Lainie Cooke made her first record when she was 3. Her next titled “Here’s to Life” (2002) was recorded at 60. Her second CD, “It’s Always You” in 2008. Cooke’s most recent release, “The Music Is the Magic” (2016) was produced by well known jazz musician, drummer/trumpeter Ralph Peterson on his Onyx label featuring Peterson, Tedd Firth on piano, Luques Curtis on Bass, Tabari Lake, bass, Myron Walden, saxes. All received excellent reviews and airplay. Cooke made her radio debut at 6 in her native Minneapolis, appeared on television at 11, and sang with local dance bands during her high school days. After studying theater for two years at the University of Minnesota, she moved to New York at age 20, and began a hugely successful career as voice-over artist for commercials, documentaries and motion pictures for four decades. She served on the board of directors of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA – now SAG-AFTRA)) and as the union’s National Recording Secretary. Cooke frequently appears in clubs in New York and Los Angeles. Recently, she appeared at Mezzrow Jazz Club, Cornelia St. Cafe, Birdland in New York and New Brunswick Jazz Project, New Brunswick, NJ. For the last ten years she has also been an Associate Producer at New Heritage Theatre Group, the oldest not for profit black theater in NYC, est. in 1964.
There is one word that seems to be the over-arching reality of my professional life. That word is SERVICE. Not fame. Along the way my family and the people/actors/musicians/producers/directors and others I have been blessed to work with have taught me that what we do is in service to the music, the word, the audience, THE TRUTH. My greatest hope is that I have done them proud.
Lainie Cooke (1941 – 2022)
“THE JOURNEY SO FAR” – the Lainie Cooke story on video .
“HERE’S TO LIFE” – Performed by Lainie Cooke (YouTube)