Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - LOOK LOCAL -

SYD­NEY soul singer Doug Parkin­son is en­sur­ing the spirit of Joe Cocker re­mains alive.

With the re­cent pass­ing of icons such as Prince and David Bowie, Parkin­son worries the lesser-known Cocker – who died in 2014 – could fall off the radar.

“He could get lost in the sand­pit, so to speak, and I think he de­serves more than that,” Parkin­son said.

“Peo­ple won’t for­get about him; I just want to make sure I nudge their mem­ory.”

Parkin­son hon­ours his idol with a trib­ute show fea­tur­ing songs You Can Leave Your Hat On, Cry Me a River and The Let­ter.

“I’ve been a fan from day one and peo­ple see us as very sim­i­lar sort of acts,” he said.

“We do the show and peo­ple have come back two or three times: they drive hun­dreds of kilo­me­tres to see us so I think there’s a big au­di­ence out there for Joe Cocker and peo­ple are lik­ing the idea of me do­ing it.” Parkin­son re­mem­bers hear­ing Cocker the first time. “The song was With A Lit­tle Help From My Friends by The Bea­tles and it blew me away be­cause at the time we were do­ing very well in Mel­bourne with my band, Doug Parkin­son in Fo­cus, and we had a hit with Dear Pru­dence, an­other Bea­tles song,” he said.

“I heard his in­ter­pre­ta­tion of their song and thought it was very clever: he made a re­ally poppy lit­tle song that Ringo sang, valid in its own right, and turned it into this won­der­ful big soul­ful al­most-an­them.”

Parkin­son, from hit mu­si­cals Jesus Christ Su­per­star and Grease, ven­tured into mu­sic at 12 when his father bought a reel-to-reel tape recorder.

“One day Dad left it out and I switched it on and sang into the mi­cro­phone and it scared hell out of me be­cause I had no idea my voice sounded that way,” he said.

“In my early teenage years, I asked for a gui­tar for Christ­mas and got one and then in those days when you went to school the only way to meet girls was to sing in the choir, so I went to church and be­fore I knew it I was singing in all these dif­fer­ent choirs.

Com­mu­nity News­pa­per Group has 10 dou­ble passes to give away to Doug Parkin­son Hon­ours Joe Cocker at Crown The­atre Perth on May 27. En­ter at­mu­ni­ by 10am, May 12. Sara Fitz­patrick

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