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Number 1

Joe Cocker - Delta Lady (Regal Zonophone RZ3024 - 1969)

At just 12 years old, my initial interest in the current pop music of the day, which included such groups as Marmalade, Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich, Amen Corner and The Monkees of course, was starting to move forward, possibly after seeing the Jimi Hendrix Experience on Top of the Pops performing Purple Haze. Throughout the 1960s the Beatles were in a category of their own and remained so even after their eventual split and through their legacy to this day. It would have been easy for me to choose a Beatles song to kick start this series of important single releases. I've chosen however, a song that came to me via a local amateur rock outfit during one of their regular Sunday afternoon rehearsals at the drummer’s dad’s house in Doncaster. The band were called Swamp and their repertoire was made up of rock classics such as Sunshine of Your Love, Badge and a pretty faithful version of Leon Russell's Delta Lady, which was most famously covered by Joe Cocker and which featured on the Sheffield singer’s self-titled second LP. Released in 1969, the same year that Cocker made his iconic appearance at the Woodstock Festival, performing his unique version of the Beatles' With a Little Help From My Friends with air guitar, star-spangled boots and tie-died granddad vest, the soulful Delta Lady provided a young 12 year-old with a musical start that would develop into a large collection of grown up songs, bidding farewell to Bubblegum forever.