Born in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, England, Elaine was raised in a musical environment in North London. Her father, Jamaican-born trumpeter Leslie 'Jiver' Hutchinson and mother, Phyllis, came to Britain in the mid1930's and Leslie became a much-loved musical influence in the 40's and 50' as a jazz soloist and band leader. Elaine was undoubtedly influenced by her musical surroundings and remembers warmly a household bustling with visiting musicians playing, rehearsing and talking about music or simply listening to the sounds of Basie, Ellington, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald or Nat King Cole from her father's record collection. Her mother Phyllis was renowned for her hospitality and for keeping a warm and stable household which Elaine feels has grounded her to this day.
Brought up in North London, the eldest of three children, brother lvor and sister Maria, Elaine was educated at Rhodes Avenue Junior School and then Trinity Grammar School, Wood Green. She studied classical piano privately from the age of 6, completing the Associated Board Exams and becoming a well-recognized face on the North London Music Festival circuit. Elaine actually made her first broadcast at 13 on BBC radio's Children's Hour. Whilst still at school at the age of 16, she became a singer with her father's band at functions and at US Air Force Bases around Britain until his untimely death in a car accident in 1959.