Lainie met her first microphone when she was three years old. It was love at first sight. She did her first radio show at six and television show at eleven. She became a band singer at the age of 14. She sang and entertained folks in her hometown of Minneapolis in large and small venues til she left college to come to New York City. And she is probably the only talented young person in history to leave New York City and go to L.A. to become a jazz singer. Lainie Cooke made her first and most lasting impression in the City of the Angels in the '80s making many fans and friends performing in the top jazz clubs of the Southland.
But New York is home and always will be.
When Lainie was twelve she won a city wide talent contest. First prize - a trip to New York. There on the corner of 46th & Broadway with the cars streaming by and the lights of New York dazzling her young eyes, she heard a voice in her head saying, "Well, you're home now." It was prophetic. After two years at the University of Minnesota, as a arts major studying acting, voice, music theory , she left her home to follow that voice. The Broadway stage was her goal, but her successes came instead from commercials, as she became a popular voiceover artist speaking off-camera for Jean Nate, Asti Spumante, Ford, McDonald's, The Daily News, Gillette, Ideal Toys, etc. and Infommercials, Industrials, TV promos etc, etc. etc.
The petite and powerful songbird has long been appreciated by fans in both showbiz towns. A group of regulars has turned out religiously for every live performance over the past 20-some years, and they have grown into more than fans. Those who aren''t family have become friends.
Now, with the release of her first-ever recording, the heretofore exclusive and savvy membership of the "We've actually heard Lainie Cooke" Club is about to explode.
In the words of jazz journalist Harvey Siders "Lainie can cook on the kind of quality standards she prefers-the Porter-Gershwin-Rodgers & Hart classics that challenge her dramatic bent for story-telling. She has an unerring ear for melodic invention, and an instinctive feel for time that allows her to take unusual rhythmic liberties. And her intonation is 'right on.'" (The Los Angeles Daily News, circa 1985.)
Ms. Cooke also serves on the National and Local Board of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
She has an alternate life as a labor activist, student of Feldenkrais, and one of the best voiceover coaches in the country.