Gary Brooker was born on 29 May 1945 in Hackney, London. As a youngster, he learned to play piano, cornet and trombone. A singer / songwriter / keyboardist, he is best known as the leader of Procul Harum.
He embarked on his musical career in the Paramounts (1961 - 1966) before forming Procul Harum in April 1967. The band released a string of successful albums, but are best known for the song “A Whiter Shade Of Pale”. After Procul Harum broke up in May 1977, he went on to record several solo albums. Procul Harum reformed in 1991 and is still active.
Gary Brooker was the keyboardist in Eric Clapton’s “all British” band between 1980 and 1982. Eric Clapton played on sessions for Brooker's 1982 solo album, Lead Me To The Water. Today, he continues to appear with Eric at one-off charity concerts in England. Gary can be heard on Eric’s album, Another Ticket.
Gary continues to record solo projects and tour. In 1997, 1999, and 2000 he was part of Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band with Jack Bruce and others. During 2001, he recorded and toured with Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings. He took part in “The Concert For George” (a tribute concert in George Harrison’s memory) on 29 November 2002 with Eric Clapton. They also performed together at the Teenage Cancer Trust benefit at the Royal Albert Hall in March 2003 and “The Last Fling” at Guildford Civic Hall on January 4, 2004.
Gary Brooker was awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II on 14 June 2003 in recognition of his charitable services.