Monday, July 28, 2014

Spotlight on Joe Cocker

In the documentary of the legendary concert, "Woodstock," one of the most memorable of several unforgettable performances was by rock and blues singer Joe Cocker.

With his expressive, gravelly voice and flailing arms along with some air guitar picks,  Cocker turned in a dynamic and electric performance before the 500,000 or so folks who attended (and the millions of others who claimed they did) the "3 days of peace and music" in 1969.

His distinctive cover of The Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends," at Woodstock propelled him into the top tier of rock singers in the 1970s. 

Among his recordings that charted were No. 33 "Feeling Alright," and No. 7 "The Letter,"  No. 11 "Cry Me a River," No. 22 "High Time We Went," No. 27 "Midnight Rider," and No. 5 "You Are So Beautiful." He also covered The Beatles' "Something" and "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window." 

Despite battling some personal demons (drugs and alcohol), Cocker persevered and got his got his life back on track.  In 1982, he and Jennifer Warnes reached No. 1 with "Up Where We Belong," which also won a Grammy for best song. 

The native of Sheffield, England also hit No. 11 at "When the Night Comes" in 1989 and No. 31 in 2004 with "One."

Surprisingly, the 70-year-old singer has never been nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame despite being eligible since 1994.  

Needless to say, Joe Cocker could use a "little help from his friends" to be rewarded in the Rock Hall for his outstanding contributions for five decades to rock and blues. I hope they honor this wonderful performer.

Here's some videos of Cocker in performance:


Until the next time...

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