123. Joe Cocker

We hate using an American Idol reference but how many times does Simon and company tell the contestants after they nailed a performance that “they made the song their own”. Somehow, this just seemed like the right quote for Joe Cocker.   The gravelly voiced Cocker really did make a career out of covers and “making them his own”. In many cases, the Joe Cocker cover version surpassed the original and often you could never imagine anyone else singing those songs. Despite that iconic voice, he was able to deliver the tenderest ballads in Rock and Roll history. In concert, Cocker’s spastic motions and powerful presence elevates him (still to this day) as a must see on the concert tour. If the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame committee can overlook that he did not write his own material (they did so with most Motown acts), than his chances for induction improve.       The Bullet Points:   Eligible Since: 1994   Country of Origin: United Kingdom (Sheffield, England)   Why He Will Get In: If it is based on his performing ability he would be a lock.   Why They Won’t Get In: He did not pen his own material which could be viewed as a negative.   Nominated In: Never   Essential Albums: With a Little Help from My Friends (1969) Delta Lady (1969) Mad Dogs and Englishmen (1970) I Can Stand a Little Rain (1974)   Our Five Favorite Songs as Chosen by Each Member of the NIHOF Committee: With a Little Help from My Friends (From With a Little Help from My Friends, 1969) Feelin’ Alright (From With a Little Help from My Friends, 1969) Delta Lady (From Joe Cocker!, 1969) The Letter (From Mad Dogs and Englishmen, 1970) Unchain My Heart (From Unchain My Heart, 1987)   www.cocker.com {acepolls 161}

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