Hadda Brooks was an entertainer extraordinaire. She was one of the most noteworthy singers and pianist of her time.
Brooks was born on October 21, 1916. At the young age of four, she asked her parents if she could take piano lessons. Shortly after completing her public school education, she began studying classical music. In 1941, she married Earl “Shug” Morrison of the Harlem Globetrotters. However, he died within their first year of marriage.
Brooks preferred ballads as opposed to the boogie-woogie style that was popular at the time. Nevertheless, she worked her style up by listening to musicians such as Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, and Meade Lux Lewis. She had a fair amount of success in the late 1940s and reached the R&B Top Ten with “Out of the Blue” and her most famous song, “That’s My Desire.”
She also appeared in several films, her most notable scene was “In a Lonely Place,” which starred Humphrey Bogart. For most of the 1960s, she was based in Australia, where she hosted her own TV show. Her profile was boosted in the 1990s by her induction into the Rhythm & Blues Foundation Hall of Fame, and by the inclusion of her recording of “Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere” in the film “The Crossing Guard.” Brooks died in 2002.