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Joe Cocker - All about the musician, biography, facts and songs

“My parents thought that music for me was nothing more than just teenage entertainment ... They wanted me to find a normal job, like my brother Victor. But they did not understand that for me music was a way of life ... "

Joe Cocker: the story of a musician

The hallmark of this performer was his characteristic hoarse baritone. A couple of dozen tracks can be safely attributed to the pearls of his repertoire, among which are the blues and rock ballads Unchain My Heart, You Can Leave Your Hat On, Up Where We Belong… On March 20, he could have turned 72 years old. Let's remember one of the most interesting and talented musicians - Joe Cocker.

Legendary performer...
Legendary performer...

Brief Biography

Today, Joe Cocker is one of the most vocally powerful and greatest performers in the history of music. And the composition "Up Where We Belong" brought two prestigious awards to his piggy bank at once - "Oscar" and "Grammy". But turning over the pages of his life - you can understand that Cocker was a simple and vulnerable person ...

John Robert Cocker was born on May 20, 1944 in the English town of Sheffield. Father Harold Cocker was an employee, mother Madge Lee was a typical housewife. In addition to John, the eldest son Victor was growing up in the family. According to the future musician, "the passion for music seized him even in the elementary grades."

“My parents thought that music for me was nothing more than just teenage entertainment ... They wanted me to find a normal job, like my brother Victor. But they didn’t understand that music was a way of life for me ... ”Coker said, already being a famous performer.

Joe Cocker in his youth
Joe Cocker in his youth ...

Cocker's idol was Ray Charles! Imitating him, Joe formed his own unique performance technique, which in the future will elevate him to the Olympus of glory.

First steps towards music

John made his first stage debut at the age of 12 with his older brother's skiffle band. A few years later, he founded his own band Cavaliers. For some time the guys performed in local clubs, but a year later the team ceased to exist ...

The financial situation in the country was difficult, and 15-year-old Joe was forced to drop out of school to get a job. Together with the new group The Avengers, he performed in clubs with compositions by Chuck Berry and Ray Charles. In 1963, the guys played as the opening act for the famous Rolling Stones! It was Cocker's first big break...

Early years...
Early years...

Joe's first single was "I'll Cry Instead" by The Beatles, which he recorded with his own money at Decca Studios in London. The track expected an absolute failure ... The record brought 70 pence.

But this did not break the spirit of the young and ambitious Cocker. In 1966, he formed a new group, the Grease Band, and completely changed direction to rhythm and blues and soul. The first serious tour of the north of England began, and with them - and active creative activity!

Career Launch

In 1968, the single "Marjorine" was released, which, although small, was already a success! Following him is a cover of "With a Little Help from My Friends" by the same Beatles. This time Cocker's version tops the charts in the UK and several other European countries! In the same year, Cocker released a self-titled album. The second major hit of the singer is "Feeling Alright" from the repertoire of Dev Mason!

In the summer, at the end of the 60s, Joe Cocker becomes the star of the Woodstock festival! New Joe Cocker album! brings him success, and listeners - new hits: "Delta Lady", "Something" and "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window".

At the beginning of the new decade, Cocker continues to record covers of famous songs by other artists, while his own success is noticeably falling ... The composition "You Are So Beautiful" returned Cocker to the top of the world charts! Soon his concerts gathered thousands of fans! But an unhealthy addiction to alcohol prevented Joe from moving on ...

After a long break due to problems with alcohol and drugs, Cocker releases Sheffield Steel. The record was coolly received by the fans, but… everything changes with the performance with Jennifer Warnes, with whom the musician performed his main hit “Up Where We Belong”! The name of the artist again leads the world charts, and the song becomes the soundtrack to the film "An Officer and a Gentleman"!

The last album of the musician was released in 2012, called Fire It Up. Back in the 90s, Joe Cocker settled with his family in Colorado and devoted himself to business: the artist's possessions included his own bakery, supermarket, coffee shop and a number of small shops!

Feature film directors willingly offered cooperation to Joe Cocker! Probably everyone remembers the striptease scene (the movie "Nine and a Half Weeks"), where young Kim Basinger dances to "You Can Leave Your Hat On" ...

Death of a musician

Joe Cocker passed away in December 2014 at his own ranch in Colorado. The cause was lung cancer... His death shocked the whole world. Despite the fact that the artist left his musical career in the past, his songs are still remembered and loved ...

Great musician....
Great musician...

Barry Marshall, Joe Cocker's agent:

“Joe was an extraordinarily gifted, sympathetic and very modest person ... He loved to perform, and loved to give joy to the audience and listeners ... Having visited his concert once, you will never forget it! Joe was a unique individual and the place he held in our hearts cannot be filled…”

Joe Cocker once said:

“I guess I'm a strange character, if I don't like modern music! You know, when I'm in the US, my favorite thing is to be behind the wheel of my car and enjoy the blues radio station ... "

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