Honoring Joe Cocker

Honoring Joe Cocker

We remember it well. Telluride Inside… and Out was a young pup, just about one year old, when Steve Gumble brought Joe Cocker to town to be the closer on opening day (September 18, 2009) of the 16th annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival. 

Joe Cocker, 9/18/2009; Clint Viebrock photo

Joe Cocker, 9/18/2009; Clint Viebrock photo

Thanks to a dear friend who was a very close friend of the British blues-rock singer, we were able to do a video interview with Joe at his home near Crawford, CO, when he was in great form and in the mood to wax rhapsodically about his life and career.

In addition to the signature gravelly voice that turned nearly every song he touched into a soul anthem, Joe Cocker will be remembered for his philanthropy. Cocker Kids’ Foundation lives on as a tribute to the generosity of this charismatic man and iconic celebrity, who died at age 70 of lung cancer on Monday, December 22.

Cocker Kids’ Foundation is a non-profit, community supported foundation dedicated toaiding area youth up to the age of 21 in areas of education, recreation, the arts and athletics. Since 1998, the Cocker Kids’ Foundation has funded over $1,000,000 to youth-related programs and children of the North Fork Valley in Delta County, Colorado. From their permanent residence in Crawford, Joe and Pam Cocker, along with an active and involved board of directors, have made sure that the funds have impacted the kids who need it most.

Here is a link to that story, including that interview, entitled ”Up Where He Belongs,” now ironically all too true: https://www.tellurideinside.com///2009/09/up-where-he-belongs-joe-cocker-at-telluride-blues-brews.html

And here is what Ben Sisario of the New York Times had to say about Joe Cocker.

Joe Cocker, blowing minds at Woodstock

Joe Cocker, blowing minds at Woodstock

Joe Cocker, Raspy-Voiced Rock Star With Distinctive Moves, Is Dead at 70

Joe Cocker, the gravelly British singer who became one of pop’s most recognizable interpreters in the late 1960s and ’70s with passionate, idiosyncratic takes on songs like the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends,” died on Monday at his home in Crawford, Colo. He was 70.

The cause was lung cancer, his agent, Barrie Marshall, said.

Mr. Cocker had been a journeyman singer in Britain for much of the 1960s, building a reputation as a soulful barreler with full-throated versions of Ray Charles and Chuck Berry songs. But he became a sensation after his performance of “With a Little Help From My Friends” at the Woodstock music festival in 1969.

His appearance there, captured in the 1970 concert film “Woodstock,” established him as one of pop’s most powerful and irrepressible vocalists. With his tie-dyed shirt and shaggy mutton chops soaked in sweat, Mr. Cocker, then 25, pleadingly teased out the song’s verses — “What would you do if I sang out of tune?/Would you stand up and walk out on me?” — and threw himself into repeated climaxes, lunging and gesticulating in ways that seemed to imitate a guitarist in a heroic solo.

On Twitter, Ringo Starr wrote on Monday, “Goodbye and God bless to Joe Cocker from one of his friends.”

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