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ROME, ITALY - JULY 27: Singer Joe Cocker performs during the "Hard Knocks Tour 2011" at Auditorium Parco Della Musica on July 27, 2011 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images)

WCSX Classic Cuts

Joe Cocker: “With a Little Help from My Friends”

The Hook: He says his live version at Woodstock got so “frenetic” towards the end that the band was just “kicking ass.”

Albums: With a Little Help from My Friends (studio) and Woodstock (live)

Years: 1969 and 1970

Writers: John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Stats: Peaked at number-68 on the Billboard Hot 100, after having topped the U.K. singles charts.

Background: The Beatles song “With a Little Help from my Friends” provided Joe Cocker with the title of his debut album and a number-one hit at home in the U.K., but it didn’t fare nearly as well as in the U.S., only reaching number-68 here. However, his epic live version of the song at Woodstock, which was soon to be seen in the movie and heard on its soundtrack album, would turn it into a staple of his live set for years to come.

Joe Cocker on “With a Little Help from My Friends” becoming a staple of his live shows following his classic live version at Woodstock. OC:…that one. :20

“I daren’t exclude it from my set, they go bonkers if I don’t do it, because it’s almost like an anthem and it says a lot. It’s one of those songs that people do come together around that song, whether it be my version or the Beatle version. The Woodstock version, I think, was exciting just because we got so frenetic at the end of it. It was like we were, as they say, ‘kicking ass’ by the end of that one.”