1970 Joe Cocker – Cry Me A River (Live)

1970 Joe Cocker – Cry Me A River (Live) 

After touring with his Grease Band in the late sixties, Joe Cocker became exhausted enough to drop his backup band and take a break.

Unfortunately, his management had already scheduled another round of appearances for 1970. Joe had to recruit a band and get ready to tour again. Things worked out very well after he tapped Leon Russell as the bandleader.

Nearly two dozen musicians were involved in the tour, including three drummers. Producer Denny Cordell had worked with Joe during the Grease Band era, and he declared that the new tour was made up of Mad Dogs & Englishmen (the title of a song by Noël Coward). The name stuck and became the name of the tour.

Joe released a live album from the tour that spawned two hit records. His first single was a cover of The Letter by the Box Tops. It reached the top ten on the Hot 100 in early 1970.

His second hit was also a cover, but of a completely different style of music from the mid-fifties.

Arthur Hamilton wrote the song Cry Me A River in 1953. He had gone to high school with Julie London, who was married to Jack Webb of Dragnet fame. Jack was directing the film Pete Kelly’s Blues and had his wife contact Arthur about finding a song for Ella Fitzgerald to sing in the 1955 film. The song later got dropped from the film, and Julie then recorded the song herself. It got used as a dream sequence by Tom Ewell in the film The Girl Can’t Help It in 1956.


Joe’s live version of the song ran nearly four minutes and updated the song a great deal.

After they had concluded the tour dates, Joe finally had time to move back to England and take things easier for almost two years.


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