the Christmas lights, I thought they were beautiful.
Of course, there’s the Illuminations, but it was the Christmas lights I really liked.
“Blackpool is dear to me, as my parents got married in Blackpool in 1938, at the synagogue.”
>> Elkie’s autobiography is out now, entitled Finding My Voice
>> Elkie keeps fit by doing the martial art aikido and also enjoys para-gliding
>> Elkie will perform at The Sands, Blackpool, this Saturday