Joe Cocker: Sheffield Legend 1944-2014

Joe Cocker
Joe Cocker
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Joe Cocker - born John Robert Cocker - was born in Sheffield on May 20, 1944.

He was the youngest son of a civil servant and lived on Tasker Road in Crookes.

Joe Cocker (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

Joe Cocker (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

In the early 1960s he worked as a gas fitter by day. By night he would don a dark suit and bow tie to perform under the stage name ‘Vance Arnold’ with his band ‘Vance Arnold and The Avengers’ in local pubs.

In 1963, he supported the Rolling Stones at Sheffield City Hall and by 1966 he had formed his own band with Chris Stainton, the Grease Band.

His fame erupted in 1968 when he went to number one with his cover of The Beatles’ ‘With a Little Help from my Friends’.

He performed the song at the famous Woodstock festival in New York state the following year.

Joe went on to create 40 albums and toured all over the world. His other top hits included ‘You are So Beautiful’ and ‘Unchain My Heart.’

He received a Grammy in 1983 for ‘Up Where We Belong,’ a duet with Jennifer Warnes and in 2007 received an OBE for his contribution to music.

The same year, a bronze ‘Sheffield Legends’ plaque was placed outside the Town Hall in his honour.

Joe is survived by his wife, Pam, with whom he had lived on a ranch in Colorado, USA, for many years. He also leaves a step-daughter, Zoey Schroeder, and two grandchildren, Eva and Simon Schroeder.

SEE MORE: Sheffield legend Joe Cocker dies, aged 70.