Joe Cocker


Editor’s Note: Joe Cocker died from lung cancer in December 2014 at the age of 70. He continued performing until just months before his death

The story of Joe Cocker is the story of survival. When he first starting making albums in the 1960s, nobody paid any attention. Cocker became so discouraged he walked away from music and went back to his job at the gas company.

But he gave it another try. The man known for his Ray Charles-like voice and the wildly flailing arms began to get noticed. He got on the bill at Woodstock and made an appearance on Ed Sullivan and the momentum began to build.

And just as his music rose up, Joe fell down deep into the bottle. He was often so drunk he couldn’t remember the lyrics. He was in such bad shape when John Belushi was doing his unforgettable impression that it seemed more cruel than funny.

But once again, he found a way out. By the ’80s, Cocker was clean, sober and back! Now, in his mid 60s he continues to tour to a rigorous schedule and says it’s as enjoyable as any other moment in his career.

To find out when and where you can see Joe in action, check out