Doug Parkinson performs Joe Cocker's best in his tribute show

That voice: Doug Parkinson belts out Joe Cocker's biggest hits and his own in his appearance at Club Forster October 27, and the Glasshouse, October 28.

That voice: Doug Parkinson belts out Joe Cocker's biggest hits and his own in his appearance at Club Forster October 27, and the Glasshouse, October 28.

Many will recall Doug Parkinson’s chart-topping rendition of the Beatles’ song Dear Prudence released in 1969. It remains his signature song, and he still belts it out with as much smoking soul as he did back then. 

Parkinson brings his “travelling circus” eight piece band to the Glasshouse on October 28, and he’s looking forward to it.

“It’s a long time since I played in Port Macquarie. At my age I never thought I’d be working with a band again, but these guys and girls are the cream of the crop.

He says he has always been a fan of Joe Cocker. “He released With a Little Help from My Friends  at the same time as I did Dear Prudence. We both gave them our own twist. He had such a great body of work, songs played by great musicians. It’s all about the music. It’s scary good.” 

Dear Doug: Famous for his rendition of the Beatles' Dear Prudence, Parkinson has had many top 10 hits and performed in stage musicals and tv. See him on stage at Club Forster October 27, and Glasshouse October 28 as he honours the music of Joe Cocker.

Dear Doug: Famous for his rendition of the Beatles' Dear Prudence, Parkinson has had many top 10 hits and performed in stage musicals and tv. See him on stage at Club Forster October 27, and Glasshouse October 28 as he honours the music of Joe Cocker.

“I’m winning on all sides, I get to sing a new repertoire and get back on the road. I’ve been fairly quiet because I’m not a friend to airport seats. Travelling is a cross I have to bear, but I get to do the thing I love – sing.

In the first half, you will hear Parkinson’s own hits. He says he is lucky he rarely gets bad throats, so it’s no problem for him to be on stage for more than two hours.

Songs like Hitchock Railway, Delta Lady, You Can Leave Your Hat On, She Came in Through the Bathroom Window, You Are So Beautiful, Up Where We Belong and many more, make up the second half of the show.

“His [Cocker’s] repertoire has such diversity. I think he was underated. A lot of people made fun of him because of his crazy antics, but that’s just the way he performed.”

The songs he chose were written by great songwriters, Lennon and McCartney, Randy Newman, Leon Russell, Nina Simone.

Parkinson has certainly had his own career diversity, performing in his first stage show in 1973, in the Who’s rock musical Tommy. One of his biggest theatrical roles was as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar.  

He formed the Southern Star Band with friend Duncan McGuire and had top 10 hits The Hungry Years and I’ll Be Around.  In 1979, they supported Bob Marley and the Wailers on what was to be Marley’s last tour. He later recorded solo album Heartbeat to Heartbeat which produced top 10 hit The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore with vocalist Broderick Smith. 

Next year, is his 50th anniversary in the industry and he is working on a new show to celebrate. “I don’t  know where it’s gone. Instead of things slowing down, it’s getting crazy, but I’m still loving it.”

He is probably most proud of his longevity and the fact he is still thought of as one of the ‘good voices’. “It’s been a roller coaster, sometimes tough, people disappoint you and you disappoint yourself. Entertainers, there’s something there that keeps you going. It’s like breathing, you have to keep doing it.” I , for one, am glad he is.

Soulful tribute - Doug Parkinson does Joe Cocker justice in this tribute