Song of the Day: Joe Cocker “The Letter”

I love posting songs that have multiple (great) versions and this one “The Letter” as performed by Joe Cocker is one. The original version came out in 1967, and was put out by Memphis’ Box Tops with 16 year old lead singer Alex Chilton. The story of how the song came to be is a good one and too long for this blog but the wikipedia entry here is a great place to start. The original version is top notch (see below) but I have to give a slight nod to Joe Cocker’s version from the “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” tour in 1970, with Leon Russell leading an all star rock n roll big band. It’s rough and big and brassy!
Joe Cocker came out of Sheffield, England and had a great career from 1968 until he passed away in 2014. I had the pleasure of seeing him twice (once in Spain and once in New Zealand) and he was great both times. Cocker truly had soul and was a master of taking other people’s songs and putting his own stamp on them.

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