Wednesday, December 24, 2014

2014 The Year In Review (Census) JOE COCKER(1944-2014)

by Claude Chaney

    During the very first public appearance of Claude Chaney and Friends in late October, 2006 at a place called "La Negrita" on the upper west side John Felder took the mike and sang "With A Little Help From My Friends" in the Joe Cocker style. The audience loved it. It was one of only two outings John had with the group but without a doubt it was among the most memorable.
    Immediately after that night I began to revisit Joe Cocker's musical legacy and found it most impressive. In the early days Joe had long hair, a raspy voice and made somewhat unusual gyrations
while imagining himself playing a guitar. After his appearance at Woodstock he immediately became a household name. I first became aware of Joe Cocker in the late sixties when I heard a Dave Mason
tune called "Feeling Alright" and I was really impressed. That song was re-released in 1972 when it made the US top forty (#33), other hits followed, the remake of the Box Tops hit "The Letter" (#7 in 1970).  Cocker also remade the Billy Preston song "You Are So Beautiful", which became his second biggest hit. In this song Cocker's voice cracked but it actually enhanced the song. This is my favorite Joe Cocker song, charting at #5 in 1975. Of course Cocker's biggest success came with Jennifer Warnes "Up Where We Belong" from the Richard Gere film "An Officer and a Gentleman" Altogether Joe Cocker had 10 top forty hits in the United States.
     Joe had soul, like his countrymen and women, Tom Jones, Dusty Springfield and Lisa Stansfield which endeared him to R&B enthusiasts. This unique performer will definitely be missed.

No comments:

Post a Comment