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Flint’s Classic Rock – 103.9 The Fox

  • Writer: Dave Mason
  • Producer: Denny Cordell
  • Recorded: September 1968 at A&M Studios in Los Angeles
  • Released: May 1969
  • Players:
    Joe Cocker — vocals
    David Cohen — guitar
    Carol Kaye — bass
    Artie Butler — piano
    Paul Humphries — drums
    Laudir — tumba, maracas
    Brenda Holloway, Merry Clayton — backing vocals
  • Album: With A Little Help From My Friends (A&M, 1969)
  • Also On:
    Mad Dogs & Englishmen (A&M, 1970)
    and many compilations
  • “Feelin’ Alright,” which was already a hit for the band Traffic, was the second single released from Joe Cocker‘s debut album With A Little Help From My Friends.
  • Cocker’s “Feelin’ Alright” peaked at Number 69 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
  • The single convinced organizers of the Woodstock festival to add Cocker to the lineup. His performance there was one of the defining moments of the festival, and including it in the Woodstock movie helped establish the singer as a star in the U.S.
  • The song also earned Cocker an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1969.
  • Cocker’s unusual stage mannerism prompted Sullivan show producers to position a phalanx of dancers between the singer and the camera, “protecting” America from a close-up view of the singer’s spastic tics and flailing limbs.
  • Cocker wasn’t kidding when he titled his album With A Little Help From My Friends. Led Zeppelin‘s Jimmy Page, Steve Winwood, and other notables appeared on the project (though not on this cut), immediately raising Cocker’s profile on the music scene.
  • “Feelin’ Alright” finally made the Billboard Top 40 in 1972, when the rereleased single peaked at Number 33.
  • With A Little Help From My Friends peaked at Number 35 on the Billboard 200.


  • Cocker wasn’t feelin’ alright during his 1972 tour, during which he often drunkenly forgot lyrics and mumbled the ones he could remember. The moment, such as it was, was captured on the album Live In L.A.
  • In 1976, Cocker poked fun at himself and his stage mannerisms when he sang alongside John Belushi‘s Joe Cocker on Saturday Night Live. While Cocker attempted a straight-faced performance, Belushi exaggerated Cocker’s seemingly out-of-control movements.
  • Cocker didn’t achieve his first Number One hit until 1982 with “Up Where We Belong,” a duet with Jennifer Warnes that served as the love theme to the movie An Officer And A Gentleman.
  • Cocker continues to record and tour.