1964 : after an audition for producer Mike Leander in Manchester, Gtr. Manchester, Joe Cocker is offered a contract with DECCA Records. He takes leave of absence from the Gas Board and travels to Decca's studio in London. He debuts with a version of Lennon/McCartney's I'll Cry Instead released on 4 September 1964. Despite a good performance and session help including i.a. Big Jim Sullivan and Jimmy Page (called at the time "Little Jim") on guitars; Bobby Graham on drums and The Ivy League on backing vocals (Peter Oakman on double bass ?), it flops and Cocker reportedly only 10 shillings in royalties. He joins his first professional band, The Big Blues, on a brief UK Tour with Manfred Mann and The Hollies and then tours US army bases in France. To be continued...
UK DECCA single F.11974, 4/9/1964 - DNC. Thanks : e-Bay.
http://youtu.be/-vo9ibOrYXI (quite good !)
2007 : Joe Cocker was awarded the O.B.E. (Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for his services to music on 16 June 2007.)