Hook and Bullet Club - Earl the Pearl

The local music world is going to miss Earl Bulinski, who passed away suddenly on April 3, 2021.
We talked on the phone the other day and Earl said he would be playing with a band in South Padre and that I could tune in on Facebook.
“I’ll be sure to listen,” I said.
“These guys are really good,” said Earl. “They even make me look good!”
That was Earl, self-deprecating, always with a joke and a smile. Our conversations were marked by laughter.
During his March 30 set in South Padre at Lobo Del Mar Cafe, Earl told the story of being born in Chicago in 1948 and his dad, Emery, buying Snowbank Lodge in Ely in 1956.
“We went back and forth to Ely, Minnesota which is eight miles from the Canadian border,” said Earl. “It’s a little woodsy up there.
“After four years my dad bought a house and that’s where I actually grew up. And started our first band, The Electras, in 1962 in Ely, Minnesota.
“We were so gifted to be signed by Columbia Records in 1966. And all the residuals that came in is why I’m still playing,” he said with a laugh.”
“My parents moved up there in 1959 with the kids. It took me three years to find them. Were they surprised when I knocked on that door!”
From there he tore off into “Born in Chicago” and the three piece band did the song justice. Earl played bass guitar and sang, something he didn’t do a lot of playing with the Electras, the Jack Daniels Band or the Tru Blue North Trio.
Earl told me how much he and his wife Sharon liked Lobo Del Mar, which had his band Early Knights playing from 6-9 p.m. on Tuesday nights.
“That’s perfect for an old guy like me,” said Earl.
The band ripped numerous familiar songs and Earl’s bass led the way.
During the breaks, Earl talked about Ely and chatted with folks in the crowd.
Earl was the owner and often the bartender at Cranberry’s (now the Boathouse) for 35 years. He was a good operator and boy could he tell jokes from behind the bar.
A likable guy, always in a good mood and even though he was a Chicago Bears fan, we didn’t hold it against him.
I’m glad we went to Jerry Fink’s garage parties, and to Grand Ely Lodge and Dee’s bar to watch Jack Daniels and the Electras reunion.
But I’m really glad Earl called to chat and urged me to tune in that Tuesday night and listen to him play one more time.
I thought about that having dinner at the Boathouse the other night and when we stopped in for a drink at Dee’s.
Earl the Pearl, gone too soon.