John Robert "Joe" Cocker OBE (20 May 1944 - 22 December 2014) was an English rock/blues singer who came to popularity in the 1960s, most known for his gritty voice and his cover versions of popular songs, particularly those of The Beatles. Joe Cocker was the youngest son of a civil servant. From 1961 Cocker was by day an apprentice gas fitter and by night, in dark suit and bow tie, he became Vance Arnold singing with The Avengers in rough Sheffield pubs. The set included songs by mentor Ray Charles "What'd I Say" and "Georgia on My Mind." Vance Arnold and the Avengers biggest moment came in 1963 when they supported The Rolling Stones at Sheffield City Hall, and brought the house down.
In 1962 Cocker left the Gas Board and released his first single, a cover of The Beatles "I'll Cry Instead." His band, Joe Cocker Big Blues, built up a large following in the north of England and ventured to France for a two month stint, playing on American airbases. The servicemen, many from America's deep south, loved Joe. The French called him "Le Petit Ray Charles". Unfortunately when he returned home to England the bottom had fallen out of the local scene.
Joe Cocker Big Blues folded. For an entire year Joe never did a gig. Then along came the man Joe has called the greatest musician in the world, Chris Stainton. With Chris The Grease Band was formed.Make Joe Cocker Playlist