Friday, February 27, 2015

Remembering Joe Cocker

This week is featured another video by the beloved British singer Joe Cocker,who died on 22 December 2014 in Crawford,Colorado.He was 70 years old.Born John Cocker in Sheffield,England,he started his career as a gas fitter at age 16,then took up touring in 1968,pleasing the fans with his trademark gravelly voice and intuitive grasp of songs that enabled him to bring out aspects of them that hadn't been heard before.
In 1970,Cocker starred in the documentary film "Mad Dogs&Englishmen."This week's selection "Feelin' Alright" is a film clip from that documentary.It was centered on one particular concert that took place at the Metropol in Berlin on 31 October.Indeed,Cocker would return to Berlin many years later and was there when the Berlin Wall was torn down.For that matter,he was also in New York on 9-11.
The documentary is named for the tour called "Mad Dogs&Englishmen,"referring to the large band he toured with at that time.Bandmembers included Leon Russell,Jim Gordon,Jim Keltner,Carl Radle,Bobby Keys and Rita Coolidge in the Space Choir of backing singers.
Besides The Beatles,Cocker admired musicians such as Ray Charles,Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye.He has 97 soundtrack credits.
"Mad Dogs&Englishmen" has a rating from IMDb of 7.2 out of 10.
Joe Cocker is often recalled for his unforgettable performance of "A Little Help From My Friends" at Woodstock in 1969 with The Grease Band and his air guitar playing.He was the husband of Pam Baker.
We'll miss this gifted Englishman a lot.