Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Double Farewell

A little behind here, but better late than never in paying my respects.
On December 22nd 2014, English rock and blues singer Joe Cocker lost his battle with cancer at the age of 70. Considered one of the greatest rock singers of all time, he began his career performing in pubs and clubs, propelling to stardom with his memorable cover of The Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends" (previously featured here). Sir Paul McCartney said he would be "forever grateful" to Cocker for turning this tune into a "soul anthem." Reaching #1 in the UK and later becoming the theme of The Wonder Years TV series, here's his infamous performance at Woodstock in 1969.

Cocker also enjoyed other big hits like "You Are So Beautiful" in 1974 (#5 in the US), and the chart-topping, Grammy Award-winning duet with Jennifer Warnes, "Up Where We Belong" in 1982. Another great live performance by the iconic singer, here's Cocker's cover of Leon Russel's "Delta Lady" in 1969.
Rest in peace, Joe. Your fans are missing you.
On January 13th, Trevor Ward-Davies (aka Dozy) passed away, also at the age of 70, after a short illness. He was the bassist for the British pop/rock group Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick, & Tich, who enjoyed successful UK hits including the chart-topping single, "The Legend of Xanadu" in 1968. The distinctive name (their actual nicknames), coupled with well produced and catchy songs by songwriters Howard and Blaikley, quickly caught the UK public's
 imagination and their records started to sell in abundance. Although the group failed to break out in the US, they were big sellers elsewhere in the world, particularly in British commonwealth countries like Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Ward-Davies had acquired his nickname "Dozy" when he unwrapped a chocolate bar before absent-mindedly discarding the bar and attempting to eat the wrapper. With novelty elements like many of their songs, here's Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick, & Tich performing "The Legend of Xanadu," featuring a trumpet section and the distinctive sound of a whip cracking in the chorus. 
Farewell, dear Dozy.

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