Pearl's A Singer

Album: Two Days Away (1977)
Charted: 8
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Songfacts®:

  • This song was co-written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller with Ralph Dino and John Sembello, who first recorded it as Dino & Sembello in 1974. The song can be seen as a lament by a woman who hasn't fallen quite as far as Mark Knopfler's later private dancer, and nowhere near as far as the unfortunate wretch in Al Stewart's earlier "Old Compton Street Blues."

    Leiber and Stoller produced the self-titled Dino & Sembello album that included this song. When they got the opportunity to produce the British singer Elkie Brooks, best known at the time as frontwoman for the group Vinegar Joe, they revived the song with her. They produced her albums Two Days Away (1977) and Live and Learn (1979) and also her follow-up hit, "Sunshine After The Rain," which made UK #10 a few months later.

    With "Pearl," Leiber and Stoller re-wrote the song for Brooks, changing the lyrics to make it more appropriate for a female singer and adding a new piece of music for the bridge.
  • This was the choice as both a single and an album track by Elkie Brooks for her second solo release, Two Days Away. The single was backed by another Lieber/Stoller song, "You Did Something For Me", and was Brooks' first hit. The original Dino & Sembello version was backed by "The Best Thing", which it certainly is not. The song is about a female nightclub singer, but not specifically Janis Joplin, whose nickname was "Pearl." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2

Comments: 2

  • Heather from SpainMsg to Dawn Rusko - Philly, Re the song Pearls a singer, for years I have been lead to believe it was about a relative of mine called Pearl White. I have never been able to confirm this. Maybe you can help as I know stories over the years get a bit twisted & bare nothing to the real truth.
  • Dawn Rusko from PhillyHere's the real fact about the song... My dad wrote the song Leiber and Stoller wrote the bridge. It was completely my dad's genius. PEARL'S A SINGER is about Janis Joplin NOT friggin Betty Grable. That's the REAL truth about the REAL story of the song. I have lots more concerning real stories about Dino and Sembello songs.
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