Gem of the Week: “With a Little Help From My Friends” By Joe Cocker

24 Dec


My gem this week goes to one of the most notable Beatles covers of “With a Little Help From My Friends” by the late rock legend Joe Cocker.

As a classic rock fan I was sad to hear the news that Cocker passed away on Monday at age 70.

Though he is a legend before my time, I know he’s distinguished for his rock/blues covers and raspy vocals but I have always loved his popular cover of “With a Little Help From My Friends,” and so this week I definitely wanted to reflect on it.

Cocker’s vocals are pretty distinctive, raw and I do love the raspy quality. I feel his passionate vocal delivery fit the mood and lyrics of the song giving it strong impact.

I think it’s also safe to say he is an artist that took a cover and made it his own because his version made its mark in rock history.

According to an article on, it was Cocker’s 1969 performance of this cover at the Woodstock music festival that really put him on the map.

I’ve watched the Woodstock performances many times and Cocker’s is one of my favorites.

I remember this song was also used as the theme to 80s coming of age sitcom The Wonder Years. My best friend who is Beatles fan loves this cover too. We carry memories of quoting the lyrics to this song and it reminds us of how we use to make fun of the sitcom.

I think it’s awesome when a musician can have that moment such as Cocker’s Woodstock performance where it became this lasting impression for rock music fans.

Below is the 1969 Woodstock clip of Cocker’s performance shared from Richie C’s You Tube Channel.

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