To many, he was best known for singing the theme song to the Wonder Years or for belting out Up Where We Belong with Jennifer Warnes as Richard Gere carried Debra Winger out of the factory at the end of An Officer and a Gentleman but in my humble opinion – the most classic moment of Joe Cocker’s career came when he sang Feeling Alright with a little help from his friend John Belushi….
Joe Cocker passed away this morning at his home in Crawford, Colorado after a lengthy battle with lung cancer. His performances could almost be painful to watch – his signature movements almost spastic in appearance – but that voice. Gritty, raspy, whatever adjective you choose – not many people have ever improved on a Beatles tune but he did it twice. His successes were many. He won Brit awards, Grammys, a Golden Globe and was made a member of the Order of the British Empire by the Queen of England.
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr both tweeted out love today. Billy Joel paid tribute to Cocker in September during a concert at Madison Square Garden, calling Cocker “a great singer who is not very well right now.” Joel added that “I think he should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I’m amazed that he’s not yet, but I’m throwing in my vote for Joe Cocker” before performing his own take on “With a Little Help From My Friends.”