Earl Okin (born 31 January 1947) is a London singer-songwriter, musician and comedian.
Born in Carshalton, Surrey, he has lived in Notting Hill since he was five years old, holds a degree in philosophy from the University of Kent at Canterbury (1968) and worked as a schoolmaster for 11 years before going full-time.
He was signed to the same company as The Beatles in 1966 and recorded his first single at Abbey Road in 1967. Some of his songs were covered during the 1960s by Cilla Black, Georgie Fame and Helen Shapiro, the latter recording now popular within the world of Northern Soul.
During the 1970s, Okin started to perform as support act in large venues, beginning with folk acts such as Ralph McTell and Fairport Convention, he progressed to open for such varied performers as Jean-Luc Ponty andVan Morrison. However, it was the 1979 tour with Paul McCartney and Wings which prompted him to pursue his musical career full-time. He also began to perform in jazz festivals.
In 1981, he appeared on The Parkinson Show and was invited by Nigel Planer to perform at The Comic Strip.This led to his second career on the “alternative comedy” circuit where he remains a headline act. However, his act continues to be primarily musical. He has never performed stand-up. In 1983, he began to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe where he has since performed over 500 shows.
Okin continues to work as a songwriter and jazz singer/musician, with a particular interest in Bossa Nova. He gives concerts in Brazil from time to time, as well as touring his one-man show, a mixture of music and comedy, worldwide. He has performed in New York at Birdland, The Apollo and other jazz venues, but, not forgetting his comedy side, also at Caroline’s. In addition he toured India, Singapore, and other nearby countries. He has also performed at most major venues in London, including the Royal Albert and Festival Halls, The Palladium and Wembley Arena.
Okin has performed on TV in several countries, including Brazil, Australia and Germany.
Apart from self-published LPs, he has had CDs issued by the Bertelsmann Music Group in Germany and Austria, and Sony in the UK. He is currently unsigned, but has completed two CDs, one of Jazz and Bossa Nova, Bossa Britanica and, more recently a CD of his songs in various genres called, after the recording studio, Songs From A Garden Shed.
He is also very much a part of the recent rebirth of interest in the modern take on variety shows.
In 2012 Okin completed his autobiography, Earl’s Caught, and a musical (in conjunction with Jackie Skarvellis), called A Harlem Story.