JOE COCKER (Pt 1) : Beatles' cover of With A Little Help From My Friends
B. John Robert Cocker, May 20, 1944, near Sheffield, S. Yorks, UK. In 1960 having left school, buys a cheap drumkit and forms a skiffle group with schoolfriends. He plays in brother Victor's skiffle group The Cavaliers at night, making his first public appearance at the Minvera Tavern in Sheffield. 1963 : when The Cavaliers change their name to Vance Arnold & The Avengers, Cocker steps out front and sings, changing his forename to Joe, after Cowboy Joe. He also sits in with local bands like Dave Berry & The Bruisers. To be continued...
Nov.6, 1968 : his distinctive cover of The Beatles With A Little Help From My Friends hits UK #1 for a week (Regal Zonophone HSS 1308, October 1968). Picture cover from France (EMI/Stateside FSS 612, October 1968. Belgium #11, 11/1968.
Acc. by Jimmy page (solo gtr); Barry J. Wilson [of Procol Harum], (drms); Chris Stainton (bs gtr, vox and keyboards). Choruses: Sue and Sunny alias in order Yvonne Wheatman-Glover and her sister Heather.
The Beatles are impressed with his version and send him a congratulatory telegram and place music press ads praising the record.
Subsequent TV exposure introduces a wider audience to Cocker's flailing, tortured stage movements (that we say today he was the inventor of the AIR GUITAR). Some find his performance distasteful and when he appears on the "Ed Sullivan Show", he is obscured by dancers as he sings.
Dec.14, 1968 : With A Little Help From My Friends peaks at US Billboard Top 100 #68.